Global Health Boost: WHO and IDIA Extend Partnership

Image Credit, Brian Odwar

In a bid to amplify the impact of health innovations globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA) have announced the renewal of their strategic Collaborative Agreement, extending their partnership until the end of 2025.

The partnership, originally forged in 2021, aims to synchronize efforts between the two organizations in scaling up health innovations, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, to expedite health improvements worldwide.

Jeremy Farrar, Chief Scientist at WHO, emphasized the significance of this collaboration, stating, “This partnership demonstrates a convergence of diverse expertise, pooling resources to bolster governmental efforts to scale-up innovative solutions, leveraging each other’s strengths.”

Louise Agersnap, Head of WHO Innovation Hub, echoed Farrar’s sentiments, highlighting the importance of an equity-focused innovation ecosystem driven by the needs of governments and their populations.

The collaboration facilitates the identification of public health demands in various countries by leveraging WHO’s extensive network and IDIA’s unique access to innovation funders worldwide. This collective effort aims to accelerate the adoption of proven health innovations where they are most needed.

Thomas Feeny, Director of the IDIA Secretariat at Results for Development, expressed enthusiasm about the milestones achieved through the partnership. Feeny emphasized the significance of continuing this collaboration amidst increasing demand from governments globally.

Dr. Karlee Silver, IDIA Founding Member and CEO of Grand Challenges Canada, emphasized the crucial role of WHO in supporting governments to identify national health needs and priorities, expressing anticipation in working together to achieve impactful scale-ups of health innovations.

The collaboration between IDIA and WHO spans five key areas:

  1. Innovation Demand: Enhancing the identification and articulation of demand for innovations that respond to national health needs and priorities.
  2. Innovation Supply: Contributing relevant innovations from collective pipelines to meet the demand articulated by WHO Member States.
  3. Innovation Assessment: Sharing expertise and tools to assess scale-ready innovations efficiently.
  4. Innovation Scale-up: Identifying opportunities to support demand-led scale-ups of health innovations for the benefit of WHO Member States.
  5. Innovation and Scaling Skills Development: Supporting the continuous development of innovation and scaling knowledge and skills among WHO staff, Member States, and development partners.

The (WHO) serves as the directing and coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations system, working with 194 Member States to achieve better health for everyone, everywhere.

The International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA) is a collaboration platform that brings together senior leadership from the innovation teams, labs, and departments of leading development agencies worldwide. With the renewal of their strategic partnership, WHO and IDIA are poised to further accelerate the scale-up of health innovations, ultimately contributing to improved health outcomes globally.