USAID launches Inclusive Health Access Prize to unearth effective ideas for building optimal health systems

Apr 9 · 2 min read
A community engagement facilitator with One Community provides home-based HIV testing to a woman in rural Machinga, Malawi. / Biswajit Patra, Courtesy of Photoshare

The work of USAID across the globe transforms lives and helps countries progress beyond the need for assistance. In the health sector, by harnessing innovative approaches, we work to expand access to health care while prioritizing disadvantaged populations.

Rather than test new innovations, we want to leverage examples where private-sector and civil-society organizations have worked with governments to make health care accessible, accountable, affordable and reliable. We want to help bring these innovations to scale, but first we must know about them.

We are announcing a competition, the Inclusive Health Access Prize, to reward these under-appreciated approaches in which local entities have worked with governments to advance accessible, accountable, affordable and reliable health care. I had the honor of previewing the prize at our fourth Annual Health Financing Forum, which USAID co-hosts with the World Bank.

Through this open call, which will begin in early May, we hope to discover new ideas and expertise that are already integrated in local contexts and proven to be effective. Over time, we want to replicate and expand them sustainably in USAID’s priority countries for global health.

We will announce the recipients of the prize in New York in September around the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage.

In a remote village in West Bengal, India, women and children line up for examination by a junior doctor at a health care center. / Nandi Bwanali, One Community. Courtesy of Photoshare.

At USAID, we recognize that mobilizing local resources to deliver high-quality health care is critical for each country’s journey to self-reliance. The discussions at the Financing Forum have focused on partnerships that enable better collaboration and understanding between Ministries of Health and Ministries of Finance. We also explored how to leverage private capital to improve access to health care.

We believe partnership and collaboration among public, private and civil-society organizations, including faith-based groups, is the best way to achieve optimal health care that promotes, protects, and helps to maintain health for all. Communities at the global and local levels must come together to help people get the care they need, in ways they trust. When people need care, it should be available, and they should not have to pay too much, or travel too far for it.

We therefore call on local solvers around the world to submit your successes and ideas so we can recognize them and work to build self-reliant and optimal health institutions.

About the Author

Bill Steiger is USAID’s Chief of Staff.

U.S. Agency for International Development

Stories of USAID’s Work from Around the World


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U.S. Agency for International Development

Stories of USAID’s Work from Around the World

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