Innovation and Impact Newsletter - September 2020

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

September 2020



CII Launches Global Health Innovation Index

Global Health Innovation Index

The Global Health Innovation Index draws from USAID’s health innovation portfolio, including Grand Challenges and Development Innovation Ventures, to offer a strategic approach for helping identify promising, ready-to-launch innovations. To assess the breadth of health innovations across sectors, geographies, and disciplines, this Index presents four criteria: 1) health impact; 2) demand and sustainability; 3) organizational and/or partner capacity, and 4) progress to scale. The Index highlights nine promising global health innovations that demonstrate how the Index criteria can be applied. These innovations-- including a simpler rate monitor for safe intravenous infusions, a digital platform that uses behavioral science nudges to increase treatment adherence, and mosquitoes that can prevent transmission of Zika in whole communities -- extend services to unreached communities and overcome barriers to care. CII shares this framework in hopes it can be useful to countries, donors, and partners as well as for USAID’s own health teams.


Innovation Icon Innovation

IDEO COVID-19 Challenge: Health and Livelihoods in the Global South

Millions of people currently face an impossible choice: going to work and risk contracting COVID-19 or staying at home and risk income loss. Help improve the lives of low- and middle-income urban communities in the Global South by joining the #COVIDHealthLivelihoods Challenge, an innovation Challenge launched by La Victoria Lab and IDEO, to design scalable solutions to help families adapt and thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Select Top Ideas will be eligible for a share of $55,000 in funding in addition to pitching opportunities, entry into an accelerator program, and access to an IDEO U course. CII’s Lead Innovation Advisor Will Durbin serves on the Challenge Advisory Team, a small cohort of diverse experts tackling urgent response and innovation across geographies.

Global South Health and Livelihoods Challenge

Digital Health Icon Digital Health

Launch of Reimagining Global Health through Artificial Intelligence: The Roadmap to AI Maturity

CII’s Senior Digital Health Advisor Adele Waugaman served as an expert advisor to the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development’s Digital Health Working Group on their newly-launched report Reimagining Global Health through Artificial Intelligence: The Roadmap to AI Maturity [PDF, 5.5MB]. The report identifies high-leverage opportunities for AI to support global health for low and middle-income settings and emphasizes the need to systematically integrate AI into healthcare infrastructures and identifies a supporting maturity model.

Working Group on Digital and AI in Health

Digital Health icon. Innovation

Surgical Tools with Nesta, Intuitive Foundation

CII’s Senior Innovation Advisor Rachel Wood will serve on the global panel of judges for the recently launched Global Surgical Training Challenge, a contest designed to find innovative ways to develop lower cost, validated, simulation-based surgical training. The Challenge is a collaboration among Nesta Challenges, MIT Solve and Intuitive Foundation and is open to clinicians, medical educators, technologists, engineers, artists, and other creatives. The Challenge will award a total of $5 million over the next two years to teams developing surgical training modules that can be used in low-resource settings to help teach surgical procedures and techniques. Winning modules will be selected in three phases and will become part of an online open-source platform accessible by surgical practitioners.

Global Surgical Training Challenge



Global Impact Investing Network

CII’s Senior Innovative Finance Advisor Omer Imtiazuddin presented at the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Response, Recovery, and Resilience (R3) Coalition Co-investment Convening, an event designed to facilitate the acceleration of financing into investments addressing the negative effects of COVID-19. Investments showcased during these sessions are presented by participants motivated to attract additional financing to impactful opportunities.

GIIN: Global Impact Investing Network


Photo of Margaret Melville

Malak Elshafei: Program Assistant

Malak joined CII after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a degree in Health and Societies with a concentration in Health Law and Policy. Malak’s past experiences include assisting innovative health policy research and consulting for pharmaceutical companies. In her free time, Malak enjoys exploring DC and is trying to get back into painting.

Read the full interview [PDF, 465KB].


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