USAID’s ReachHealth Project aims to respond to the unmet need for family planning (FP) in the Philippines that has led to high levels of teenage pregnancy, by improving FP knowledge on the individual, household, and community levels; increasing access to comprehensive quality care, increasing provider capacity to deliver comprehensive, quality, and respectful care; strengthening health systems; increasing demand for FP and MNH services; and transforming gender norms.
The ReachHealth Project, in partnership with the Duke Global Health Innovation Center (GHIC), in order to achieve sustainability across the intersection of the project’s goals to increase healthy behaviors in underserved populations; increase access to care; and bolster health systems on the local, regional, and national levels, will include a Grand Challenge that, through the provision of grants, individualized mentorship, and strategic connections, aims to foster innovative solutions to reduce unmet need for FP and support their transitions to scale within the Philippines. Providing grants and mentorship to selected innovations will increase sustainability by equipping those organizations with both financial and nonfinancial resources upon which to draw while scaling their operations. Strategic connections to private and public sector partners will help precipitate cross-cutting collaborations and public-private partnerships (PPPs) that serve to strengthen both the health systems and the private sector.
In the Philippines, despite an investment of 162,227,532 USD annually from government’s domestic budget, contraceptive prevalence rate (modern methods) has only risen 1.7% from 2014-2019. In the same time frame, the percentage of women with unmet need for modern method of contraception has decreased by less than one percent (0.7%). Perhaps more indicative of the gap in family planning access is the percentage of women whose demand is satisfied with a modern method of contraception, which increased by 2.2% in that five-year span.i Given this persistent challenge in spite of significant investment, we need to look to innovation, or new ideas, methods, products and approaches, to augment existing solutions, and we particularly need to create innovation frameworks to create the right conditions for innovation to develop and scale. We believe that the right ecosystem needs to be in place to encourage and promote innovation from anywhere, but especially from those closest to the problem. In that spirit, the ReachHealth Innovation Community, inclusive of the Grand Challenge, is designed to be an adjunct, bottom-up approach to identifying and supporting the scale of innovative solutions in order to connect, test and scale these innovations into the broader top-down, capacity building efforts across the ReachHealth program.
In Year 3 of the ReachHealth project, the Grand Challenge call for applications will be released, and a small group of innovators will be selected to receive grants, mentorship, and strategic connections to support their efforts to scale. In this report, we present the innovation framework that was developed as the basis for the Grand Challenge sourcing and scouting efforts, illustrate the demand for innovation as it maps onto that framework, and analyze the scouting findings that resulted from the application of the innovation framework to the existing landscape of FP innovations. Finally, we draw conclusions from those findings and present next steps towards the Grand Challenge and towards further supporting an environment conducive to health innovations throughout all regions in the Philippines.