Research for Global Development

InterMedia’s Research Shows Both Positive Impact and the Road Forward for Health Market Innovations


I recently worked with a team of InterMedia researchers to complete an evaluation of the Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI), an online global health portal and knowledge-sharing community. We found that several health practitioners, researchers, funders and other target audiences are using CHMI, and many feel they are getting value. Our research also showed a desire for more shared knowledge and experience, a gap that CHMI is now working to fill.

CHMI seeks to improve the functioning of health markets in developing countries. It links researchers, implementers, organizations and funders across 105 countries, and aims to improve health market performance for the poor. It profiles and promotes programs, policies and practices that make quality health care delivered by private organizations affordable and accessible to the world’s poor and most vulnerable.

Our evaluation used a combination of offline and online methods to measure awareness, use and impact, both quantitatively and qualitatively, and included a digital network analysis to demonstrate impact in the social media space.

The evaluation showed a high awareness about CHMI. About three-quarters of those who took the survey said they had heard about CHMI. Half of those aware of CHMI had used information products, like the website, or had participated in their activities. Of those using CHMI through both online and offline means many feel it is worthwhile and helpful. And 95% of those who had used these products were satisfied.

Our evaluation also revealed directions for CHMI’s next stage of development, which they are beginning to put into action. While health practitioners and innovators want to be directly connected with one another to share both successes and failures, this desire is largely unfulfilled or feels complicated to most. Health implementers and researchers are interested in networking and learning opportunities that will forge bonds- both real and virtual- with colleagues and future funders from all over the world, not just their immediate geographical region or particular health sector. Based on this finding, CHMI and its network of partners in developing countries around the world, plan to host competitions and other events to connect innovators with policymakers and other potential funders. (Read R4D MD Gina Lagomarsino’s blog on findings and next steps here.)

Many we spoke to want to learn about good practices. Therefore, CHMI will continue to focus on collecting and reporting on program performance data. Almost everyone we spoke with finds a scarcity of information. Investors want financial data, researchers seek evaluation findings, and program managers look for niche information related to their location or business model. And so, CHMI is considering new ways to collect and share additional valuable information, and will substantially add to their information offerings (direct and indirect) in the future.

Through the CHMI evaluation, InterMedia researchers interacted with global health innovators and funders in a variety of locations and sectors, helping us to better understand how global health innovation works.  We experienced first-hand how many people in the developed and developing world are looking for real solutions to fill a gap of health services for the poor, and what challenges they face.  It furthers our belief that three things are key for the future of global health innovation for the poor: the availability of the right kind of information; evaluations that regularly track impact, study failure and its prevention; and networking and sharing among global health practitioners in an equal setting.

CHMI was created by Results for Development (R4D), and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and now UKAid.

InterMedia

InterMedia’s Research Shows Both Positive Impact and the Road Forward for Health Market Innovations


I recently worked with a team of InterMedia researchers to complete an evaluation of the Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI), an online global health portal and knowledge-sharing community. We found that several health practitioners, researchers, funders and other target audiences are using CHMI, and many feel they are getting value. Our research also showed a desire for more shared knowledge and experience, a gap that CHMI is now working to fill.

CHMI seeks to improve the functioning of health markets in developing countries. It links researchers, implementers, organizations and funders across 105 countries, and aims to improve health market performance for the poor. It profiles and promotes programs, policies and practices that make quality health care delivered by private organizations affordable and accessible to the world’s poor and most vulnerable.

Our evaluation used a combination of offline and online methods to measure awareness, use and impact, both quantitatively and qualitatively, and included a digital network analysis to demonstrate impact in the social media space.

The evaluation showed a high awareness about CHMI. About three-quarters of those who took the survey said they had heard about CHMI. Half of those aware of CHMI had used information products, like the website, or had participated in their activities. Of those using CHMI through both online and offline means many feel it is worthwhile and helpful. And 95% of those who had used these products were satisfied.

Our evaluation also revealed directions for CHMI’s next stage of development, which they are beginning to put into action. While health practitioners and innovators want to be directly connected with one another to share both successes and failures, this desire is largely unfulfilled or feels complicated to most. Health implementers and researchers are interested in networking and learning opportunities that will forge bonds- both real and virtual- with colleagues and future funders from all over the world, not just their immediate geographical region or particular health sector. Based on this finding, CHMI and its network of partners in developing countries around the world, plan to host competitions and other events to connect innovators with policymakers and other potential funders. (Read R4D MD Gina Lagomarsino’s blog on findings and next steps here.)

Many we spoke to want to learn about good practices. Therefore, CHMI will continue to focus on collecting and reporting on program performance data. Almost everyone we spoke with finds a scarcity of information. Investors want financial data, researchers seek evaluation findings, and program managers look for niche information related to their location or business model. And so, CHMI is considering new ways to collect and share additional valuable information, and will substantially add to their information offerings (direct and indirect) in the future.

Through the CHMI evaluation, InterMedia researchers interacted with global health innovators and funders in a variety of locations and sectors, helping us to better understand how global health innovation works.  We experienced first-hand how many people in the developed and developing world are looking for real solutions to fill a gap of health services for the poor, and what challenges they face.  It furthers our belief that three things are key for the future of global health innovation for the poor: the availability of the right kind of information; evaluations that regularly track impact, study failure and its prevention; and networking and sharing among global health practitioners in an equal setting.

CHMI was created by Results for Development (R4D), and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and now UKAid.

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