Innovation and Impact Newsletter - November 2020

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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

November 2020



Launch of USAID’s Digital Health Vision for Action

Report cover: Vision for Action in Digital Health

After a multi-year development process, USAID published its Vision for Action in Digital Health. The Vision is the Agency’s first dedicated framework for its investments in digital technologies that support health programs in partner countries. This new guidance builds on prior USAID policy, including the Journey to Self-Reliance and Digital Strategy, within the context of global health sector needs. The Vision also charts a path for the implementation of the Principles of Donor Alignment for Digital Health--which USAID co-authored and endorsed in 2018--by outlining a strategic approach to supporting partner countries’ health sector digital transformation. CII’s digital health experts, Adele Waugaman and Merrick Schaefer, were honored to serve as the facilitators and drafters of this work. They look forward to working with you to bring the Vision to life by increasing the scalability, sustainability, and interoperability of the Agency’s digital investments.


Innovation Icon Innovation

Grand Challenges Annual Meeting 2020

At the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting (GCAM) 2020, CII’s Innovation team hosted a roundtable called, Overcoming Scaling Challenges -- The Innovation Index and the Country Innovation Platform to discuss tools and approaches to solve the disconnect that exists between the “supply” of deployable innovations and the “demand” of countries seeking innovative and locally-appropriate solutions to their priority health challenges. The panel featured CII’s Meghan Majorowski as moderator and Ankunda Kariisa as presenter on the Global Health Innovation Index and highlighted innovator perspectives from USAID-supported innovators Gradian, Shift Labs and Muso.

Grand Challenges Annual Meeting 2020
Grand Challenges Annual Meeting 2020

Digital Health Icon Market Shaping

Enabling Oxygen Access in LMICs for COVID-19

USAID recently announced an $18 million commitment to provide oxygen support in partnering low- and middle-income countries. Supplemental oxygen is an essential, life-saving treatment for people ill with COVID-19. Technical experts across the Bureau for Global Health came together with the Sustained Crisis Response Team to develop a variety of country-level strategies on how to use these funds and focused on appropriate oxygen supply modalities for the country and facility; minimum viable package of consumables / durables to accompany any oxygen supply; and needed clinical and non-clinical activities to ensure safe, quality, and sustainable delivery of oxygen.

A baby on oxygen support

Digital Health icon. Innovation

OECD Observatory for Public Innovation Panel Feature on Innovations

CII’s Acting Director, Amy Lin, spoke on an Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) Observatory for Public Innovation (OPSI) panel called, Innovation without borders: How can we better support innovation efforts from low and middle income countries? Alongside the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, and Cambridge University Business School Professor, Jaideep Prabhu, Amy discussed how the development community can support innovation efforts by enabling them to pivot to COVID-19 needs, using a partnership and human-centered design approach, and leveraging blended finance opportunities.

OECD Observatory for Public Innovation Panel Feature on Innovations


Digital Health Icon Digital Health

G20 Digital Health Taskforce Report Launch

Last week the G20 Digital Health Taskforce published the report, Digital Health: Implementation approach to Pandemic Management. Adele Waugaman served as an advisor to the Taskforce and brought a national-level planning lens to help frame the G20’s report. The report builds directly off of the recommendations in USAID's Fighting Ebola with Information report managed by Merrick Schaefer and co-authored by Adele; and expands on that framework with inputs from 22 countries and organizations like the Global Digital Health Partnership, Global Fund, OECD, United Nations Children's Fund, and the World Health Organization.

20 Digital Health Taskforce Report


November 24, 2020
Biometrics for development: a conversation around ethics and privacy

December 7 - 9, 2020
Global Digital Health Forum
The Global Digital Health Network

December 4, 2020
The Missing Billion: Access to health in the time of COVID-19
Missing Billion

December 8, 2020


broadcast bars News

Viatris Inc. Launches as a New Kind of Healthcare Company
November 16, 2020

New York Times
Shot to Prevent H.I.V. Works Better Than Daily Pill in Women
November 8, 2020

Clinton Health Access Initiative
Catalytic Opportunity Fund
November 2020

Barda Ventures
November 2020

E-Team Grant Program
December 2020


broadcast bars CII NEWS

How to save kids from the pandemic fallout
November 19, 2020

The Lancet
Leveraging the COVID-19 response to end preventable child deaths from pneumonia
November 11, 2020

Launch&Scale Speedometer
Mapping COVID-19 Vaccine Pre-Purchases Across the Globe
November 3, 2020

USAID Medium
Identifying the Most Promising Global Health Innovations
October 20, 2020


book icon What We're Reading

Releasing the Power of Digital Data for Development: A Guide to New Opportunities

The Lancet
Five insights from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019

What type of country do we actually want to become?

Exponential Medicine
Blockchain in Healthcare: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly. Mariya Filipova at Exponential Medicine

New York Times
Your Brain Is Not for Thinking


book icon We're Hiring

Senior Innovative Financing Advisor



Photo of Emily Blynn

Emily Blynn, Innovation Advisor

Emily Blynn is an Innovation Advisor in the Global Health Bureau’s Center for Innovation and Impact (CII). Prior to CII, Emily worked as a Project Manager at Dalberg Advisors, where she partnered with a breadth of public and private sector clients in areas spanning global health, financial inclusion, gender, and agriculture.Emily holds a Master’s in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, in addition to a Bachelor’s of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, where she completed an interdisciplinary program in Science, Technology, and International Affairs, with an emphasis on Biotechnology & Global Health.

Read Emily's full interview here [PDF, 1.8MB].


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