Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development

USAID, the Government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, and DFID have joined together to launch Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development, to find the tools and approaches to help the mothers and newborns during their most vulnerable hours.

We seek groundbreaking prevention and treatment approaches for pregnant women and newborns in poor, hard-to-reach communities around the time of delivery.

This is the period when the majority of maternal and newborn deaths occur and the population that has been the most difficult to reach.

We seek innovative ideas that can leapfrog conventional approaches in three main domains: (1) technology; (2) service delivery; and (3) “demand side” innovation that empowers pregnant women and their families to practice healthy behaviors and be aware of and access health care during pregnancy, childbirth and the early postnatal period, especially the first two days after birth.

Types of Awards
We will invest in a portfolio of projects.  Through this portfolio, we will seek groundbreaking innovations by providing:
  • Seed Funds to support the development and validation of ideas capable of impacting health outcomes for pregnant women and their babies in low-resource settings,
  • Validation Funds to introduce and validate the effectiveness of innovations to reach proof-of-concept, and
  • Transition to Scale Funds to develop, refine, and rigoursly test the impact of integrated solutions that have previously measured promising health outcomes in a controlled or limited setting and have the potential to credibly scale to improve the lives of millions of pregnant women and newborns in multiple countries.  Transition funding is limited to integrated solutions that unite technology, service delivery, and demand.
What We’re Looking For
Interventions that:
  • Substantially increase demand for and access to primary health interventions for women and newborns (for example, by at least 50 percent for interventions with low coverage);
  • Substantially improve the quality of care as measured by health outcomes; and
  • Improve and sustain healthy behavior.
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