Innovation and Impact Newsletter - July 2018

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USAID: From the American People
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Innovation and Impact E-newsletter from the Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact. USAID Global Health

JULY 2018




ATscale Logo

Access to assistive technology (AT) such as wheelchairs, hearing aids and prosthetics is critical for improved health outcomes, inclusive education, economic empowerment and civic participation. Yet progress in accelerating access to AT has been slow and sporadic, and investments uncoordinated. To tackle these challenges, USAID—led by the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance and the Center for Innovation and Impact—and partners have launched ATscale: A Global Partnership for Assistive Technology. Initial partners include CHAI; China Disabled Persons’ Federation; DFID; Global Disability Innovation Hub; Government of Kenya; Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Health; UNICEF; and the WHO. On July 24, 2018, ATscale was formally launched at the Global Disability Summit by Penny Mordaunt, UK secretary of state for international development and member of Parliament. By 2030, the partnership aims to help 500 million people get access to the life-changing AT they need. For more, see

globe icon INNOVATION

Last week, USAID, Norad, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, DFID and KOICA hosted the 8th DevelopmentXChange for the Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge. This event convened current innovators as well as promising candidates for Round 8 awards, and included over 200 curated mentor and partner meetings. The event also featured an Innovation Marketplace, Pitch Competition and a special performance of scenes from BUMP, this year’s mainstage production of the EST/Sloan Project inspired by Jorge Odón, the Argentinian car mechanic behind the SL@B-supported Odón Device.

Collage of photos from the SL@B BUMP performance.

chart icon with an up arrow SCALE

Every year, an estimated 2.6 million babies die within their first month of life. About 15 percent of these deaths are caused by complications from severe infection, which in most cases can be avoided with simple, cost-effective interventions. Since 2002, USAID and its partners have been working to scale up the use of one life-saving intervention in particular: the antiseptic chlorhexidine. This USAID blog tells the story of the successful scale-up of chlorhexidine in Nepal, and what we can learn from it.

CII panel at the Aspen Ideas Festival.


This #NAMPerspectives discussion paper is about how local infrastructure problems in low-income countries can lead to medical donations becoming a detriment instead of helping to improve care. Many hospitals don’t have the funding or training to properly use and maintain these machines, so they often break and are not repaired, or are simply abandoned. This paper addresses some of the problems hindering the use of donated medical devices, and identifies potential solutions to ensure these devices can be accessed by those who need them most. Read more.


Hands icon EVENT

Last month we co-hosted a panel with Matchboxology and sponsored by Medtronic Foundation on empathy and its role in global health. Panelists offered global and in-country perspectives on the effects of empathy when applied in global health and how we might best apply and measure it. If you missed it, you can listen to the podcast recording.

Innovator Insights logo.


In an effort to make the fragmented health financing landscape more accessible to governments and partners, the Financing Alliance for Health (FAH) has developed a Community Health Financing Compendium. The compendium provides a comprehensive overview of financing instruments, mechanisms and approaches available to governments. The compendium, initially launched alongside the USAID/FAH Community Health Financing Gap Report in February 2018, aims to help governments, implementing partners and other stakeholders navigate the various sources of financing available to support the scale up of community health programming, including grant, debt, blended, domestic and private.

WHO Digital Health - a woman uses her app to do medical research.

calendar EVENTS

July 31 – August 4, 2018
OpenHIE Community Meeting
Open Health Information Exchange,
Arusha, Tanzania

August 26–29, 2018
International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
Atlanta, Georgia

September 27, 2018
Triangle Global Health Annual Conference
Triangle Global Health Consortium,
Raleigh, North Carolina


Designing for Blockchain: Three Ways to Get Started

USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program
New Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Procurement Guide

The Economist
Development Impact Bonds are Costly, Cumbersome—and Good

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
This Doctor Wants you to Make Sure No Patient is Out of Reach

Sustainable Development Goals
2018 SDG Index and Dashboards Report

Global Digital Health Network
Machine Learning in International Health

broadcast bars CII NEWS

USAID's Maternal and Child Survival Program
Reflections from SL@B DevelopmentXChange
July 26, 2018

Ensemble Studio Theatre featuring SL@B
Jorge Odón, Mario Merialdi, David Milestone, Claudia Weill, Chiara Atik, and Sonia Epstein on car mechanics, birthing technology, the Odón device, and BUMP
July 25, 2018

The Aspen Institute
Gates Foundation and USAID Announce ‘Design for Health’ at Spotlight Health
June 25, 2018

Gradian Health
Saving Lives at Birth in Zambia: 2018 Mid-Year Update
June 18, 2018

The Guardian featuring the Global Virome Project
Scientists Aim to Stop the Devastation of Zika-like Pandemics
June 24, 2018

Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development Announces its Eighth Annual DevelopmentXChange
July 18, 2018

The Telegraph featuring the Global Virome Project
Meet the Virus Hunters: Scientists to Track Down Diseases, X, Y and Z
July 2, 2018

#AIforDevchat: Building AI & ML for International Development
July 24, 2018

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newspaper icon NEWS

Washington Post
How Prepared is the World for the Next Epidemic? This Tool Shows Most Countries Are Not
June 21, 2018

Innovations in Healthcare
Applications for 2019 Innovations in Healthcare Innovator Cohort Open July 25th
July 25, 2018

Global Health Technologies Coalition
Call for Nominations: Innovating for Impact Awards
July 9, 2018

Congo Declares New Ebola Outbreak in Eastern Province
August 1, 2018



Omer Imtiazuddin

OMER IMTIAZUDDIN, Senior Innovative Financing Advisor

"It is atypical to find a job that allows you to make such a big impact in people’s lives the way global health does. The ability to work with brilliant and dedicated entrepreneurs and see their impact has been incredible."

Read the full interview [PDF, 119KB].



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

Photo credits: Michael Sjostedt, Karen Clune, Matchboxology