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Coordination of a Global Network for Creating Enabling Environments for Social Innovations in Health

Published onJun 13, 2023
Coordination of a Global Network for Creating Enabling Environments for Social Innovations in Health

The Social Innovation in Health Initiative (SIHI) network is a global network of research hubs that strive to build evidence for social innovation in health (SIH) through research and create enabling environments wherein social innovation may develop. SIHI hubs also identify outstanding social innovations in health and advocate for social innovations in public policies and integration into health systems. 

SIHI can trace its roots to a global crowdsourcing call to identify social innovations in the global South in 2015 launched by the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR). This was conducted through the first SIHI hub hosted in the University of Cape Town in South Africa. The network would eventually establish hubs in China, Columbia, Ghana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Nigeria, Philippines, Rwanda, Sweden, and Uganda. As the SIHI network grew, a need for an internal body to coordinate activities of the network was identified. This prompted the establishment of the SIHI Secretariat in the SIHI Philippines hub. 

As a coordinating body of the network, the SIHI Secretariat leads coordination of activities such as monthly SIHI hub meetings and other network events. Activities of the SIHI network includes conferences with current partners of the network such as WHO and PAHO and introductory meetings with potential partners that may engage in collaborations and partnerships for SIH. The network has also conducted several events and webinars that have been opened to the public to increase awareness and advocate for SIH. The SIHI Secretariat also provides technical support for the conduct and management of these meetings through online platforms. 

The SIHI Secretariat also informs SIHI hubs of opportunities for funding through grants and coordinates the hubs for collaborative projects, as needed. The SIHI Secretariat also provide technical support through creation of media materials such as the network newsletter and other media materials and management of the SIHI website, emails, online teleconference platforms, and social media.

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