United Nations Innovation Working Group (IWG) Catalytic mHealth Grants Program
Through the Every Woman, Every Child Innovation Working Group (IWG) Catalytic mHealth Grant Program, the UN Foundation worked with the World Health Organization to support 26 cutting-edge organizations operating in 15 countries to build the field of mHealth solutions to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health. This set of grantees has reached 1.7 million beneficiaries – and as a result, 22,000 health workers are now using mobile services, platforms, and tools; and 9,250 health facilities are using mobile tools to improve health services.
Over the span of four years, together with the World Health Organization (WHO), we learned critical lessons not only in the implementation of mHealth programs, but also in how to bolster a growing community through joint learning, tools and resource development, and funding through grants. WHO is using key learnings from this effort to design a new digital health innovation strategy with the intent of providing tools that will be necessary for governments to identify, assess, align, and integrate digital health innovation into their priorities and programs. One example is the mHealth Assessment and Planning for Scale toolkit, or MAPS, which helps implementers scale and sustain their programs by assessing them against parameters such as partnerships, operations, and financial health.