Activities

What has the Innovation Fund supported?

The Innovation Fund supports a wide range of activities. Below you will find a short summary of all the grants that have been awarded so far.

Round 1 (2009): General Call

  • John Snow, Inc. and Abt Associates of the Market Development Approaches Working Group have jointly conducted a Total Market Initiative in Honduras. The eight-month effort facilitated collaboration among providers of family planning products and services, as well as to segment the family planning market to better meet the needs of clients.
  • John Snow, Inc. of the Systems Strengthening Working Group has completed a comprehensive inventory of English- French-, and Spanish-language professional development training programs for public-sector supply chain managers in developing countries. 
  • Marie Stopes International of the Systems Strengthening Working Group has conducted an assessment of logistics systems in three crisis settings, with a view toward understanding better the challenges facing agencies that deliver emergency RH supplies. 

Round 2 (2009): General Call

  • Action Canada for Population and Development of the Advocacy and Accountability Working Group undertook a two-year effort to raise awareness of supply security, particularly in francophone Africa, and to strengthen the French-language networks, communications media, and other tools needed to meet countries' supply needs.
  • Marie Stopes International, Futures Group, and UNFPA/Madagascar of the Market Development Approaches Working Group have jointly conducted an evidence-based Total Market Initiative in Madagascar
  • Population Action International of the Resource Mobilization and Awareness Working Group produced and promoted an advocacy film, which is designed to put a human face on the issue of reproductive health supplies. The film showcased the work of Coalition members and partners, and provided advocates with a powerful means to communicate key advocacy messages.

Round 3 (2009): General Call

  • John Snow, Inc., through the Systems Strengthening Working Group, will identify, develop, and disseminate best practices in supply chain management for community based distribution programs, thereby helping to increase access to family planning products and services.
  • The Concept Foundation, through the Market Development Approaches Working Group, will raise awareness of the WHO Prequalification Program and calculate the potential benefits to manufacturers of becoming prequalified. The initiative will identify hormonal contraceptive manufacturers with the best prospects for achieving WHO prequalification in the shortest timeframe and will help them understand the actions, level of investment, and time requirements needed to do so. Click here for more information.
  • John Snow, Inc., through the Systems Strengthening Working Group, will strengthen the effectiveness of AccessRH by exploring factors that drive manufacturers' business practices and market behaviors; this will ultimately shape successful buyer-supplier partnerships. The initiative will also call on the knowledge and skills of the Coalition's Working Groups as a means of increasing global awareness and uptake of the new procurement mechanism.

Round 4 (2010): General Call

  • John Snow Inc., through the Systems Strengthening Working Group, expanded and made more accessible a database of more than 100 professional development opportunities for RH commodity managers. The project is entitled: Professional Development Opportunities for Public Sector Reproductive Health Commodity Managers II (ProDOPS II)

Round 5 (2010): General Call

  • Population Action International, through the Resource Mobilization and Awareness Working Group, facilitated country engagement and participation in Istanbul +10 activities. The project, entitled Istanbul +10: Lessons Learned to Move Forward, gathered information on country-level experiences with RH commodity security from the past ten years and present lessons learned and strategic recommendations for the future.

Round 6 (2011): General Call

  • Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University (IRH), through the Systems Strengthening Working Group and with the Caucus on New and Underused RH Technologies,  developed a guide to help countries and programmes meet their forecasting needs when trend data is insufficient to predict future demand. This guide was disseminated widely through Coalition members and non-members in an effort to ensure it becomes an essential tool in procurement planning and is used routinely by procurement agencies and family planning and reproductive health programs.
  • Institut Bioforce Développement, through the Systems Strengthening Working Group, provided planning support for an international consultation, designed to establish an evidence-base for the need for professional development of supply chain managers, and for securing country input into the development of workstream activities and strategies. The consultation, People that Deliver, will was held in Geneva June 28-29, 2011.
  • International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), through the Systems Strengthening Working Group, updated and developed strategies to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Directory of Hormonal Contraceptives (DoHC) database.

Round 7 (2011): General Call

  • Asociación Benéfica PRISMA (PRISMA), through the Systems Strengthening Working Group, developed educational tools to improve RH supplies procurement in Latin America. Specifically, PRISMA translated the Procurement Capacity Toolkit developed by PATH into Spanish. PRISMA used the translated Toolkit as the basis for the development and implementation of a training course for cooperating agencies, government officials, and personnel linked to the procurement process in the Latin America/Caribbean region.

