Ashoka Looks Internationally for Great Ideas

Dates of Project: September 2011 through June 2012

Field of Work: Identifying innovative, replicable health care programs

Problem Synopsis: Changemakers, an initiative of Ashoka, an Arlington, Va.-based global association of social entrepreneurs, aims to “grow” innovative ideas by promoting replicable health care models and fostering collaboration.

Synopsis of the Work: Ashoka sponsored a worldwide online competition to draw attention to entrepreneurial ideas in developing countries that can be replicated in the United States. The competition drew 373 entries from 66 countries. Ashoka staff identified and partnered with 14 organizations with a health care entrepreneurial focus to help mobilize their constituents to participate in the competition.

Key Results

Ashoka's team of evaluators chose 15 finalists, and five judges, including Deborah Bae, MPA, RWJF program officer, chose three winners.

The winners, who each received $10,000, are:

  • VaxTrac: Improving Immunization in Developing Countries (Benin), built a mobile vaccination registry that links a child’s fingerprint to an electronic vaccination record so children are not immunized twice.
  • Saúde Criança: Holistic Health Solutions for Low-Income Families (Brazil), addresses the larger socioeconomic context in which illness occurs by providing a package of family-centered support designed to break the cycle of poverty.
  • E HealthPoint: Transforming Rural Healthcare (India) provides low-cost, high-quality, basic health care and clean drinking water to underserved, rural communities.

“We were able to develop an informal community of health care social entrepreneurs operating in countries around the world. The competition helped us identify these health care social entrepreneurs, as did the convening through the World Health Care Congress,” said Project Director Emily Bosland.