Innovation and Impact Newsletter - August/September 2021

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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

September 2021



USAID/CII Grand Challenge winners highlighted in WHO compendium

Kinnos Highlight Wipes

Inside look at a Smart Pod

Three winners from USAID/CII Grand Challenges have been highlighted in the recently published WHO compendium of 24 innovative health technologies for low-resource settings. The compendium celebrates the creation of inexpensive tools that can be used in challenging care delivery environments. Kinnos, a Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge awardee, was featured for its color additive to ensure proper disinfection by temporarily adding blue to disinfectants so you can see that surfaces have been completely covered. Created during the Ebola crisis, this technology is now used to ensure medical facilities and even the New York metro system are properly sanitized during the COVID-19 pandemic. Another Fighting Ebola awardee featured is Baylor College of Medicine’s “Smart Pods”, for their work providing temporary medical structures in emergency settings. The third featured innovator is Gradian, a Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge awardee, which provides medical ventilators in settings with unreliable access to electricity or oxygen.

The WHO compendium emphasized that the featured projects “show promise in furthering the shared goal of universal access to essential health technologies.” CII is excited about the inclusion of our Grand Challenge winners and is eager to see how they will continue to innovate and provide vital technologies and services!


Innovation Icon Innovative Finance

Loan guarantee facility ODAPHI officially signed

The loan guarantee for the Open Doors Africa Private Health Initiative (ODAPHI) was officially signed. The President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and CII partnered with the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the Health Finance Coalition (HFC) to establish this loan guarantee facility with the Medical Credit Fund (MCF). A catalytic investment of $700K from PMI enabled a loan guarantee from the DFC that will unlock over $30M in working capital loans from MCF. This will provide private health facilities with the resources to continue providing malaria and other essential health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative is focused on five countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and aims to reach over 1,500 health facilities with loans and other technical support.

Woman gets temperature check at health clinic

Digital Health Icon Digital Health

Ministerial on digital public goods that furthers USAID’s Digital Health Vision

USAID’s Digital Strategy and Digital Health Vision both endorse investment in digital public goods. In August, the Rockefeller Foundation with the Digital Public Goods Alliance and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs convened a high-level ministerial to discuss the future of digital infrastructure for an equitable recovery from COVID-19. The Digital Square project facilitates development and usage of digital public goods, and USAID’s Principal Advisor Mark Fierstein and Acting Assistant Administrator Jennifer Adams announced that Digital Square will have its funding ceiling raised by $120M and its timeline extended for another 5 years. This opportunity for greater investment will help USAID and its partners apply the potential of digital public goods to improve health outcomes.

Two-photo collage | Principal Advisor to the Administrator (top) and Acting Assistant Administrator for Global Health (bottom) speak at DPG event

Market Access icon. Market Access

How USAID can advance value-based, human-centered health care

To mark USAID’s 60th anniversary, the agency is highlighting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues. CII’s Monisha Ashok and OHA’s Emily Harris co-authored a Medium blog on applying DEI principles to global health programs. They argue that a DEI lens can strengthen existing value-based and human-centered approaches by calling into sharper focus the importance of including all voices, especially those who may have been marginalized in the past. Recognizing the people we serve as true experts, focusing on the metrics of success that matter most to them, and intentionally identifying and addressing implicit biases can further global health impact for the next 60 years.

An information poster for a program using human-centered design


September 30
Impact by Design

September 21 & 23
Climate for Health Ambassadors Training
Harvard T.H. Chan C-CHANGE

September 22
Reimagining the Global Health Ecosystem
Million Lives Collective and Equalize Health


broadcast bars News

Hindustan Times
Global vaccine coverage dropped to what was anticipated: Gates Foundation
September 14, 2021

Report: Climate change could see 200 million move by 2050
September 13, 2021

COVID-19 disruption causing many deaths from TB, AIDS, in poorest countries, fund says
September 7, 2021



Photo of Elle Rugerio, Scale Up Intern

Elle Rugerio, Scale Up Intern

Elle Rugerio is a Scale Up Intern in USAID’s Center for Innovation and Impact (CII) working predominantly on the Saving Lives at Birth (SL@B) portfolio. Her work focuses on finding ways to highlight SL@B innovators and to make key metrics more digestible for a large audience. Prior to joining CII, Elle worked with Child Family Health International, conducting research on the high adolescent fertility rates present in Bolivia. She has also worked with the International Planned Parenthood Western Hemisphere Region to draft guidance on how The World Bank can work to better address gender and economic inequalities within countries. She has a strong desire to better the lives of mothers and children and hopes to continue doing work to improve health outcomes after her graduation from Princeton University this spring.

Read Elle’s full interview here [PDF, 226K]


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.

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Last updated: September 29, 2021

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