Launching an Innovative Data Methods Challenge!

Speeches Shim

Authors: The authors work in the Office of HIV/AIDS. Emily Harris is the Data.FI Agreement Officer Representative and Ryan Schowen is a Senior Private Finance Advisor

As the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) prepares for its next phase, the global HIV community is reflecting on how to build on the program’s progress since its founding in 2003. Within our roles in the Office of HIV/AIDS, we’ve been reflecting on how to encourage the continued innovation we know is critical to achieving sustained epidemic control in PEPFAR’s next phase. The private sector can play a critical role in driving this innovation by supporting HIV service delivery for those that can afford to pay for certain aspects of care. A preliminary step towards expanding the utilization of the private sector is defining which clients can afford to pay for care through market segmentation.

Improved leveraging of consumer market segmentation approaches can help identify the services that meet HIV clients’ unique needs and preferences. We’re excited to announce that in partnership with data and analytics experts from the Data for Implementation (Data.FI) project, the Office of HIV/AIDS is launching a challenge to uncover innovative ways to identify novel consumer demographic data sources and approaches to market segmentation. What is the aim of the innovative data methods challenge? To support PEPFAR in tailoring HIV treatment services and expand market diversification.

Within our global HIV community, there is a growing recognition that achieving sustainable control of the HIV epidemic requires a “total market approach.” In practical terms, this means:

  • We need to create new relationships and promote new strategies.
  • We need to expand beyond our current approach of relying primarily on financial support from donor and country governments.
  • We need to engage private sector stakeholders and our implementing partners in uniquely collaborative ways.
  • We need new approaches to mobilize and deploy diversified markets for HIV care and treatment.

If we’re successful, together we can increase the quantity and the efficiency of both domestic public and private funding, expand the availability of healthcare services and products for HIV in the private sector, and capitalize on opportunities such as expanding digital health activities to effectively tailor HIV services to the populations that need them.

Central to achieving these changes are simple but challenging questions:

  • What is the market for private HIV treatment services?
  • What is the size of the market segments that may be willing to pay for HIV services?
  • What are the characteristics of those market segments?

This type of information can help shape segmented public and private service delivery models within the PEPFAR context.

Illustration of market segmentation depicts HIV care and treatment icons, such as laboratory testing for viral load, access to antiretroviral drugs, and other forms of care at facilities. Image by Denise Todloski, Data.FI Project.

The global health community traditionally relies on qualitative and quantitative formative research to address key questions related to patient preferences, expectations, affordability, and acceptability when considering both public and private sector health interventions. This often includes studies to assess a client’s willingness and ability to pay for products and to establish an acceptable pricing strategy. While formative research and ‘willingness to pay’ studies are important tools for global health programming, they are often conducted on a per-project basis, which is usually costly and time consuming. In some cases, duplicative research is being conducted as comparative or complementary data already exists.

We think there’s another way. The innovative data methods challenge is aimed at developing profiles to inform market segmentation strategies using innovative data sources. Profiles may incorporate demographic dimensions (who), geographic dimensions (where), and temporal dimensions (when). We encourage competitors to leverage both novel open data sources, while also demonstrating the potential for leveraging previously untapped data sources.

Through Data.FI, Palladium will provide funding to up to three innovators with game-changing data and ideas to develop and test their approach. We’re looking to encourage the most diverse, ambitious, and game-changing responses. Apply here and share with your network! We’re excited to innovate together!

Last updated: September 02, 2021

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