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Novel Measurement for Performance Improvement Challenge

How might we use unconventional methods to measure the improvement of primary health care performance in low- and middle-income countries?

Submissions are Closed


When will finalists be announced?

Judges will evaluate solutions from the end of August through the middle of September. Finalists will be announced on September 23, 2022.

Who can apply to the Novel Measurement Challenge?

Applicants can be an individual, a team, or an organization. Solutions can be any type of organization, including but not limited to non-profit, for-profit, or hybrid organizations. However, US law prevents MIT Solve from awarding funds to persons ordinarily resident in Iran, Cuba, Syria, North Korea, or Crimea and to parties subject to economic sanctions by the US Treasury Department.

The Challenge encourages and actively seeks solutions led by people living in low and middle income countries who participate in the primary health care systems (patients, community health workers, providers, policymakers, other relevant stakeholders) and underrepresented, underserved groups and identities. Prospective applicants do not have to hold citizenships from low and middle income countries but should demonstrate proximity to the communities in low and middle income countries and embody and address diversity, equity, and inclusion through their solutions.

Applicants to previous Solve Challenges are invited to apply for the Challenge. 

What is the Challenge's Timeline?

  • April 12, 2022: Challenge Opens

  • August 9, 2022 (8pm EDT): Deadline for Applicants to Submit a Solution

  • September 23, 2022: Finalists Announced

  • End of September - Early October, 2022: Finalists Pitch Production

  • October 27-28, 2022: Finalist Interviews 

  • November 16, 2022: Winners Announced

What type of solutions are eligible? 

Solution applications must be written in English. Solutions must be applicable for usage, implementation, and scale in low- and middle-income countries. We are welcoming of both early- and growth-stage solutions. Early-stage solutions must demonstrate a proof-of-concept and a clear, realistic, practical, and feasible plan for implementation and scale in the given context.

Early-stage solutions include:

  • Concept: An idea being explored for its feasibility to build a product, service, or business model based on that idea.

  • Prototype: A solution or organization that is building and testing its product, service, or business model. If for-profit, a new company getting off the ground that has raised little or no institutional capital (less than $500,000) in pre-seed fundraising.

  • Pilot: A solution or organization that is deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community. If for-profit, a young company that is working to gain traction and that has raised less than $2 million in institutional capital in seed funding.

Growth-stage solutions include:

  • Growth: A solution or organization with an established product, service, or business model rolled out in one or, ideally, several communities, which is poised for further growth in multiple communities or countries. If for-profit, an early-stage company that has established a track record and is seeking to raise a round of roughly $2 million to $15 million in institutional capital in a Series A or potentially B round.

  • Scale: A solution or organization that is working in several communities or countries. It is looking to scale significantly, focusing on increased efficiency. If for-profit, a successful company that is scaling its operations and seeks to raise a round of more than $15 million in institutional capital.

The most important thing is that your solution addresses the dimensions of the Challenge. Through open innovation, this Challenge is looking for a diverse portfolio of solutions across stages of development and teams. We believe that there is no one solution to the world’s most complex challenges—and encourage people of all backgrounds to submit their applications.

What type of solutions are NOT eligible? 

Solutions that: 

  • Require a high level of connectivity or bandwidth;

  • Have been primarily designed for use in high-income countries; and/or

  • Focus only on data collection.

How are CrowdSolving the Challenge?

  1. Sourcing Solutions: Anyone who meets the criteria above can participate in this Challenge and submit a solution. Whether you’re working on a concept or scaling your program or product, we’re looking for innovators and entrepreneurs with the most promising, unconventional solutions who can have an impact on improving the primary health care performance measurement in low and middle income countries.

  2. Selecting Solutions: Once the submission deadline passes, judging begins. After an initial screening by Solve staff and community reviewers, Challenge judges will select the most promising solutions as Finalists. These Finalists will be invited to pitch their solutions at a pitch event, where judges will then select the winners.

How will my solution be evaluated?

The judging panel for this Challenge will be composed of leaders and experts with experiences in the public, global health, and measurement. After an initial screening by Solve staff and community reviewers, the judges will score the screened solutions based on the following criteria. All criteria will be given equal weight:

  • Alignment: The solution addresses the key dimensions of the Challenge.

  • Potential for Impact: The planned solution implementation has the potential to impact the lives of people living in low and middle income countries.

  • Feasibility: The team has a proof-of-concept and a realistic, practical plan for financial sustainability and implementing the solution, and the solution is feasible in the given context.

  • Innovative Approach: The solution includes a new technology, a new application of technology, a new business model, or a new process, methods for solving the Challenge.

  • Inclusive Human-Centered Design: The solution is designed with and for people living in low and middle income countries, underserved communities, and the solution team demonstrates proximity to the community and embodies and addresses diversity, equity, and inclusion through their solution.

  • Scalability: The solution can be scaled to affect the lives of more people living in low and middle income countries.

What will I receive if my solution is selected?

Finalists will be invited to present their solutions in front of distinguished judges between October 27-28, 2022. $500,000 in prize funding is available for up to eight solution teams selected for the Challenge. Of which, $100,000 is available for up to four early-stage solutions and $400,000 is available for up to four growth-stage solutions. Depending on the number of selected winners, the funding will be divided accordingly. You can think of this award to be grant funding.

The selected cohort of winners will go through a support program hosted by the WFP Innovation Accelerator to continue testing and building out their solutions. The program will run from late-November to approximately the end of February, 2023. Participation in the support program is required. More details on the program will be available shortly.

What are examples of “unconventional methods” in primary health care measurement?

While conventional tools and methods exist and efforts made by the global health community contributed tremendously to strengthening the primary health care measurement system and approach in low- and middle-income countries (ex: PHCPI Core Indicators, DHIS2, etc.), challenges remain. Please find these limitations listed under our Challenge Overview. Based on your own research and experiences, we seek your creative ideas and your own interpretation of “unconventional” to help us solve this Challenge.

Who should be the end user of the solutions?

We understand that primary health care is a broad field. Thus, the best way to think about end-users is anyone who participates in the primary health care systems in low and middle income countries. They can be patients, health workers, formal and informal health care providers, insurance providers, policymakers, funders, and other relevant stakeholders.

What type of information will I need to share under Page 5 “Business Model & Funding”?

Please read through the instructions carefully and check out the examples listed under each question. While we understand budgetary details are sensitive, please share as much information as you feel comfortable to to help us understand how you provide value to the populations you serve in terms of impact and revenue and your plan to achieve financial sustainability.

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