WHO and IDIA continuing commitment to expand the reach of healthcare innovations

Oct. 23, 2022

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA) have agreed to renew their strategic Collaborative Agreement to support the scaling of health innovations to the end of 2023 to jointly accelerate health impact. 

“We must leverage health innovations effectively to accelerate progress towards health for all. This collaboration is a great example of partners with complementary expertise working together to scale innovations, building on each other’s strengths”, says Dr Alain Labrique, Director of Digital Health and Innovation at WHO.

The collaboration was established in the beginning of 2021 to create a shared agenda and enable close collaboration and complementarity between the two entities to promote and facilitate the demand, supply, assessment, and scale-up of health innovations for the benefit of low- and middle-income countries.

“We’re excited to advance on our excellent collaboration with the International Development Innovation Alliance. Together we’re listening to the health demands of countries, and matching them with mature, scaling-ready solutions. With innovation in health – whether digital, health products or social innovation – we can improve or save more lives by providing health to people in faster, better and more affordable ways”, said Louise Agersnap, Head of WHO Innovation Hub.

WHO supports Member States to link impactful innovations to where they are most needed in countries. Given IDIA’s unique experience and status as a key collaboration platform for innovation funders around the world, the collaboration accelerates collective impact in tackling the greatest challenges in global health.

We’re thrilled at the opportunity to continue facilitating this partnership between IDIA and WHO” said Thomas Feeny, Director of the IDIA Secretariat at Results for Development. “Having seen the excitement generated by our early experiments in matching IDIA innovation supply to WHO demand, we are excited to now take this collaboration to the next level in strengthening the systematic integration and scale-up of solutions to benefit the health and wellbeing of people and strengthen the resilience of health systems around the world”

Dr Karlee Silver, IDIA Founding Member and Co-CEO of Grand Challenges Canada, added: “We are very pleased to renew the strategic partnership between IDIA and the World Health Organization. Life-saving and -improving innovations need to scale in order to reap the rewards of investing in innovation. WHO operates at scale and brings legitimacy, so can enable ready-to-scale health innovations reach impact at scale.”

Collaboration between IDIA members and WHO covers the following five areas:

INNOVATION DEMAND. Jointly collaborate in support of WHO Member States to enhance the identification and articulation of demand for innovation responding to national health needs and priorities and global targets.

INNOVATION SUPPLY. IDIA member agencies will contribute relevant innovations from their collective pipelines to meet the demand and innovation in health priorities articulated by WHO Member States.

INNOVATION ASSESSMENT. WHO and IDIA will share expertise and tools to support the efficient assessment and clustering of scale-ready innovations surfaced through the supply pipeline.

INNOVATION SCALE-UP. Work together to identify specific opportunities to support the demand-led scale-up of health innovations for the benefit of WHO Member States in collaboration with non-state actors and members of the international development community, as appropriate.

INNOVATION & SCALING SKILLS DEVELOPMENT. Join forces to support the continuous development of innovation and scaling knowledge and skills among WHO staff (HQ, regional and local), Member States and development partners as may be appropriate.

About the International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA)

IDIA is a unique collaboration platform that brings together the senior leadership from the innovation teams, labs, and departments of some of the world's leading development agencies.

WHO release