Digital Square Notice B

Promoting the collaborative development of proposals for investments in digital health global goods

Digital Square

Call for ProposalsNotice B

Digital Square is apartnership of digital health experts and organizations working together to create digital health systems in developing countries. Our aim is to help strengthen national digital health systems by coordinating investments into scalable technology solutions and creating an environment in which they can be sustained. By helping to coordinate donor investments we can help maximize their impact.

Funding for digital health global goods has hitherto not been coordinated across donor agencies and other digital health investors resulting in duplicative investments and limited reuse of existing digital health tools. These investments are typically short-term, volatile, and targeted at country-specific programmatic activities. This places an undue cost-burden on those programs and hampers long-term strategic planning, development, and productization of these global goods. It is an unsustainable and ineffective approach to improving health outcomes at the level needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Health Coverage.

Digital Square, which was launched to address these challenges, is led by and hosted at PATH and is a USAID program designed and funded in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others.

Global Goods

With regards to global goods, Digital Square focuses on the following activities:

  1. Securing investment to increase the resilience, reuse, and sustainability of digital health global goods, which will ultimately reduce the cost of individual digital deployments while also increasing the effectiveness and impact of those deployments within health programs.

  2. Development of, and advocacy for, the adoption of common metrics to compare and prioritize future investments in global goods.

  3. The establishment of efficient governance processes and financial mechanisms, building trust in, and additional resources for, global goods.

We are also working with partners to create digital market readiness by building capacity with governments, local technology developers, and health workers. We are doing this through the African Alliance of Digital Health Networks, launched in October of this year, to support countries to develop the skills they need at all levelsfrom national government leaders to local healthcare workersto bring these technologies to scale.

This RFP is published with (1) above in mind.

Announcements

Announcement B0:  Global Good Software Development and Support

Digital Square is accepting proposals for investments in existing digital health software tools to support progress against the Global Goods Maturity Model. These investments are designed to provide support to existing global goods to ensure they are properly resourced for sustained development.  Examples of such investments include (but are not limited to):

  • Providing ongoing support for software maintenance of a digital health software tool;

  • Supporting the community and ecosystem of resources (improved documentation, tutorials, etc.) needed to facilitate the adoption and use of a digital health software tool;

  • Supporting ongoing development of features of a digital health software tool which are identified as priorities through existing robust community lead processes;

  • Supporting the establishment of an organizational home for a digital health software tool;

  • Adding new features to enable different business models which broaden the revenue base of a digital health software tool; and

  • Supporting the development of significant new functionality of a digital health software tool according to an identified and well articulated need.  

Investments in country implementations or adaptations intended for country-specific deployments of existing global goods are outside of the scope of this announcement. It is expected that approximately three to six awards will be made totaling up to $600,000.   

Proposal Submission Process and Deadlines

Submission of proposals will follow the Digital Square open proposal process, which begins with a concept note. Proposal submission deadlines are detailed below and must be submitted on Digital Square’s Open Proposal website.

By submitting your proposal to Digital Square, you acknowledge and agree that your proposal, including overall budget information, may be shared publicly on Digital Square’s Open Proposal website1 including with other submitters, Digital Square’s Peer Review Committee (PRC), and other organizations and individuals without obligation of confidentiality and that your proposal, including detailed budget breakdowns, may be shared with Digital Square’s Governing Board.

Step

Action

Deadline

Step 1:
Concept note phase

Digital Square issues a call for proposals and submitters upload concept notes to Digital Square public-facing platform.The PRC and other submitters can provide feedback, comments, suggestions, and identify potential areas for collaboration.

January 19, 2018

Step 2:
Proposal co-creation phase

Moving forward with identified collaborators and using feedback from the concept note phase, submitters begin proposal development.  Proposal submitters can post iterations of their proposal based on community feedback.The PRC and other submitters can provide feedback, comments, and suggestions on the posted proposals.

February 16, 2018

Step 3:
Proposal finalization phase

Taking into account feedback, submitters finalize their proposal and budget and submit to the Digital Square platform. The budget is not shared publicly on the platform and the PRC sees only the high-level budget and LOE percentages.  Submitters should also fill-out a self-assessment of their tool using the Global Good Maturity Model.

March 2, 2018

Step 4:
PRC review phase

The Peer Review Committee reviews proposals according to Peer Review Committee criteria and votes on green-, amber-, or red-lit status.

March 23, 2018

Step 5:
Board review phase

Digital Squares presents the proposals, budget, and Peer Review Committee votes to the Governing Board, which votes for investment.

Mid-April


Step 6:
Award phase

The result of the Governing Board vote and Peer Review Committee feedback are communicated to the submitters.

End of April2

Peer Review Committee Membership  

Current membership of the PRC includes representation from the following organizations:

  • Digital Square (chair, non-voting member)

  • African Centre for eHealth Excellence (Acfee)

  • Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN)  

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • Department for International Development (DFID)

  • Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL)

  • Health Data Collaborative (HDC) via the Digital Health & Interoperability Working Group (DH&I WG) including:

    • IntraHealth International

    • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

    • MEASURE Evaluation

    • RTI

  • International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

  • President’s Emergency Plan For Aids Relief (PEPFAR)

  • Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER)

  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Governing Board Membership

Current membership of the board includes representation from the following organizations:

  • PATH (ex officio member)

  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  • Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL)

  • FSG

  • Office of the National Coordinator (ONC)

  • Tableau Foundation

  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

  • Wipro  

Timeline

  • December 20 - January 18: Concept Note Submission

    Submitters post iterations of concept notes.

    The Peer Review Committee, other submitters, and other stakeholders will:

    • Provide feedback, comments and suggestions
    • Identify potential areas for collaboration
  • January 20 - February 16: Proposal Co-creation Phase
    • Using feedback received in the Concept Note Phase, submitters begin proposal development.
    • Iterations may be posted on the forum.
    • The Peer Review Committee, other submitters, and other stakeholders continue to provide feedback, comments, and suggestions.
  • February 17 - March 2: Proposal Finalization Phase
    • Using feedback, submitters develop budget and finalized proposal and submit to the Digital Square public-facing platform.
    • The budget is not shared publicly on the platform. The PRC sees only the high-level budget and LOE percentages.
  • March 3 -22: PRC Review Phase

    The Peer Review Committee reviews proposals according to Peer Review Committee criteria and votes on green-, amber-, or red-lit status.

  • Mid-April: Board Review Phase

    Digital Squares presents the proposals, budget, and breakdown of Peer Review Committee votes to the Governing Board, which votes for investment.

  • Late April: Awards Announced

    The result of the Governing Board vote and Peer Review Committee feedback are communicated to the submitters.