Innovation and Impact Newsletter - July 2020

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Innovation and Impact E-newsletter from the Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact. USAID Global Health

July 2020



CII Stands Up COVID-19 Innovation, Private Sector Engagement, and Supply Chain (IPSC) Team

Screenshot of a video meeting with eleven participants

CII is working with colleagues across the Global Health Bureau to set up the USAID Task Force's Innovation, Private Sector Engagement, and Supply Chain (IPSC) Team to help USAID coordinate with health innovators, private sector stakeholders, and other global health organizations to jointly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

IPSC oversees three areas for the Task Force: surfacing and scaling innovations, engaging with the private sector for health interventions, and monitoring the supply chain for disruptions to health commodities. The IPSC team is exploring opportunities to enable innovations in critical need areas, to utilize innovative financing for the local production of COVID-19 supplies, and to leverage existing digital health solutions for COVID-19 use cases.


Innovation Icon Digital Health

Throughout the COVID-19 response, Senior Digital Health Advisors Adele Waugaman and Merrick Schaefer have showcased the digital development lessons learned from the Ebola crisis in West Africa and how these lessons can strengthen the COVID-19 response, including at DIAL’s Digital Donor’s Anonymous meeting and the virtual Tech Salon.

Adele and Merrick also co-wrote a blog titled Leveraging the Power of Digital Technologies and Data Systems Against COVID-19: Lessons from the Ebola outbreak response. The blog describes technological recommendations and lessons learned– and highlights projects like mHero, which was partially funded by the CII-supported Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge, that are now being used for COVID-19.

A man sits at a desk holding a smartphone
Photo of smartphone

Digital Health icon. Partnership

CII Joins the World Economic Forum’s COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs

CII joined the COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs, a collaboration between over 40 global organizations to support social entrepreneurs in pooling knowledge, experience, and responses to alleviate suffering and advance new models of change for a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable world. Alliance members include Acumen, Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), Skoll Foundation, and Johnson & Johnson, and currently supports more than 15,000 social entrepreneurs serving 1.5 billion people cumulatively in over 190 countries.

Pictrogram: 15,000 social entrepreneurs serving 1.5 billion people cumulatively in over 190 countries


ATscale, The Global Partnership for Assistive Technology, envisions enabling a lifetime of potential where every person can access lifechanging assistive technology (AT) - such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, and eyeglasses - to survive and thrive. CII partnered with the USAID Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance, to incubate and launch Atscale with the International Disability Alliance, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), UK Department for International Development (DFID), UNICEF, and others. Recently, ATscale concluded its virtual Board Meetings to approve its operational strategy for the coming year. ATscale plans to continue initiating investments to develop an enabling ecosystem and implement market shaping activities to achieve its goal of reaching over 500 million people with AT.

ATScale logo


Utkrisht Development Impact Bond and COVID-19

The Utkrisht Development Impact Bond (DIB) is a public-private partnership between UBS Optimus Foundation, USAID, and Merck for Mothers, focused on improving services in private health facilities in Rajasthan, India, to reduce maternal mortality and reach up to 600,000 pregnant women and newborns in India. The Utkrisht DIB programs support, train and mentor private providers on quality care standards, which have bolstered hygiene and infection control protocols that are essential during the COVID-19 pandemic.

One champion physician from the program, Dr. Lila Vyas, explains that “COVID-19 has been a wakeup call... Luckily, women seeking care in Manyata certified hospitals may be at less risk because doctors and nurses have been extensively trained on universal infection prevention protocols…such as following hand hygiene, sterilizing instruments and hand gloves, and proper bio-medical waste disposal.”

A woman has her blood pressure checked


Exemplars in Global Health
COVID-19 Exemplars: the Power of Positive Outliers, and What We Can Learn from Their Success
July 20, 2020

AI for Good
Can image-based AI meaningfully impact COVID-19 response in low resource settings? (recorded webinar) 
June 16, 2020

Harvard Global Health Institute
Mature Tech Solutions in the COVID- 19 Response (recorded webinar)
June 4, 2020


broadcast bars News

Driving Equitable Access to Fit-For-Purpose Antigen- Detecting Rapid Diagnostic Tests for COVID-19
June 2020

Apply Now: $10 Million for COVID-19 Response Data Science Solutions
July 7, 2020

FDA News
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Takes Action to Help Facilitate Timely Development of Safe, Effective COVID-19 Vaccines
June 30, 2020

Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation Announces New Awards to Strengthen COVID-19 Response in Communities Across Africa and Asia 
May 28, 2020

US DFC launches new health investment initiative
May 11, 2020


broadcast bars CII NEWS

WHO Bulletin of Health
Safeguards for the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in global health
Spring 2020

Pact World
Pact brings together 18 countries to ‘hack’ COVID-19 solutions
June 12, 2020

LGT VP partners with AMP Health to support and strengthen resilient health systems in Africa
June 9, 2020

A Vision for Person-Centered Data Systems in the Digital Age
May 28, 2020

Center for Global Development
USAID’s First Digital Strategy Seeks to Counter Digital Authoritarianism
May 4, 2020

Opinion: What is the role of innovation in COVID-19 response?
April 07, 2020


book icon What We're Reading

AMP Health
AMP Health Annual Report 2019

Social Science & Medicine
Two Indias: The structure of primary health care markets in rural Indian villages with implications for policy

Digitally Empowered
How Digital Tools Power Small Businesses Amid COVID-19

Global Impact Investing Network
The Impact Investing Market in the COVID-19 Context



Photo of Tori Fessenden

Tori Fessenden: Program Assistant

Tori joined USAID after graduating from George Washington University. She holds a dual degree in International Affairs and Economics with a concentration in International Development. Some of Tori's past experiences include interning at the International Rescue Committee, at a USAID implementing partner Management Systems International, and in her Congressman's office on Capitol Hill. In her free time, Tori can be found playing field hockey, exploring the DC food scene, and reluctantly studying for the GRE.

Read the full interview [PDF, 872KB].


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