With substantial focus on the sustainable development goals and inspiring progress in many parts of the world, significant human and financial capital are being deployed to ameliorate global health challenges, and reduce incidence of diseases, such as malaria, under five mortality, and childhood stunting. Yet despite this progress, there are frustratingly few documented examples of countries that have truly outperformed. Where these examples do exist, they often lack details and contextual recommendations that make them truly valuable to policy-makers and funders who need to prioritize interventions and programs in the countries with the highest burdens of disease.
Several dynamics work against the thoughtful dissemination and use of evidence associated with large-scale global health successes. In some cases, the interventions that matter in isolation or in combination are not well known. In other cases a detailed, implementation-oriented recount of what led to the success does not exist. In still others, available content lacks sufficient evidence or is oriented for academic communities rather than global health decision makers. Understanding and being able to go deep on research that uncovers best practices within those contexts is a nut that no one has cracked at scale.
At the outset of the initiative, Formative was brought in to lead the program and product development work for the global health program team, working in close collaboration with academic partners doing in-country research, technical advisors focused on methodology and the veracity of data analysis, and a core team of writers, scientists and global health experts focused on choosing target countries, documenting in-country learnings, and ensuring dissemination through technical assistance providers and other channels. Working with this team, Formative designed the program and product feature sets, through a set of iterative prototyping and testing with a panel of global health practitioners.
Through this process, we defined a new experience for engaging with and consuming global health content, embedding on-the-ground perspectives, using tools to help contextualize findings, and accessing services that will help end-users make better decisions and implement solutions. Formative also designed and built a new digital platform experience to ensure that stakeholders can access great resources, understand methodology and process, and collaborate around content and insights. To date, this work has moved from concept to initial deployment, garnering substantial interest and early accolades from key sector players.