Call for Proposals: Digital transformation in Health and Care

20 January, 2020

Dear HIFA members,

The European Commission has issued a call for funding proposals 'to support the coordination of a registry of relevant existing e-Health solutions describing their services and potential for low and lower middle income African countries or regions together with a roadmap and strategic implementation plans building on the requirements of end-user communities and policy makers in the target countries'.

'The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1.5 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately... At least one consortium partner must come from low and lower middle income countries in Africa.'

***HIFA does not have the capacity to lead on such a proposal. However, I want to take this opportunity to ask you to consider HIFA as a consortium member. HIFA has a proven track record in promoting communication and cooperation in e-health, and I am sure that we can bring significant added value to any consortium, at a cost of less than 1% of the total. If you are thinking of applying for this funding, please contact me to discuss how HIFA can help (neil@hifa.org)***

SPECIFIC CHALLENGE:

E-Health can contribute to better, more accessible and more efficient health and care services, in particular to remote populations and underserved communities. E-Health and mHealth technologies can only be successful, if they are supported by national governments, who have established e-Health policies and strategies and demonstrate strong ownership of the national e-Health programme. E-Health programmes will only achieve their objectives, if they are adapted to country needs, are citizen-centered and sustainable through sound public finance management. These pre-requisites will impact on the quality and accessibility of such e-Health services and their sustainability, usability, data security and interoperability, privacy and ethics issues.

Access to one's own health data and high-quality mHealth services in real-life environment are still a challenge because of a lack of government ownership, e-Health policies including enabling regulations, a sustainable and trustable infrastructure, and digital literacy.

Coordination and support is needed for taking stock of and further developing strategic partnerships on E-Health deployment together with low and middle income countries and regions in Africa with the aim to improve the health of the citizens.

SCOPE:

The aim is to support the coordination of a registry of relevant existing e-Health solutions describing their services and potential for low and lower middle income African countries [1] or regions together with a roadmap and strategic implementation plans building on the requirements of end-user communities and policy makers in the target countries. The action should take into account national and regional policies and (best) practices regarding health and care services and health infrastructures and also include lessons learned from existing eHealth policies and programmes at all levels of the health system. It should take into account the new Africa-Europa Alliance for Sustainable investment and Jobs[2] as relevant.

It should identify and build on and identify relevant existing and emerging initiatives and capacities in Europe and Africa which can form the basis for future cooperation and deployment.

The action should make use of and contribute to standardisation[3] as appropriate. Proposals should comply with and contribute to the development of the relevant legislation, in particular on ethics and data protection of health data. Socio-economic and gender issues should be addressed appropriately.

The action should also ensure that relevant stakeholders including end-users are engaged during the process through national, regional and international workshops and a set of communication and dissemination actions, aligned to national policies, to support the deployment of e-Health services in low and lower middle income countries in Africa. The action should provide an added value, to the facilitation of the cooperation between European and low and middle income countries in Africa for a better health for all.

For grants awarded under this topic, beneficiaries may provide support to third parties as described in General Annex K of the Work Programme either in form of grants or prizes. The respective options of Article 15 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1.5 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. At least one consortium partner must come from low and lower middle income countries in Africa.

EXPECTED IMPACT:

The proposal should provide appropriate indicators to measure its progress and specific impact in the following areas:

Higher level of international cooperation and networking in eHealth programmes and policies between European countries or regions and low and middle income African countries, focusing on areas that are beneficial to the target countries / regions and their citizens in eHealth;

Increased opportunities for e-health innovators, patients, medical staff and health system stakeholders in Europe and Africa;

Better accessibility of eHealth Services.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities

Gender

International cooperation

[1]Low and lower middle income countries as defined by the World Bank in September 2016 (https://datahelpdesk.worldbank.org/knowledgebase/articles/906519):

Low income countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea (Conakry), Guinea (Bissau), Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zimbabwe

Lower middle income countries: Angola, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Congo (Brazzaville), Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Sudan, eSwatini (Swaziland), Tunisia, Zambia

[2]https://www.africa-eu-partnership.org/en/stay-informed/news/european-com...

[3]refer to DG DEVCO Staff Working Document on Digitalisation for Development (Council regulation November 2017) and the relevant WHO guidelines on eHealth

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Best wishes, Neil

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org