United Nations Innovation Working Group (IWG) Catalytic mHealth Grants Program
The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) has made a US$9.9 million commitment to support the use of innovative mobile technologies to improve women's and children's health. This generous commitment supports the Innovation Working Group (IWG) Catalytic mHealth Grants Program to improve maternal, newborn, and child health in support of the UN Secretary General's Every Woman, Every Child global strategy.
The commitment covers three rounds of grant competitions that have awarded 26 organizations with funding to build capacity to scale up evidence-based mHealth interventions. These catalytic grants are complemented by research and technical support provided by the World Health Organization-Reproductive Health and Research (WHO-RHR) to help the organizations achieve objectives related to scale, sustainability, partnership-building, and generating knowledge relevant to the broader health community.
In recognition that scale-up is a uniquely challenging phase in the process of program implementation, the initiative coordinates several research support mechanisms to assist grantees with this process and to leverage their shared experiences in order to generate scale-up tools and guidance for the global health community. Through this partnership, WHO is developing a common evaluation, costing tools, a guide for engaging with mobile network operators, and a toolkit for scaling mHealth. Each grant period lasts two years, during which the grantees are provided with opportunities for collaborative learning in their pursuit of health impact, financial sustainability, and scale.