Health on the Ground: Uncovering Innovations that Save Lives

Health on the Ground: Uncovering Innovations that Save Lives
Guidelines and Criteria


How do we transform safe treatment and health care through innovative solutions for infant and maternal care, emergency and surgical care, and biomedical practice in urban and semi-urban settings in Africa, Southeast Asia, Brazil, Honduras, or Peru?


  • The competition is open to all individuals, organizations, and partnerships around the world.
  • Solutions may engage in one or more of the activities listed under the Assessment Criteria.
  • Preference will be given to solutions with impact in urban and semi-urban settings in Africa, Southeast Asia (exclusive of India and China), Brazil, Honduras, and/or Peru.
  • Preference will be given to solutions that have grown beyond the conceptual stage.
  • Entries may be submitted in English, Spanish, Portuguese, or French.


Up to five innovators will each receive individually-tailored support packages from the GE Foundation. Support will vary depending on need, but may include in-kind equipment donations, training services, and/or mentorship from GE.

How to Enter

  • For advice about how to create a stronger entry, read these tips about how to make your project stand out.
  • Please enter your project (via the Enter Your Project link) by August 9, 2013.

Assessment Criteria

Entries must include a solution that addresses one or more of the following topics:

  • Maternal and Infant Care: Preference will be given to solutions improving maternal and infant survival rates, especially solutions working with hospitals and health centers.
  • Emergency Care: Preference will be given to solutions that build emergency medicine capacity to treat acutely ill patients, especially in district hospitals.
  • Surgical Care: Preference will be given to solutions driving improvements in district hospital surgical capacity.
  • Biomedical Practice in a limited-resource setting.
  • Access to safe drinking water for hospitals and clinics.

Winners will be the projects that best meet the following criteria:

  • Innovation: The best projects will demonstrate a substantial difference from other initiatives in the field. Innovation does not necessarily involve inventing something entirely new. It may comprise new products or processes, as well as new applications or hybrid combinations of existing tools. Projects should describe how their solutions are driven by original, ground-breaking ideas.                      
  • Social Impact: Projects should explain how the solution measures impact through both quantitative and qualitative data. The best solutions will demonstrate impact, as well as the potential for scaling-up and replication, either on their own or in combination with other solutions. Innovators are encouraged to describe an important contribution to systemic solutions. This can be either on their own, or in combination with other solutions.
  • Sustainability: Projects should have a clear plan for reaching long-term goals and securing financial backing—they should describe not only how they currently finance their work, but also how they plan to finance it in the future. They should also have a realistic time frame for implementation. The most successful entrants demonstrate that they have strong partnerships and support networks to address ongoing needs, aid in scalability, and maintain a clear financial strategy.

Why You Should Enter

  • A chance to win!
  • Join the movement to improve access to quality health care in the developing world.

Connect with Ashoka Changemakers’ global online community of innovators and problem-solvers. Your participation gives you the opportunity to forge relationships with like-minded innovators, partners, and investors online.

Deadlines, Procedures and Rules

Online submissions are accepted on a rolling basis until 6 p.m. EDT on August 9, 2013.

The sponsor of this opportunity reserves the right to disqualify at any time (in its reasonable discretion) any participant or entry for good cause, including, but not limited to, non-compliance with these Guidelines and Criteria, the Changemakers Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, or violation of any applicable laws, codes, or regulations.

Disclaimer – Compliance with Legal Restrictions
Ashoka complies fully with all U.S. laws and regulations, including Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations, export control, and anti-money laundering laws. Any grants will be awarded subject to compliance with such laws. Ashoka will not make any grant if it finds that to do so would be unlawful. This may prohibit awards in certain countries and/or to certain individuals or entities. All recipients will comply with these laws to the extent they are applicable to such recipients. No recipient will take any action that would cause Ashoka to violate any laws. Additionally, Ashoka will not make any grant to a company involved in the promotion of tobacco use.