Round 8 (2012): Theme - Global South

  • Marie Stopes International Afghanistan, through the Resource Mobilization Working Group, increased  the  resources  and  FP  method  mix  available  to  women  in  Afghanistan. MS Afghanistan accomplished this by launching a national-level body (RH Caucus) to advocate to both the Afghan government and its bilateral donors to recognize RH as a priority area and mobilize resources for a national scale up of FP efforts. In addition, to address the unmet need in Afghanistan and to reduce the high levels of traditional FP methods used, the RH Caucus had advocated for the registration of implants and emergency contraceptives and for their inclusion on the national drugs list.
  • The Uganda Family Planning Consortium (UFPC), through the Resource Mobilization Working Group, has improved access to contraception in Uganda by securing supplies, expanding service delivery, and improving partner coordination. As Uganda’s largest non-governmental network of FP service providers and advocates, UFPC tracked budget lines, advocated and reported shortages when they occured. They have also expanded the contraceptive market, leveraged total market resources and promoted task sharing by health workers. And finally, UFPC has centralized scheduling for procurement requests and mapped service delivery to avoid duplication among major implementers.
  • Marie Stopes Sierra Leone, through the Resource Mobilization Working Group, has established a policy review committee to eliminate unnecessary duties on the import of family planning commodities. The process has entailed a series of meetings to galvanize support, engage decision makers and produce guidelines for presentation in Parliament.
  • Marie Stopes Tanzania (MST), through the Resource Mobilization Working Group, has worked with local government authority (LGA) officials in 10 health districts to prioritize FP and advocate for the allocation of local resources to this priority area. MST has accomplished this by increasing the capacity of community-based organizations to advocate with local government. 
  • PSI/Burundi through the Market Development Approaches working group, has assessed the potential of expanding PSI Burundi’s social marketing program to include a reproductive health social franchising program. Social franchising engages community- based health workers and pharmacists to public and private sector clinicians, to deliver products and services in-line with their abilities. The assessment comprised three phases: a situational analysis, an analysis of the results, and the development of an initial program design

Round 9 (2014): General Call

  • What price for peace of mind? Is access to emergency contraception affordable and equitable for women in developing countries? (MDA WG) The International Consortium for Emergency Contraception (ICEC) investigated inequities in access to emergency contraceptives (EC) in developing countries, finding that women in Francophone and Lusophone Africa pay some of the highest prices for EC. ICEC collected point-of-sale price information for EC in 75 countries, and analyzed the data relative to indicators of national poverty. It also completed more in-depth assessments of the total market for EC in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria. ICEC hopes that the findings from this research can inform total market interventions to improve access to EC for women in developing countries.
  • Pioneering an e-portal as an alternative distribution mechanism for RH commodities in India (MDA WG). Pregna International Ltd. launched Doctorstore, a pioneering e-commerce portal that allows more than 1,000 doctors from across Maharashtra, India to purchase a range of quality-assured RH commodities directly from suppliers for delivery within two to seven days. The portal features services such as an automated reordering system and inventory management support. Doctorstore has generated more than 43,000 CYPs, since its launch last March 2015.
  • Introduction of a Low-Cost LNG-IUS in Kenya through a New Public-Private Partnership (MDA WG). Market research conducted by FHI360 assessed the potential for introduction of levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) into the market, and now Kenya stands on the threshold of adding a generic levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) to its method mix. FHI360, in partnership with Medicines360 and Marie Stopes International (MSI) prepared an introduction strategy for the Federal Drug Administration approved LNG IUS, including agreed-upon price ceiling guidelines for the LNG-IUS rollout in both the private and public sectors.
  • Enhancing motivation of FP providers to improve quality of care and reduce stockouts. (A&A WG) The international Center on Reproductive Health (ICRH) at Ghent University investigated the link between provider motivation, performance-based incentives, quality of care and stockouts in health facilities in Maputo province, Mozambique. Preliminary results indicate that following the introduction of performance-based incentives and provider motivation trainings in 15 health facilities, stockouts were reduced.

Round 10 (2014): General Call

  • Expanding maternal and reproductive health services to marginalized women in the LAC region through crowd-funding technology (MDA WG). Financing for Development (F4D) and its partner Kangu piloted their “One Mama at a Time” crowdsourcing philanthropic platform in the Latin America and Caribbean region, teaming up with local IPPF affiliates in Bolivia, Guatemala and Mexico to reach marginalized women with safe birth services.  Kangu mobilized more than $26,500 for safe births during the grant period. In the process, F4D identified important lessons around building more effective partnerships with NGOs for scaling-up the Kangu crowdsourcing model successfully.
  • Developing a Supply Chain Training Road Map for Liberia (SSWG). Pharmaceutical Systems Africa (PSA) helped Liberia tackle supply chains in the wake of the recent Ebola crisis. The Liberian government adopted a new roadmap for addressing human resource bottlenecks in health supply chains. Developed by PSA, the road map is helping to shape a new post-Ebola strategy for strengthening supply chains and the capacities of those who manage them.
  • Improve health products supply management and equipment availability through the professionalization of human resources for health in Burkina Faso (SECONAF). Institut Bioforce trained and supported 25 new ministry of health (MOH) logisticians at the central level and in three regions in Burkina Faso to carry out supply management functions, and formalized their role within the national health system. 

