Innovation, Technology & Partnerships

a man holds a cell phone in front of a laptop

Through partnerships with international corporations, think tanks, and businesses, USAID helped bring innovation and technology initiatives to fruition in West Africa. Advancements were made in digital communications and mHealth systems spanning from the community to the national level. Applying lessons learned from cash distribution systems enabled the rapid expansion of mobile money systems to include paying government workers.

EXPANDED USE OF MOBILE MONEY FOR FOR GOVERNMENT PAYROLL

The percent of households possessing a mobile telephone from 2012 to 2017 rose 15% in Sierra Leone, 16% in Liberia and 22% in Guinea.
The percent of households possessing a mobile telephone from 2012 to 2017 rose 15% in Sierra Leone, 16% in Liberia and 22% in Guinea.

USAID’s work with telecommunications companies and mobile money providers for cash transfers lended itself to expansion into other arenas. Now, governments use the same systems to pay health workers, teachers, and other civil servants

PARTNERED WITH INNOVATORS TO EXPAND USE OF mHEALTH

USAID funded innovations such as MHero and partnerships with such entities as CSquared to help upgrade broadband and health communications capabilities. Greater connectivity between health providers, health workers, and government offices provides speedy information and data—enabling quick decision-making during emergencies.

MHero is a two-way mobile phone-based communication platform that uses basic text messaging, or SMS, to connect ministries of health and health workers.

SUPPORTED INNOVATIONS FOR LASTING IMPACT

Grand Challenge innovations resulted in improved personal protective equipment, contact tracing programs, precision infusion monitors, powdered color additives for decontamination adherence, and designs for transportable emergency clinics. All of these can be redeployed in future outbreaks

US $300 million was used to develop and test 150 innovations in 35 countries, 14 of which were tested as Fighting Ebola Grand Challenges

Last updated: August 30, 2019

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