USAID’s Inclusive Health Access Prize Call

Speeches Shim

The problem

Despite many years of commitments from national governments and global health partners to improve access to and quality of primary health care, vulnerable populations in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) continue to face barriers to achieving better health outcomes. In 2019, many LMIC health systems remain under-resourced and over-burdened leaving many people without access to quality basic health care services. With the partnership of private and civil society, including faith-based and community partners, working in concert with LMIC public health systems, USAID is able to optimally support countries as they work to meet health goals.

II. The U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) involvement in inclusive health care access

USAID’s Office of Health Systems recognizes that optimal health systems ensure that people get the care they need in ways they trust; when people need care, it is available; and that people do not have to pay too much or travel too far for healthcare. In the face of public health system barriers, the private commercial sector, small and women-owned businesses, civil society, including community or faith-based organizations can provide new inputs, partners, and processes to break down barriers to accessing health services and optimize health systems. In turn, a strengthened health system can deliver better population health outcomes at lower cost and counteract the adverse effects of poor economic conditions on health. Ultimately, a healthy population and workforce, as well as a sustainable health system, are critical to USAID-supported partner countries’ journeys to self-reliance.

III. About prizes and why a prize is appropriate for this effort

Prize competitions are a tried and tested method for supporting innovation. They can inspire and incentivize others to explore something new. Prizes are also a means of opening up the process of solving a problem beyond usual partners or collaborators’ thus facilitating the engagement, participation, and elevation of anyone who can solve the problem.

USAID’s Office of Health Systems sees this open innovation approach as a critical tool to spotlight how collaboration across public and private sectors holds real promise in achieving global goals to expand health access to all. By recognizing locally-based solutions that are successfully demonstrating this approach, we can inspire others to adopt and scale these innovations to achieve improved primary health care outcomes.

IV. The prize statement

USAID is seeking to recognize work that demonstrates how integration and partnership between public and private sectors helps expand access to affordable, accountable, and reliable health services for poor and vulnerable groups and to incentivize those local private partners to develop strategies to ensure that their work is sustainable, scalable and replicable in other settings.

Successful entries will balance a track record of affordably, accountably and reliably expanding health care access to the poor and most vulnerable through public-private integration, while also demonstrating a vision for expanding this approach to new geographies.

V. The prize incentives

USAID’s Office of Health Systems, will be awarding $150,000 in prizes for innovative, privately-led approaches with strong scale-up potential that demonstrate how integration and partnership between the public and private sector sectors has helped expand access to affordable, accountable, and reliable health services for poor and vulnerable groups.

All finalists will be showcased on the Office of Health Systems’ website for the Inclusive Health Access Prize, as well as in other forums.
Up to six winners will be announced at a United Nations General Assembly event in September 2019. Each winner will be awarded $25,000 in funding under USAID’s Innovation Incentive Award Authority. Innovation Incentive Award Authority awards are issued as a funds transfer to the winners’ bank accounts and all award monies may be used at the winning teams’ discretion.

One representative from each winning team will travel to represent their team at the United Nations General Assembly (travel expenses will be covered) to showcase their leadership, diversity, and potential in the global health field to other leading stakeholders and donors.

Monday, June 21, 2021 - 3:15pm

Last updated: June 21, 2021