2017 Semifinalist
Agency for International Development
January 1, 2017

Access to more accurate, timely, and complete information during an epidemic -- including infection numbers, geographic spread and bed availability -- can save lives. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) responded to this need for traditionally underfunded pieces of digital health information systems (HIS) to enable better prevent, detection and response to future epidemics. As a part of a broader Agency-level response and recovery strategy and portfolio of programs, the post-Ebola recovery program to strengthen digital HIS targets investment gaps to link other donor investments and support the broader health information ecosystem. The four-part strategy includes 1) supporting ministry-led coordination of digital health investments, 2) creating interoperability between existing digital health platforms, 3) building local engineering expertise to maintain and improve HIS, and 4) helping develop and scale mobile tools that extend ministry investments to frontline health workers through two-way communication. This strategy plays an innovative role in Ebola recovery efforts by targeting historical weaknesses that promote better utilization of donor resources and the ability of Ebola-affected countries to rebuild.