Evidence Action’s Accelerator drives new program development, selecting high-potential interventions with massive opportunity for evidence-based, cost-effective impact. The Accelerator tests and refines delivery models with the goal of rapidly scaling interventions with levels of impact similar to our existing flagships.
Evidence Action exists to ensure that evidence-based, cost-effective interventions reach their scale potential – improving millions, tens of millions, or even hundreds of millions of lives. The Accelerator selects and rapidly develops programs that we anticipate will have outsized impact. To build the next generation of programs, our Accelerator focuses on two critical dimensions:
- ‘Ready to scale’ programs, where there is already a strong evidence base for the underlying intervention and where the remaining questions to resolve relate primarily to delivery at scale. In doing so, we are able to make the best possible use of our distinctive competencies and track record in at-scale delivery, thereby ensuring that our scarce resources and attention are dedicated to solutions with the highest likelihood of delivering measurable impact at scale.
- Health and adjacent sectors of WASH and nutrition, where there is a concentration of opportunities with a strong evidence base, a credible pathway to scale and high cost-effectiveness. This focus is responsive to government partner interest, leverages our groundbreaking track record of delivering such programs, and recognizes an ongoing gap in achieving delivery at scale.
Both of these focus areas are non-exclusive – the Accelerator will continue to identify and adopt a small number of earlier-stage programs that may require small scale pilots, field trials, or further replication before they are ready to be tested at scale. True to our cross-sector founding purpose, the Accelerator also remains open to opportunities in other sectors with outsized evidence base, cost-effectiveness, and scale potential.
Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation in India
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional disorder in the world, affecting more than 3.5 billion people in developing countries. In India, iron deficiency contributes to more than 50% of anemia cases. Supplementation, particularly on a weekly basis, has been shown in many studies to support increased iron absorption and reduction in anemia. In addition, weekly supplementation is cost-effective and easier to deliver as a public health intervention than other alternatives such as food fortification. India’s Weekly Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS) program is one of the key strategies under the Government of India’s flagship program for anemia reduction, Anemia Mukt Bharat (Anemia Free India), launched in 2018 and targeting children and adolescents. However, implementation challenges have prevented WIFS from reaching its full potential in all states. In 2019, we are launching technical assistance to the Government of India and selected state governments to improve program delivery and coverage. We will seek to deliver our technical assistance within a set of states in India, with the goal of further scale up if successful.
Globally, there are nearly one million pregnant women with active syphilis infections that result in over 350,000 adverse outcomes each year, including spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, preterm birth, low birth weight, neonatal death, and congenital syphilis. A single penicillin injection can avert the majority of these adverse outcomes and new rapid fingerstick tests allow providers to screen and treat women on the day of their first antenatal care appointment. Evidence Action aims to support governments in the introduction and scale-up of a dual HIV/syphilis rapid test that allows providers to diagnose women for both infections with a single fingerstick and will allow countries to leverage their existing HIV funding to address maternal syphilis. We are currently exploring the feasibility of this approach and looking to test at scale within one, or multiple, geographies in the coming year.
Our Project Archive provides information about projects we have exited or terminated, including why we chose not to further pursue those interventions.