November 13, 2020

Uniting Through Innovation

Innovations in Healthcare is thrilled to support UNFPA's Innovation Accelerator through a seven-month partnership project between Duke University and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

In September Duke University via Innovations in Healthcare launched a seven-month project with UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, called the iAccelerator (Innovation Accelerator). The iAccelerator is a mentorship-driven acceleration program supporting young entrepreneurs with seed funding, training and skills development to generate innovative solutions in response to challenges related to improving health, including sexual and reproductive health services, family planning, maternal health and related population development issues. UNFPA’s first acceleration cycle, branded the “I.AM initiative,” began in Kenya in June 2016. This initiative is funded through DFID, the UK Government Department for International Development support to the UNFPA East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) under the regional program, Preventing Maternal Deaths in East and Southern Africa (PreMDESA).

Innovations in Healthcare is uniquely positioned, and thrilled, to support the accelerator cycles across East and Southern Africa.  Leveraging insights gained over the last two years from our established regional office in Kenya, we are working closely with the UNFPA iAccelerator teams to help shape the Accelerator’s focus and action.  We bring significant depth of experience and evidence to this project based on our experiences in the region and globally, working with similar initiatives.  Our scope of knowledge of the healthcare innovation ecosystem in the region will support the program cycles by helping to:

  • Frame the desired impact by drawing on our experience within the healthcare innovation ecosystem in the region;
  • Support country innovation accelerators to draw parameters for scaling promising business and operating models;
  • Refine the operating models, and give advice on how best to position this intervention within the ecosystem to promote sustainability;
  • Support UNFPA country teams and the regional team to draw lessons from implementation that will help adapt and improve the base model currently undertaken in Kenya into other selected countries.

We are grateful to have the opportunity to unite with UNFPA over the next several months, responding to emerging development challenges through innovation.  Please stay tuned to the Innovations in Healthcare blog where we will be sharing updates during the advancement of the program. 


About The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. Their work involves the improvement of reproductive health; including creation of national strategies and protocols, and providing supplies and services. UNFPA supports programs in more than 150 countries, territories and areas spread across four geographic regions: Arab States and Europe, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa.

About Innovations in Healthcare

Innovations in Healthcare aims to source, strengthen, study, and scale promising healthcare innovations to increase access to affordable, high‐quality healthcare worldwide. As a non‐profit organization hosted at Duke University and founded in 2011 by Duke Health, McKinsey & Company, and the World Economic Forum, Innovations in Healthcare leverages broad and diverse public and private sector networks to support the scaling of healthcare innovations globally.