Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development for Development
We are calling on the global community to share pioneering ideas that deliver practical and cost-effective innovations in a matter of months.
Regardless of your background, experience or knowledge of Ebola, your bold thinking is necessary to address this crisis, to improve delivery of care, and stem the spread of disease.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is partnering with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Defense to launch Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development. Fighting Ebola is based on three pillars:
Today the world is facing the largest Ebola epidemic in history. Since December 2013, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone have reported thousands suspected and confirmed cases. Containing this epidemic–which has an average fatality rate of 50%, according to the World Health Organization–requires a rapid global response aimed at safeguarding at-risk communities. The spread of Ebola in Africa continues at a rate that is outpacing efforts to isolate and care for those infected. Every day, in extreme heat and humidity, health care workers in Ebola-affected countries are performing life-saving tasks to prevent the spread of the virus. On the front lines of the Ebola epidemic, health care workers face many obstacles in providing the timely care to patients that is required to prevent the virus from spreading—from heat stress caused by the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) they wear, to lengthy infection control measures that leave no room for error, to communities reluctant to seek care.
In light of the persistence of the outbreak and the demands it has placed on global infection containment resources and processes, the U.S. federal government’s disaster response community has recognized an opportunity to use open innovation to make significant strides in advancing our ability to combat Ebola.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is partnering with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Defense, and other U.S. agencies on Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development to help health care workers provide better care and contain this devastating virus.
The Challenge seeks to harness the power of crowdsourcing, competition, and partnerships to identify breakthrough innovation to address specific barriers faced by efforts to combat the current Ebola epidemic and better prepare us for future outbreaks. According to the World Health Organization, as of October 29, 2014 there have been 13,676 suspected and confirmed Ebola cases and 4,910 Ebola-related deaths (see fact sheet). Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have been impacted the most by the spread of the virus, which also poses a threat to key economic and social activities with the interruption of education, commerce, business operations and more.
Fighting Ebola has sourced over 1500 ideas and potential solutions in two ways:
Those seeking opportunities to co-create, co-design, co-invest and collaborate in the development, testing and scaling of practical and cost-effective innovations applied to our challenge competition. Applicants submitted an expression of interest outlining innovations, partnership ideas, etc. to be considered for grant awards and partnership establishment to help develop and test the proposed solutions. This portion of the Challenge closed on December 1, 2014 due to an overwhelming response, and the most promising solutions will be reviewed and selected for awards.
View the proposed solutions and research submitted by a global community of solvers on OpenIDEO to address specially selected micro-challenges within the larger issue of fighting Ebola. This open innovation platform invites a global community to collaborate, communicate, and share ideas to help stem the spread of disease and improve delivery of care. Share your stories and get inspired by others around the world, or host your own event to brainstorm and refine ideas for fighting Ebola.