New grant for child survival innovations

A baby receives oral vaccination. Save the Children and GlaxoSmithKline are looking for simple, effective, replicable and scalable innovations to reducing infant mortality. Photo by: Save the Children UK

The care of preterm infants often described as “kangaroo mother care” — which involves skin-to-skin contact with the baby — has helped trim down the number of preventable child deaths since 1990 from 12 million to 6.9 million, according to global health experts.

Can you think of a simple, effective, replicable and scalable approach to reducing infant mortality?

As part of a new 5-year partnership announced in May, Save the Children and pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline are looking for innovative interventions or practices in developing countries that have shown tangible results in helping improve child survival rates. It can be an idea, tool, delivery mechanism or a business model carried out by a nonprofit, academic institution, health care facility or government-funded institutions, such as universities and think tanks.

Only those based in low- and middle-income countries as per the World Bank’s classification are eligible for the award. But international organizations with offices or work in those countries can apply. Local organizations with partners based in high-income countries are also welcome to participate.

Individuals can nominate innovations by a particular organization. But only “the organization which developed or is practicing the innovation will receive [the] award funding,” a spokesperson for Save the Children U.K. told Devex.

Judges, which include Joe Cerrell, director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Europe office, and Nigel Crisp, an independent member of the U.K. House of Lords and prominent public health advocate, will evaluate the applications based on the following criteria:

  • How innovative and transformative is it?

  • To what extent is it being used?

  • What is its long-term impact and how sustainable is it?

  • How can it be replicated in other locations?

  • How will the award money be spent?

Interested parties can submit more than one idea or approach; organizations working on a similar project can jointly apply. Projects should have proven results for at least two years.

The deadline for submissions is Aug. 26. Winners will be announced in November; the grand prize is worth $250,000 while runners-up will share a $750,000 cash prize.

“It will be divided as per the judging panel’s decision depending on how much they feel each application or innovation warrants, or needs for a specific purpose,” the spokesperson explained, adding GSK and Save the Children may provide other forms of assistance, “depending on the application.”

The award aims to showcase interventions that work, and help other organizations tackling under-five mortality find and adapt successful and proven ones in the field.

Read our last #innov8aid.

About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.