Accelerating Innovation

A healthcare professional wearing a mask takes a patient's blood pressure Frontline AIDS/Tony Kawimbe/Arete/2020 Partners are finding innovative ways to disrupt conventional HIV service delivery as a direct response to COVID-19.

Accelerating Innovation increased the resilience of communities impacted by HIV to respond to outbreaks of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases.

Why Accelerating Innovation was needed

COVID-19 was spreading at an alarming rate and taking a heavy toll, all over the world, but particularly in countries where marginalised communities lack access to health care.

There have been stark warnings about a rise in AIDS-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa if the impact of COVID-19 is not mitigated. We have seen partners innovate to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Some examples include:

  • Taking peer-led health care models, like take home methadone for people who use drugs, or mental health services for marginalised populations, into online spaces.
  • Community mobilisation for COVID-19 and HIV together.
  • Moving healthcare provision away from clinics and into the hands of the most marginalised people in their communities.

The changes that public and private institutions – and especially communities – are making in their ways of working, shows us that in crisis, governments and communities can work together to quickly introduce changes that under normal circumstances would take much longer.

The HIV response can be thoughtful about responding to COVID-19, pioneering new ways of doing things and providing us with better and sustainable ways to respond to HIV.

What Accelerating Innovation did

Innovation is a process. It is the sparks of energy, ideas and learning turned into action that lead to doing things differently and better.

We identified the most promising innovations across the Frontline AIDS partnership that disrupt conventional ways of service delivery and information giving, as a direct response to COVID-19. With the right combination of investment, innovation, and advocacy, these could prove valuable to the HIV response.

We worked with two of our partners to develop and demonstrate programme models that increase the resilience of the HIV response to further COVID-19 and other respiratory disease outbreaks.

Where Accelerating Innovation worked

We worked in:

Programme details: Accelerating Innovation was a 15-month programme (February 2021 – April 2022) funded by The Elton John AIDS Foundation.