Social innovation in health is a community-driven approach that connects social transformation and health improvement through community partnerships with local people and organizations. Social innovations can help achieve a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including improved health and well-being, high-quality education, decreased disparities, and innovation and infrastructure. The benefits of social innovation have been highlighted during the COVID-19 epidemic. Despite the fact that many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) struggle to deliver basic healthcare, community-led social innovation has surmounted these obstacles and engaged communities in creating and implementing solutions to address health issues.
The Social Innovation in Health Initiative
The Social Innovation in Health Initiative (SIHI) was founded in 2014 as a response to the growing social innovation in the health movement. SIHI is a network of committed individuals and organizations working to improve social innovation in health. Since 2014, more than 40 community-based social innovations in 17 countries have been discovered and researched by SIHI, with the goal of speeding up progress toward universal health coverage and the SDGs.
Practical Guides and Tools
As a research hub in the SIHI network, SESH (SIHI-China) had led or co-led several guides and tools for researchers:
To guide researchers, innovators, community members, decision-makers, and other social innovation actors on how to monitor and assess all stages of the social innovation development process for effectiveness, sustainability, and scalability
To improve end-user and stakeholder participation, increase the rigor of monitoring and evaluation, and make social innovation research more transparent
SESH also organizes research to investigate the leadership and sustainability of social innovation, in addition to providing guidelines to enable people to better understand social innovation and standardize the implementation process. SESH has organized many global, regional, and national crowdsourcing open calls related to social innovation. The concept of social innovation is now being applied to numerous aspects of health and our team is excited to be working in this increasingly important field.