Guest edited by Lenore Manderson, Uche Amazigo and Phyllis Dako-Gyeke
A thematic series in Infectious Diseases of Poverty.
Gaps continue to exist in health systems and access to health services, in low- and middle-income countries, despite advances in disease prevention and control, diagnosis and treatment. Social innovations provide a fresh lens to strengthen health systems and primary health care. Through participatory approaches, novel solutions are designed and implemented by innovators, health system actors and other actors to address complex and longstanding health problems. Social innovations can be processes, market mechanisms, roles or behavioral practices, or new paradigms and policies. They enable healthcare delivery to be more inclusive, effective and affordable. Social innovation tackles “how” to improve health, by engaging communities in creating and sustaining solutions. This series features the work of the Social Innovation in Health Initiative established in 2014 under TDR’s leadership and in collaboration with research organizations and partners to advance social innovation through research, capacity strengthening and advocacy. Writing from an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary perspective, the authors analyse how social innovation has been used in research, in practice, and in informing new paradigms and policies. In showcasing community-engaged approaches in transforming health care delivery, we illustrate how social innovation can accelerate progress towards Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.