Observations and insights on the history and future of health innovation at USAID
For over five decades, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has supported the development, introduction, and scale up of urgently-needed health technologies as a critical part of its mission to advance global health and development.
To reflect on USAID’s decades of work in global health innovation and how continued efforts will be vital to moving countries along the journey to self-reliance, GHTC held a dialogue in early August featuring USAID Chief of Staff Bill Steiger, as well as representatives from USAID’s Global Health Bureau and nonprofit and private sector partners.
Here are some of our favorite observations and insights from the discussion:
BILL STEIGER ON HOW HEALTH INNOVATION IS CENTRAL TO USAID’S MISSION
Dr. Bill Steiger, @USAID Chief of Staff, says the success of USAID depends on innovation. @USAIDGH's resources have reached a plateau and they must learn to do more with the same amount of resources, and that means being more innovative. #innovate4health pic.twitter.com/I1ngkhgrc4— Cassie Kobrin (@CassieKobrin) August 14, 2019
“#GlobalHealth is our largest bureau. It’s 40% of what we do. It’s the most innovative and #data driven of all of our organizing units.”— USAID Global Health (@USAIDGH) August 14, 2019
- Dr. Bill Steiger, @USAID Chief of Staff, on how health innovation at USAID is advancing the journey to self-reliance. #innovate4health pic.twitter.com/F1SjiZuCXU
“We are a risk averse organization and we need our stakeholders to tell us to take a risk.— Lippi (@lippidoshi) August 14, 2019
Our core business is that we give away money. We need to get better at it & more innovative about it.”
- @USAID’s Dr. Bill Steiger on #globalhealth at @GHTCoalition. #innovate4health pic.twitter.com/HcthEvVwDV
@USAID Chief of Staff Bill Steiger notes that #globalhealth R&D is critical to the journey of self-reliance and the importance of making innovations more affordable and more widely available. #Innovate4Health pic.twitter.com/9x1C95xeqz— GHTC (@GHTCoalition) August 14, 2019
INSIGHTS FROM OUR PANELISTS ON THE CHALLENGES & PROMISE OF HEALTH INNOVATION
The panel discussion featured Renuka Gadde, Vice President of Global Health at BD; Meghan Majorowski, Senior Advisor at USAID’s Center for Innovation and Impact; Dr. Zeda Rosenberg, founder and CEO of the International Partnership for Microbicides; Dr. Mel Spigelman, President and CEO of TB Alliance; and Dr. Monique Wubbenhorst, Deputy Assistant Administrator in the USAID Bureau for Global Health.
Two points from Dr. Wunbbenhorst of @USAIDGH that resonated with me:— Lippi (@lippidoshi) August 14, 2019
1️⃣We’re talking about innovation & tech in the service of human beings.
2️⃣Innovation in development is a long game. Bc USAID isn’t in biz of making a profit, it can support long innovation.#innovate4health
Excited by @GHCoalition's panel discussion which included...— Sally S. Cherry, BS, MT-ASCP (@CherryNetwork) August 14, 2019
Dr. Monique Wubbenhorst, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Global Health, USAID.
Sidebar: Presentation truly motivated me to learn more about SLAB - Saving Lives at Birth. #Innovate4Health pic.twitter.com/h1HnN3mI4d
Meghan Majorowski of @USAID’s @CIIimpact talks about how the center taps into the expertise of the private sector to address #globalhealth challenges with innovation. #Innovate4Health pic.twitter.com/UiialUzOre— GHTC (@GHTCoalition) August 14, 2019
"We can do more with less if we are willing to invest in innovation". Mel Spigelman, President & CEO of @TBAlliance highlighting the importance of advancing R&D in a time of constrained resources. #Innovate4Health pic.twitter.com/3LiEL7Wy6T— Philip Kenol (@Phil_kenol88) August 14, 2019
Renuka Gadde, VP of #GlobalHealth @BDandCo, highlights the company’s partnership with @USAID and the importance of collaboration with the agency to develop lifesaving innovations. #Innovate4Health pic.twitter.com/BOq4tDdOVN— GHTC (@GHTCoalition) August 14, 2019
“@GCDSavingLives does spark innovations but they’re complex. We need to think abt scale. If they were simple, private companies would have chased them.— Lippi (@lippidoshi) August 14, 2019
Scale is not about pilots, it’s about mothers & children’s access wherever they are.”
- Renuka Gadde @BDandCo #innovate4health pic.twitter.com/u4mkF77ntT
To learn more about health innovation at USAID, check out GHTC’s latest report. It examines how USAID’s investments in global health innovation are an essential enabled in accelerating partner countries along the journey to self-reliance and provides actionable recommendations to the Administration and Congress to maximize the impact of USAID’s health research and development activities.