Innovative solutions to improve health campaign effectiveness

By Linda Nyemba

Past participant at an in-person WFP innovation bootcamp in Munich, Germany.

Pivoting to virtual innovation bootcamps online has opened huge untapped potential. The World Food Programme (WFP) Innovation Accelerator and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) are building upon lessons learned from the last innovation bootcamp in July 2020, and providing a similar programme for this Round 25 cohort — with a twist.

The Round 25 bootcamp aims to boost the capacity of three finalists from BMGF’s Grand Challenge Explorations (GCE) program, specifically the “Innovations for Improving the Impact of Health Campaigns (Round 25)” challenge. Grand Challenges is a family of initiatives fostering innovation to solve key global health and development problems. The fourth team, CStock/HP2D, is a winner of a Grand Challenge award stemming from the 2019 GC Annual meeting — that challenge was around encouraging cooperation between African innovators. Effective health campaigns have a positive impact on nearly all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Goal 2 (Zero Hunger).

The bootcamp is focused on increasing the effectiveness of health campaigns, to dramatically improve the way health campaigns realize impact — including achieving higher coverage of health interventions, better identifying and reaching the highest risk populations, and improving efficiency of campaign resources. Purpose is to get more vaccine delivery innovations to scale as quickly as possible by augmenting the GCE process with additional support.

Instead of a full five-day consecutive experience, the bootcamp is stretched out to two weeks with each day consisting of only three hours of programming. A “sixth day” has been crafted to focus solely on community building and addressing challenges in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic among the participants and previous cohorts. A final pitch event, to showcase the innovations to an external audience, will occur in early 2021 when the teams are undergoing their Sprint Programme.

Dialing in from the Kingdom of Eswatini, South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Washington, DC and New York, the four teams will join on a journey of ideation, project design, and innovation. Read more about their solutions:

cStock/HP2D

Due to various social, technological and economic barriers, nomadic communities in northern Kenya are a demographic that lacks seamless access to digital health solutions. InSupplyHealth and Health-E-Net are partnering to provide a solution for community health volunteers in need of digital tools, that accommodate low literacy levels and are able to operate without the need for smartphones and data networks. insupplyhealth.com

Clinton Health Access Initiative — Kingdom of Eswatini

The quality of health campaign delivery varies dramatically across teams even when operational support and relative levels of investment are constant. One of the most powerful behavioural insights informed approaches for improving productivity and performance is that of “benchmarking.” The Kingdom of Eswatini is in the process of adopting and scaling a mass drug administration (MDA) campaign tracking application to monitor, track and evaluate school-based deworming campaigns. The idea is to use process and outcomes from MDA tracking application to populate real-time benchmarks for outreach teams’ performance.

Health Campaigns Digital Gateway

Complete, up-to-date and high-quality population data, required to deliver health campaigns efficiently and cost effectively, are not often readily available to decision makers. Decision makers face challenges in utilizing planning and microplanning tools, and analyzing data to produce evidence based campaign plans. The solution is to develop a digital gateway that will ensure planners across multiple ministry of health departments have easy access to the data they need. This solution provides standardized tools and approaches to apply the data for effective planning, and reduce the duplication of efforts at national and sub-national levels. psi.com

Akros

Mass campaigns consistently struggle to obtain good coverage due to lack of knowledge of the population denominator geospatial location, population movement, and presence at the household, as well as planning and management of field teams. Akros developed the Reveal Platform to employ geospatial technology to identify population denominator and distribution to be used for campaign planning, delivery and monitoring. Akros will work with Johns Hopkins University to develop and incorporate human movement models into the Reveal planning interface. akros.com

Follow each project’s progress at the WFP Innovation Accelerator’s bootcamp collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, from 17–30 November 2020, on Twitter @WFPInnovation and @GatesFoundation.

The WFP Innovation Accelerator sources, supports and scales high-potential solutions to end hunger worldwide. We provide WFP staff, entrepreneurs, start-ups, companies and non-governmental organizations with access to funding, mentorship, hands-on support and WFP operations.

Find out more about us: http://innovation.wfp.org

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