EVIDENCE ACTION ACCELERATOR IS OUR ENGINE FOR NEW PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT.
The Accelerator selects, optimizes, and scales interventions that can measurably improve the lives of millions of people in the world’s poorest places. Through a rigorous process, interventions are evaluated so that only those with the greatest potential for cost-effective impact are scaled up.
Finding the Most Impactful Interventions
The Accelerator looks primarily for “ready-to-scale” interventions—those that have a strong evidence base endorsing the solution and that could be grown to reach significantly more people. To leverage the expertise and experience gained from our flagship programs, we prioritize solutions in the health sector and adjacent sectors including nutrition, water, sanitation, and hygiene.
Our process is honed to consider only the most cost-effective interventions.
For example, if evaluating a child health solution, we would only consider those that have several studies showing significant improvements to the health of the child—like a decrease in mortality or disability— that can be delivered at a relatively low cost when compared to other solutions.
This unique focus has allowed us to identify solutions that could benefit millions of people and deliver an exceptionally high impact per dollar spent. Many of the interventions under consideration have been neglected or underfunded for decades, despite evidence they could save or improve more lives than virtually any other solution in their field.
The Selection Process
Each intervention evaluated by the Accelerator enters a six-stage process of program development. Starting from an evidence-based concept, each intervention has to pass criteria to move to the next stage until they progress to a fully-developed solution that can be replicated in multiple geographies.
Stage 1- Screening
We rapidly review the amount of high-quality evidence and level of consensus in the research that supports the impact and cost-effectiveness of the intervention.
Stage 2- Rapid Review
We conduct a review of the evidence to examine the intervention’s efficacy, the strength of the evidence behind it, how many people are affected by the problem it addresses, and estimate its cost-effectiveness.
Stage 3- Deep Dive
We develop an initial model of how the intervention could be optimally implemented, including where this intervention is needed and a detailed cost-effectiveness analysis of potential at-scale delivery.
Stage 4- Scope and Design
We perform in-country scoping to assess how the intervention can be operationalized in a specific context. We then prepare for launch by making final adjustments to the intervention’s design, as well as engaging necessary partners on the ground.
Stage 5- Launch
We launch the intervention in a country (or portion thereof), having structured the necessary partnerships – for example, with governments to support and leverage their existing infrastructure – and obtained sufficient funding to implement and test the solution. We have launched Syphilis Screening and Treatment for Pregnant Women in Liberia.
Stage 6- Test at scale
We evaluate implementation at scale to ensure the intervention achieves our expected cost-effective impact. We then continue to rigorously monitor its performance, iterating and adjusting the design for optimal delivery. We are testing Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation at scale in multiple Indian states.
In-line chlorination is a simple method to consistently deliver chlorine into piped water systems, providing a safe water solution for communities which have access to untreated piped water. Water chlorination is one of the most effective means of water treatment, with strong evidence – which also underpins our Dispensers for Safe Water program – demonstrating its ability to remove waterborne pathogens and reduce childhood diarrhea, a leading cause of death for children under five.
In-line chlorination devices are installed into a section of pipe near where the user collects water, which is then automatically chlorinated as it passes through the device. These devices are simple and durable, do not require electricity, and have no moving parts. Users receive safe, ready-to-drink water without the need to remember to treat their water or to determine the proper dose. In-line chlorination has been successfully used by researchers and non-profits to improve communities’ access to safe water in Africa, Asia, and South America.
We are currently designing and testing an in-line chlorination intervention to reach populations in urban and peri-urban areas in western Kenya, leveraging our Dispensers for Safe Water network that serves nearby rural communities. This is under the “Scope and Design” Stage of our new program development process, through which we have rigorously tested various models of in-line chlorination devices to inform selection of a device that is consistent, durable, and suited to community needs.
Devices are now being installed on piped water systems across three counties in western Kenya, in communities near to our Dispensers for Safe Water program. The goal of this phase is to test our delivery model, receive feedback from communities about the suitability of the intervention, and measure the devices’ ability to effectively deliver chlorine by measuring chlorine residuals in household water. If testing proves that in-line chlorination can be delivered cost-effectively, this phase will have helped lay the groundwork for us to rapidly scale up the intervention.
Our Project Archive provides information about projects we have exited or terminated, including why we chose not to further pursue those interventions.