Innovation and Impact Newsletter - February 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

February 2021



Celebrating Our Innovators Responding to COVID-19 Domestically and Internationally

Baylor College Smartpod

Kinnos colorized spray

Innovators supported by the USAID Grand Challenges for the past outbreaks of Ebola and Zika are responding to COVID-19 not only in low and middle-income countries, but also in the United States. Baylor College of Medicine, a 2014 Ebola Grand Challenge winner, just unveiled its second SmartPod in Harris County Texas for COVID-19 testing. Designed in the wake of the 2014 Ebola outbreak, the SmartPod is a deployable field hospital with the trappings of a modern hospital. Another Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge innovator, Kinnos, is being used in the New York subway system. Kinnos produces Highlight, a powder added to a disinfectant that turns blue to show when a surface is fully covered. The blue color then disappears to indicate when a surface is decontaminated. Combating Zika and Future Threats innovator, Shift Labs, which produces a simple IV infusion rate monitor, is now deployed throughout the US.

These examples demonstrate how innovation for one purpose can yield unexpected and domestic benefits as needs arise. CII is proud to support these impressive innovators who have quickly pivoted to tackle new needs from COVID-19, speaking to the limitless potential of innovation.


Innovation Icon Innovative Finance

Applications of Finance in Global Health: Blended Finance Panel

The Private Sector Engagement (PSE) Hub hosted a MarketLinks webinar on Applications of Finance in Global Health. The expert panel included CII’s Amy Lin; Gene Peuse, Senior Public Private Partnerships Advisor, USAID/Tanzania; Kristi Ragan, Chief of Party, USAID INVEST and was moderated by Priya Sharma, Director, Scalable Innovation, USAID/PSE Hub. The panel discussion walked through highlights of CII’s Blended Finance Roadmap, how it was applied in Tanzania, and current innovative finance activities in health from Afghanistan to Vietnam to the 5 Sub-Saharan countries included in Open Doors African Private Healthcare Initiative (ODAPHI). Overall, the discussion noted the importance as well as challenges of using innovative finance in global health.

Market Links Webinar Graphic

Digital Health Icon Digital Health

Health and Financial Services in the Middle East and North Africa: Time to go digital

The USAID-funded Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector Plus project hosted an interactive e-conference on digital developments for health and financial services in the Middle East and North Africa. The e-conference featured findings from a SHOPS Plus assessment on the topic, perspectives from subject matter experts, and a discussion on the wide-reaching potential for digital services to improve health outcomes, increase financial inclusion, and expand universal health coverage. CII’s Innovation Advisor, Ankunda Kariisa, moderated a panel discussion on insights from experts in the field from GSMA, Women’s World Banking and the Jordan Payments and Clearing Company.

Middle East Digital Health expert panel

Digital Health icon. Innovation

Muso announces long-term partnership with the government of Côte d'Ivoire

Muso, a global health organization that uses a three-step proactive care model through Community Health Workers to save lives, announced the launch of a long-term partnership with the government of Côte d'Ivoire (GoCI). Over the next decade, the partnership will work to pursue rapid, universal access to health care for Côte d'Ivoire's 26 million people. This announcement follows a one-year technical assistance partnership where Muso supported the GoCI Department of Community Health in building a supervision strategy for more than 11,000 CHWs across Côte d'Ivoire. Muso was featured in CII’s Global Health Innovation Index, and received funding from USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV), which enabled Muso to reach 350,000 patients in Mali and conduct large-scale operational research.

Muso team members with senior members of Côte d'Ivoire's Ministry of Health in November 2019.


Photo of Sylvia Boulos, Market Access Advisor

Sylvia Boulos, Market Access Advisor

Sylvia Boulos is a Market Access & Innovative Financing Advisor in the Center for Innovation and Impact (CII) in the Global Health Bureau at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). She focuses on market shaping and financing efforts to accelerate the introduction and scale up of innovative global health products and services across disease areas. She also works on CII’s effort to help scale-up private sector engagement. Prior to joining CII, Sylvia worked at the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and other multilateral development agencies. She has a deep interest in bridging the gap between sustainable development through private sector engagement and market development and global health.

Read Sylvia's full interview here [PDF, 667K]


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: February 25, 2021

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