Fostering innovation sustainability

In the Sustainable Development Goals era there is considerable interest in promoting the long-term sustainability of health programmes introduced by donors in order to achieve universal health coverage. Effective interventions commonly end when donor funding ends or only fragile, short term funding can be secured to sustain them at scale. This lack of sustainability undermines the value of externally-funded health programmes.

IDEAS believes it is important to develop a better understanding of the conditions and approaches that enable the sustainable scale-up of maternal and newborn health innovations.

In Nigeria, India and Ethiopia we have followed over 57 innovations funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and are studying those taken to scale to assess their sustainability. This includes a Village Health Worker scheme and an Emergency Transport Scheme in Nigeria, a smart phone app for community health workers in India and an innovation to enable community health workers to administer antibiotics to sick newborns in Ethiopia. We are exploring the transition from donor-funded innovations to government or community led health programmes.

 

Published content

Research brief
Recommendations from the Village Health Worker Scheme Sustainability Study

Much work has been done to ensure the sustainability of the scheme, yet there are still some areas of uncertainty, which it would be beneficial to...

Journal article
Ownership in Name, But not Necessarily in Action

Three different commentaries by Melisa Martinez-Alvarez; Osondu Ogbuoji and Gavin Yamey; as well as Elvira Beracochea on the IDEAS-led research on...

Research brief
A qualitative study of the scalability and sustainability of the Village Health Worker scheme in Gombe State, Nigeria

Key findings show changes that were made to the VHW scheme to increase its sustainability in the 57 wards where it is being implemented to...

Journal article
Six steps to prevent a development project ending in the graveyard

In reality however, in more cases than not, once donor funding dries up, the project comes to an end, thereby limiting the project’s longer term...