Round 11 (2015): General Call

  • Stewardship Capacity Assessment Tool (MDA WG). Abt Associates developed and field-tested a tool for assessing government capacity to act as a steward in developing a total market intervention for FP and RH commodities. The final product serves to identify the strengths and weaknesses within the government entity, providing a platform for interventions to improve stewardship capacity. The tool will be incorporated into the Total Market Approaches Field Implementation Guide being developed by PATH, under the Evidence project with peer-review by a MDAWG technical advisory team.
  • Addressing stockouts in the last mile in Malawi (SSWG). EngenderHealth introduced the client-oriented, provider-efficient for contraceptive security (COPE CS) methodology to reduce stockouts in the last mile. COPE CS is the only scalable, quality improvement tool designed to assist staff at all levels of a health facility to improve logistics management systems. The intervention mobilized staff at health facilities in 10 districts to develop and implement action plans to address RH supplies-related bottlenecks. The COPE CS approach has already resulted in improved team work, better adherence to quality-assurance standards such as storage guidelines and ordering schedules, and enhanced coordination between health facilities and district-level staff. An endline health facility assessment planned in early 2016 will assess changes in contraceptive stock levels.
  • Using e-learning to improve supply chains for reproductive health in Mozambique (A&AWG).  i+Solutions introduced a new e-learning module on supply chain management as part of a pre-service university program for health care workers, hospital managers, medical doctors, and pharmacists. The new course was successfully offered to more than 200 students enrolled in MSc programs in public health and integrated medicine, and diplomas in hospital management and pharmacy at Catholic University of Mozambique in Beira. Through its accessibility to both students and e-learning course alumni, and upgradability in terms of content, the new online course is bridging pre- and in-service trainings, and paving the way towards creating a community of practice on supply chain management in Mozambique.
  • Improving reproductive health commodity management in the North Rift region through eLearning (SSWG). IntraHeath International developed a supply chain management e-learning course and trained more than 1,000 health sector workers, including nurses and clinical officers, in the remote North Rift Region of Kenya to budget for commodities and monitor supply chain management performance.

Round 12 (2015): General Call

  • Are impact investors interested in generic contraceptive manufacturers in emerging markets countries? (MDA WG). A study supported by Financing 4 Development (F4D) has concluded that social impact investors–individuals or institutions seeking social as well as financial returns–are ready and willing to invest in generic manufacturers based in emerging markets. Likewise, the generics, especially those that stand to gain from capital injections, are eager for those investors to come their way. Drawing on desk reviews, an online survey and interviews, F4D’s analysis concludes that manufacturers must learn to position themselves better to catch the right type of investor and capital. At the same time, it calls on investors to understand better the sometimes unexpected realities facing generic manufacturers. 
  • Increasing Access to RH Supplies and Services through Universal Health Coverage: A Systematic Review of Lessons Learned (SSWG). Management Sciences for Health (MSH) is conducting a systematic review of global and country-level efforts currently underway to introduce universal health coverage schemes (e.g. decentralization, elimination of user-fees, community-based health insurance programs, etc.) and their effect on access to FP and RH commodities. MSH will draw lessons from this research to support evidence-based advocacy and policies for government to expand access to RH and FP commodities.
  • Crossing Over the Thin Blue Line: Assessing the Availability of Pregnancy Tests (NURHT Caucus). FHI 360 is enhancing the prospects for same-day provision of family planning by conducting a study to understand the barriers that women face in Mali, Malawi, and Kenya in accessing simple, low-cost, and quality pregnancy tests. The findings will inform future interventions to increase pregnancy test availability.
  • Building a sustainable funding architecture for RH supplies (A&A WG). IPPF positioned SRHR favorably within the post-2015 financing agenda by assisting advocates to apply intelligence gathered under another IF-funded consultancy to assess the impact on RH commodity security of proposed changes to the financial system.
  • Identifying Gaps in National Essential Medicines Lists: Laying the Groundwork for Expanded Access to New and Underutilized Reproductive Health Technologies (NURHT Caucus). The International Consortium for Emergency Contraception (ICEC) collected data for the 13 new and underused RH commodities prioritized by the Coalition from over 100 national essential medicines lists as a means of identifying gaps in method mix, and inputted this information into a searchable online database to support procurement of a wider range of RH commodities.
  • Expanding Consumer Access to Reproductive Health Supplies in an e-Commerce Age: Promise and Perils for the Future (NURHT Caucus). Georgetown University Institute for Reproductive Health reviewed the opportunities, challenges, and current landscape of efforts to use the digital marketplace to obtain contraceptives, especially new and underutilized methods in four countries: India, Kenya, Mexico and the United States.
  • Analysis of Post-2015 Financing for RH supplies and SRHR (A&A WG) Karen Hoehn, International Development and Management Consultant, conducted an analysis of the evolving global architecture for development financing and the impact of that evolution on the future of RH commodity securing. The publication, “Analysis of the Dynamics Surrounding RH Supplies Commitment”, has enabled civil society advocates to successfully insert references to RH supplies and SRHR within the Financing for Development Zero Draft Outcome document. It has also offered the evidence base for a separate IF award to IPPF, which will allow it to lead a new advocacy campaign to safeguard RH commodity security in the post-2015 agenda.
  • Parliamentary Advocacy and Financing for Reproductive Health in Nigeria (A&A WG). Civil Society for Family Planning in Nigeria mobilized political support for RH supplies in Nigeria’s post-election period by rallying advocates to the cause, holding press briefings, and developing educational materials. 

