BMJ call for papers on social innovations for health (2) HIFA Strategy 2022-2024

20 October, 2021

Dear Julie (Reza).

Thank you for forwarding the BMJ call for papers on social innovations for health []

Below are some extracts from the website and a comment from me:


What is social innovation in health?


Despite our best human efforts, scientific progress and aspirational declarations, the lived experience of health systems and health services remain far from ideal, as millions of people in low- and middle-income countries not having access to quality affordable health services, and hence not benefiting from our advances. The time has come to turn our attention to go beyond the ‘what’ of healthcare delivery and cast attention to the ‘how’. How can we get tested and proven scientific and technological inventions to reach our most marginalised populations, and how can we ensure these communities are not mere passive recipients of our endeavours but active participants in creating their own health?


It is recognized that a new and more inclusive paradigm is required to achieve universal health coverage, in which people from different sectors, disciplines and backgrounds contribution is needed... Can we as a global community achieving quality, safe, comprehensive, integrated, accessible, available and affordable health care and environments in which communities are empowered?...

Social innovations achieve several outcomes:

• The solution enables healthcare delivery to be more inclusive, effective and affordable.

• The solution changes the social relationships between people and results in greater social inclusion.

• The solution empowers and builds the capacities of communities and individuals involved.

• The social innovation process reshapes institutions and thus builds greater resilience in the system.

Impact of social innovation

Social innovation is contrary from invention or traditional innovation in that it is not done in pursuit of ‘newness’ or great profit margins but with the intention of improving quality of life, achieving justice and equity, and positive social change.


COMMENT (NPW): The challenge of lack of availability and use of reliable healthcare information, the vision of a world where every person is empowered with the healthcare information they need, and the approach of bringing people together in a community of practice to better understand needs and explore solutions in solidarity, the focus not on 'newness' but on the intention of improving quality of life and reducing suffering, the progressive realisation of universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals... HIFA embodies all these elements. Over the past year the HIFA Steering Group has been reviewing progress and planning for the future. We shall shortly be releasing the HIFA Strategy 2022-2024 which proposes seven strategic shifts to increase our collective impact. Watch this space!

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator,