Call for scaling of proven health innovation concepts

Testing public health sector scaling of innovations in Kenya


This call for health innovations is part of an ongoing initiative known as Ecosystem Catalyst for Kenyan County Readiness to Demand for and Scale Health Innovation funded by the Grand Challenges Canada and implemented in Kenya by Insight Health Advisors (IHA). This is a two-year initiative that started in December 2021 (as a follow up to a project known as ‘Pathways to Public Sector Scaling’ -PPSS) aiming to test an implementation model dubbed the Mountain Model approach to scaling health innovations in the public health sector within selected counties (Kajiado and Makueni) in Kenya (see PPSS project landscape report here: Full Report, Abridged Report)

The initiative seeks to support Makueni and Kajiado counties to scan, assess and identify innovations that have the potential to address identified needs and demands within these county public health sectors.


Ultimately, this initiative seeks to work with selected health innovations and the county public health sector officials to;

  1. Identify suitable public sector scaling mechanisms for selected innovations that are aligned to county priorities
  2. Attract and allocate resources needed for adoption and scaling of the innovations and;
  3. Institutionalize sustainable processes for scaling health innovations within the public sector processes.

Select county priorities

The below lists represent the priority needs identified and validated by the respective county departments of health. They are not an exhaustive list of all the needs in the health sector but just a select list of priorities which the respective counties felt have the potential to be addressed by a wide range of innovations.

Kajiado County Priorities


Health Area

Specified problems/needs


Health human resources management and distribution

·       Inadequate general and specialist staff

·       Insufficient motivation & incentivization mechanisms of CHWs


Health commodities management systems

·       Lack of storage facilities for health commodities

·       Weak commodity forecasting systems


Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)

·       Poor sanitation practices in rural areas due to various factors e.g., lack of reliable water with over-dependence on rainwater, and influence of cultural practices

·       Low urban sanitation coverage due to factors such as weak sanitation infrastructure (lack of PSF), lack of functional sewer system, poor solid waste management system, lack of sufficient water supply & lack of sufficient staff


Maternal, New-born, and Child Health Services

·       Low uptake of family planning services

·       High rates of immunization defaults

·       High rates of early pregnancies

·       Low rates of skilled delivery


Health care financing

·       Insufficient demand side health financing mechanisms to scale up progress towards UHC

Makueni County Priorities:


Health Area

Specified problems/needs


Health information management systems 

·       Fragmented data sources 

·      Lack of electronic data collection and storage equipment 

·      Lack of data sharing platforms 

·      Inadequate reporting tools


Maternal and new-born care services

·       Late ANC attendance

·      Poor maternal nutrition

·      Cultural practices

·      Low awareness and Knowledge


Level 1 care: Community health services sustainability

·      Insufficient motivation & incentivization mechanisms of CHWs

·      Inadequate capacity building

·      High illiteracy levels

·      Weak leadership at the community units


Health human resources management

·       Inadequate human resources for health

·      Rationalization of staff

·      Delayed recruitment

·      Lack of monitoring mechanisms and tools

We are looking for solutions that address the areas identified and particularly the problems/needs articulated for each intervention area.

Applicants are free to propose innovations that address more than one priority area.


a) Type of innovation

We are looking for proven innovations that are addressing any of the listed county priority demands/needs.

The innovations should be beyond the concept stage with a proven, market-ready solution.

Innovations such as medical devices that require local certification and licensing should possess requisite registration and approval for use in Kenya.

The innovators should also demonstrate the willingness and ability to participate in the entire duration of the initiative that is estimated to be at least 12 months.

b)    Detailed eligibility criteria
  • Legal Entity: Business or Social Enterprise
  • Age: At least one year of operation
  • Sector: Any sector that contributes directly or indirectly to the listed priorities
  • Country of operation: Kenya
  • Growth stage: Transitioning to scale


a)    Visibility:

The initiative offers solutions that reach the innovation fair stage the opportunity to interact and engage with county public officials during the assessment stages. Additionally, the county innovation fair will also have other relevant stakeholders such as national level government officials, development partners, potential funders and national agencies supporting innovations in the country. 

b) Identification of suitable scaling pathways

Innovation concepts that are selected by the counties will benefit from in-depth support in identification and testing of suitable, sustainable public sector scaling pathways aligned with their business models as well as existing public sector procurement regulatory frameworks. 


c)   Support attracting and allocating resources for adoption and scaling

It is important to note that by virtue of the design of this process, there is no pre determined amount of funding set aside for the selected innovations. Rather, after identification of suitable scaling pathways, the initiative will support counties and selected innovators to seek and allocate resources for scaling. This may include existing public sector budgets, donor funds, cost sharing mechanisms, reimbursements from insurers, amongst others,  depending on the design and implementation model of the innovation.


June 30, 2022
Program dates Jun 2, 2022 - Dec 31, 2023
OrganizerInsight Health Advisors
Africa, Americas, Antarctica Region, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, Micronesia
Sectors Healthcare, Water, sanitation and hygiene
SDG (2)
3. Good Health and Well-being, 6. Clean Water and Sanitation