Innovation and Impact Newsletter - December 2020

Speeches Shim

USAID: From the American People
Join Global Health on Facebook Icon
Follow CII on Twitter Icon
Innovation and Impact E-newsletter from the Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact. USAID Global Health

December 2020



CII Launches its 2020 Impact Brief

Report cover: Impact Brief 2020
CII's work at a glance

Over the last year, the C0VID-19 pandemic has upended every aspect of daily life, killing millions and infecting countless more. The enormity of this pandemic has forced a seismic shift in how to both define global health and advance new ideas to tackle the challenges and disparities laid bare by COVID-19. At the Center for Innovation and Impact (CII), we believe that the ability to innovate, harness the power of the market, and leverage digital health is vital to save lives, support the most vulnerable, and strengthen our collective resilience.

Working in close partnership with our colleagues in USAID's Bureau for Global Health and other stakeholders, our team at CII encourages business-minded approaches to accelerate impact against the world's most important health issues. CII invests seed capital in the most promising efforts and applies a rigorous, market-oriented approach to cut the time it takes to transform ideas from the drawing board into impact on the ground. Reflecting on this past year, we share our 2020 Impact Brief [PDF, 6MB] that describes how we, in collaboration with internal and external stakeholders, have designed, developed, and catalyzed effective responses to urgent global health challenges. We are grateful to our partners and eager to learn more from you. For additional info on CII, please visit or follow @Cllimpact.


Innovation Icon Innovative Finance

Launch of $30M Working Ca pita I Loan Facility 0DAPHI

CII, in close partnership with the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), the Development Finance Corporation (DFC), Health Finance Coalition (HFC), and Medical Credit Fund helped launch the Open Doors African Private Healthcare Initiative (ODAPHI). ODAPHI is a $30M working capital loan facility that leverages a loan guarantee to support private healthcare small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) and facilities to continue providing essential healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya. HFC is a coalition of partners that includes Malaria No More, Rockefeller Foundation, Skoll Foundation, and MCJ Amelior Foundation. Please see the press release for more info.

Medical Credit Fund

Digital Health Icon Innovation

USAID Supported Innovations Selected by Million lives Club

57 innovations have been selected as members of the Million Lives Club - an initiative that celebrates innovators and social entrepreneurs that are scaling their solutions for global development challenges. These new members include several USAID- funded innovators like Gradian, Living Goods. Sim prints, and Dimagi. For example, Living Goods is an innovator funded through the Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge and featured in Cll's Global Health Innovation Index [PDF, 4.5MB]. Living Goods supports networks of tech-enabled, performance-driven community health workers to go door-to-door teaching families how to improve their health and diagnosing, treating, and referring children for basic illness.

Million Lives Club logo
Living Goods logo

Digital Health icon. Market Access

ATScale Investment Case

ATscale, The Global Partnership for Assistive Technology, released a seminal publication that analyzed the importance of prioritizing investment in assistive technology, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, eyeglasses, and prostheses, across economic, health, and social returns. This publication included the first-ever return on investment modelling for assistive technology. The analysis showed that investing in assistive technology leads to a 9:1 return on investment, increasing lifetime income by more than $100,000 in an LMIC. CII supported the USAID Bureau of Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitatian Assistance in the incubation and launch of ATscale and was a key contributor to this publication.

AT Scale Cover


Digital Health Icon Innovation

Global Surgical Training Challenge

Cll's Rachel Wood, with expertise provided by the Office of Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition, served on the judging panel for the Global Surgical Training Challenge. a competition to develop and support surgical simulation training modules for low-resource settings. The judges selected 10 teams for a Discovery Award of up to $200k each, awarding modules that teach surgical skills ranging from trauma surgery to colostomy procedures in infants. Toward the end of 2021, judges will select five of the teams to receive $500k, with one team receiving a $1 million Grand Prize in 2022. The Challenge is a collaboration among Nesta Challenges. MIT Solve and Intuitive Foundation.

Global Surgical Training Challenge


November 18, 2020
#GovAfterShock I Innovation without borders: How can we support innovation from low income countries
0ECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation

December 4, 2020
COVID-19, Supply Chain Resilience and Global Trade
Center for Global Development

December 7, 2020
The Global Digital Health Forum 2020 to Focus on Making Digital Health Work for Everyone
The Global Digital Health Forum


broadcast bars News

Using Blended Finance to Build Financial Resilience for Women [PDF, 225K]
December 1, 2020

Unitaid welcomes US$40 million from Norway to fight COVID-19
December 22, 2020

New York Times
For COVID-19 Vaccines, Some Are Too Rich- And Too Poor
December 30, 2020



Photo of Rachel Wood

Rachel Wood, Senior Innovation Advisor

Rachel Wood joins the Center for Innovation and Impact (CII) as a Senior Innovation Advisor. Most recently Rachel worked as a Senior Global Health Officer for Multilateral Relations in the Office of Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where she liaised with the World Health Organization and other institutions and represented US Government global health positions in multilateral negotiations. Rachel graduated from the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle and received a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University's Mccourt School of Public Policy in Washington, DC. In her free time, Rachel enjoys hiking, biking, serving as her toddler's personal paparazzi, and convincing herself cooking is a hobby.

Read Emily's full interview here [PDF, 261K]


USAID's Center for Innovation and Impact (CII) takes a business-minded approach to fast-tracking the development, introduction and scale-up of health interventions that address the world's most important health challenges. CII invests seed capital in the most promising ideas and novel approaches, using forward-looking business practices to cut the time it takes to transform discoveries in the lab to impact on the ground.

Learn more