Round 13 (2016): Theme - Safe Abortion

  • Increasing access to safe abortion with medicine in six countries in Latin America: Understanding the barriers to registration (NURHT Caucus). The Latin American Consortium Against Unsafe Abortion (CLACAI) documented cases of successful and failed registrations of misoprostol and mifepristone in six Latin American countries – Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay. It concluded that professional health association support and prior registration for obstetric use are critical factors in securing national regulatory approval of misoprostol and mifepristone for medical abortion. Supportive advocacy by civil society was also seen to be a strong enabling factor. In addition, this research looked at dosage and side effects; points of distribution and ease of access; development of standards and guidelines for treatment of incomplete abortion and post-abortion care; and enabling factors for registration for obstetric use. The findings were presented at a seminar attended by Peru’s former Deputy Ombudsman for Women’s Rights and former Vice Minister of Public Health.
  • Dissemination, information-sharing, training and awareness-raising of the potential for a simplified medical abortion strategy with multi-level pregnancy test (MLPT) follow-up in Kazakhstan (NURHT Caucus). In Kazakhstan, Gynuity Health Projects increased awareness of the dBest MLPT that allows women to monitor the successful completion of early medical abortion without having to return to a health care facility. The dBest MLPT provides rapid results and can detect pregnancy much earlier than regular pregnancy tests. Despite its recent registration in-country, providers and women were not aware of its use for medical abortion care.
  • Mobile Supply Management Tools for Abortion Commodities (NURHT Caucus). In Nigeria, Ipas piloted a new mHealth app in the Federal Capital Territory and Ogun States to help health care providers estimate more accurately and efficiently their facility's average monthly consumption of MVA and medical abortion (MA) supplies and to determine minimum and maximum inventory levels. Benefits of the calculators included faster and more accurate estimation of needed commodities, the ability to project supply needs up to three months, more efficient and effective resource management and stocktaking, and prevention of both MVA and MA commodity stockouts.
  • Ensuring Accessibility to Safe Abortion Supplies: a landscaping analysis (NURHT Caucus). The Population Council conducted a landscaping exercise of the challenges and opportunities for procuring safe-abortion supplies. Their analysis addressed bottlenecks throughout the supply chain— from product procurement, registration, and distribution to product use and demand generation. The Populations Council also offers a series of recommendations for expanding access to safe-abortion supplies. They include: increase the number of WHO–prequalified or stringent regulatory authority– approved abortion supplies registered; improve understanding of the regulatory environment to accelerate product registration; strengthen provider and user guidelines for use of safe-abortion supplies in poor-resource settings; strengthen country-level inventory and forecasting mechanisms; address abortion-related stigma along the supply chain; add safe-abortion products to national essential medicines lists; review price, ability to pay, perceived value, and effective strategies for price reductions; and create a demand for safe-abortion products among consumers.

