The Innovation Working Group at work

IWG Strategy

To fulfil the IWG’s mission and achieve its long term outcomes, the group seeks to foster cooperation among organizations to develop and scale-up service and educational initiatives in countries, ensure links to external organizations, political processes and innovation pipelines, advocate for political and practical interests in the continued need for cost-effective investment in women’s and children’s health, as well as establish thematic task forces and ensure their functionality. Previous task forces delivered reports on Checklists, Medical Devices and Sustainable Business Models.

IWG taskforces and working groups have been pursuing themes within technology, commodities and service delivery to catalyze innovations in their respective fields aimed at improving maternal and child health, thus contributing to the implementation of the Every Woman Every Child’s efforts and its various initiatives.

Asia regional hub

In 2013, IWG launched a regional hub in Asia to extend its global reach. The large numbers of women and children in Asia together with dynamic financial, technological & social development makes a case for huge innovation impact potential.

Long term outcomes

The IWG’s work sets out to achieve the outcomes of the Global Strategy for women’s and children’s health to provide:

  • Increased access to services and essential medicines, medical devices and other life-saving commodities;
  • Improved capacity, efficiency and impact of services;
  • Integrated packages of essential, quality interventions and services;
  • Enhanced coordination in research and innovation.

Tapping innovation

We know that progress is possible. Many low and middle income countries are now taking the lead in making significant reductions in maternal and neonatal mortality by innovating. These range from financial incentives to promote performance and results, to innovative use of mobile phones and other communication tools. Innovations can also come from reconceiving products and markets, and reconfiguring ways to deliver known interventions more effectively. Mobile phones are one example of how innovation creates unprecedented potential for scale-up. Countries are exploring the use of mobile phones for various health purposes, such as electronic medical advices and alerts, referrals, and advancing health literacy of both families and service providers.