About GE Foundation
The GE Foundation is the philanthropic organization of GE. It works to solve some of the world's most difficult problems, focusing its efforts in the areas of health, education, the environment, and disaster relief.

Developing Health Globally is GE Foundation’s signature program that aims to improve access to quality healthcare for some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

For more information please visit and

About Ashoka Changemakers
Ashoka Changemakers is a community of action that connects social entrepreneurs around the globe to share ideas, inspire, and mentor each other. Through its online collaborative competitions and open-source process, is one of the world’s most robust spaces for launching, discussing, and funding ideas to solve the world’s most pressing social problems. Changemakers builds on Ashoka's three-decade history and belief that we all have the ability to be a changemaker.

Winners and Finalists


The competition’s two winners are:

Access Afya is creating a chain of "micro-clinics" that provide standardized outpatient services targeting the extreme poor. It is a one-stop shop for health supplies and information. This model lowers barriers to good health by bringing care directly to the doorstep of the people who need it most.

PatientPower is an innovative model elevating standards of care in places of extreme poverty by bridging gaps between patients and the healthcare systems that serve them. By committing to 1) executive-level community control, and 2) integration of primary-care clinics with holistic services, PatientPower provides empowerment and infrastructure for communities to take charge of their own health.


Hemafuse is a simple handheld, reusable device, which will replace “soup ladle” autotransfusion during surgery, specifically ruptured ectopic pregnancies.

VaxTrac deploys mobile biometric-based vaccination registries in developing countries to reduce vaccine wastage and to prevent millions of avoidable deaths.

EVOTECHwants to make it affordable for doctors to perform minimally invasive surgery (MIS) in resource-poor hospitals in the developing world. This would allow operations such as the repair of complex obstetric fistula without the use of general anesthesia, and reduce recovery times from weeks to hours.

Keeping kids healthy with local resources and simple technology: Too many children in Mali die from diseases that could be easily cured in local health centers if treated in time. Djantoli works in partnership with these centers to offer an innovative mobile health service for children aimed at detecting and treating these diseases starting with the first sign.

Penda Health thinks affordable quality care should be an option for everyone, and pland to deliver this to millions at their chain of primary care clinics. They use a protocol based medical program and a carefully curated service-mix to address key outpatient needs.

North Star Alliance is building a network of roadside clinics in converted shipping containers at truck stops and border posts across Africa to stop the spread of disease and provide healthcare to mobile populations, like long distance truck drivers, sex workers, and corridor community members.

Jacaranda Health aves lives by setting a new standard for low-cost, high-quality maternal and newborn health care in East Africa. Our mother-centric model combines business and clinical innovations to create a sustainable chain of hospitals in low-income, peri-urban areas.





Your story could be centered on how you became inspired to pursue your venture, an example of your innovation in action, the vision of your venture, or any other aspect that can convey the positive impact of your work.

A single story has the power to change the world. It’s time to tell yours.

Take a look at our STORYTELLING GUIDE (PDF) for tools and resources on telling effective stories. Learn about the five key principles for creating a "sticky" story and more!

First, publish your story on the platform of your choice.

Publish your written story via a blog, website, Facebook or other online platform.

Host your video story on platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo.

Upload your audio story to sites such as SoundCloud.

Then share a link to your story and a six word or less version through Twitter (#changestories), Facebook or by email (



  • Get your story featured on the Changemakers Story Feed.
  • Have a chance to get featured as Changemakers’ “Story of the Week.”
  • Compete for an opportunity to work with storytelling experts to refine your story and share it through a variety of high-profile social media outlets.


  • Connect with your audience and motivate them to support your social venture. Invite them to become champions of the change you seek to effect.


  • Storytelling is transformational for both the storyteller and the audience. The process of creating your story will enable you to reflect on where you came from, where you are at present, and where you hope to go in the future. Once you have distilled the core of your story, you can tell it in a multitude of ways depending on the purpose.