Round 14 (2016): Theme - Youth

  • E-health to foster adolescents’ agency and access to sexual and reproductive services and supplies (ForoLAC). In Argentina, Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad (CEDES) developed and launched a web application, #Donde, that provides georeferenced information for young people on over 12,600 RH and contraceptive distribution outlets such as, condom delivery points, HIV testing centers, advice on STIs, vaccine centers, and quality counselling on contraception and safe abortion. The #Donde web app answers frequently asked questions on contraceptives and features crowdsourced reviews on the quality of RH services rendered.
  • Pharmacy Assistant Mentorship Program & Youth-friendly Pharmacy Services (SSWG). In Malawi, VillageReach tackled key barriers to youth access to RH supplies: contraceptive stockouts, provider attitudes, and clinical standards and procedures. Pharmacy assistants, trained as mentors, coached local health facility staff to improve commodity availability and support good supply chain practices. The work has leveraged $6 million in new funding from USAID to expand the project’s scope and impact.
  • Expanding Access to Menstrual Cups for Youth in Uganda (NURHT Caucus). In Uganda, Womena tested six novel distribution models for the Ruby Cup® menstrual cup, which offers ecologically sound menstrual health management to women with limited access to affordable sanitary products. Additionally, Womena also successfully advocated for the removal of import duties, laying the foundation for greater product affordability.
  • Expand Youth Access to a Full Choice of Contraceptives in China (A&AWG). Marie Stopes International – China (MSI-China), working with a team of Chinese experts, developed and field-tested in post abortion care services in six hospitals the country’s first service delivery guidelines for increasing young people’s access to LARCs. Within six months, 64 percent of post abortion care patients under 25 years of age had opted for a LARC method. In addition to training 50 health providers on LARC services and counseling, MSI-China reached 4,000 young people with information about LARCs and other contraceptives through university-based youth groups. They also increased demand for LARCs through social media and the publication of 14 news articles.

Round 15 (2017): Theme - Maternal Health

  • Accelerate access to WHO prequalified maternal health (MH) medicines in Ethiopia (MHS Caucus). Concept Foundation raised Ethiopia’s profile as a priority market for product registration and paved the way for the introduction of five WHO prequalified MH products. An initial situational analysis on drug registration and procurement led by Concept Foundation prompted representatives of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health, its drug regulatory authority, and manufacturers to forge a set of recommendations relating to quantification, pricing, manufacturing, regulatory policies, and quality.
  • Quality Audit of Oxytocin Ampoules (Solution for Injection) in Ethiopia (MHS Caucus). Monash University assessed the landscape for quality oxytocin in Ethiopia. Compromised quality has undermined the Ethiopian Government’s efforts to address postpartum hemorrhage. Working with the Government, researchers assessed the quality of three brands of SRA-approved oxytocin ampoules in public health care facilities in Oromia, Afar, and Addis Ababa. All samples collected passed the sterility and endotoxin tests. Only three failed to meet specifications for content likely due to heat exposure. The complete study results will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Round 16 (2018): General Call

ACTIVE AWARDS (waiting on grants to be issued)

Round 17 (2018): General Call

General Call (June 1, 2018 Launch)

Ad Hoc Projects

Parliamentary Advocacy and Financing for Reproductive Health in Nigeria (PAFRHiN), 2015

Parliamentary Advocacy and Financing for Reproductive Health in Nigeria (A&A WG). Civil Society for Family Planning in Nigeria mobilized political support for RH supplies in Nigeria’s post-election period by rallying advocates to the cause, holding press briefings, and developing educational materials.

Analysis of Post-2015 Financing for RH supplies and SRHR, 2015

Analysis of Post-2015 Financing for RH supplies and SRHR (A&A WG) Karen Hoehn, International Development and Management Consultant, conducted an analysis of the evolving global architecture for development financing and the impact of that evolution on the future of RH commodity securing. The publication, “Analysis of the Dynamics Surrounding RH Supplies Commitment”, has enabled civil society advocates to successfully insert references to RH supplies and SRHR within the Financing for Development Zero Draft Outcome document. It has also offered the evidence base for a separate IF award to IPPF, which will allow it to lead a new advocacy campaign to safeguard RH commodity security in the post-2015 agenda.

Health Games Kenya World Contraception Day Gaming Tournament, 2017

Health Games Kenya World Contraception Day Gaming Tournament (Youth Caucus). Health Games Kenya is a gaming platform that enables and extends the reach of accurate reproductive and sexual health information to youth globally, by tapping into adolescent networks and making this important knowledge more accessible. With the support of the Innovation Fund, Health Games Kenya (a partnership between JSI and SNTL Publishing) developed a game called “Your Choice, Your Future!” or “YCYF!” which offers comprehensive information on contraceptive supplies to young people. With weekly prizes, the game has a competitive element, and players are encouraged to keep improving their knowledge.

Innovation Fund in numbers

$ 12,904,651

TOTAL FUNDS LEVERAGED

$ 102,473

AVERAGE GRANT SIZE

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