Open Innovation Challenge: Next-generation digital learning tools for community health workers

AMREF Health Africa is looking to transform its digital learning tools for community health workers, using next-generation technologies.

Opportunity Details


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Successful applicants will be given the opportunity to pitch their solution to AMREF. The winning applicant, as selected by AMREF will get the opportunity to collaborate with them on a trial project. Up to GBP 25,000 seed funding is available (subject to T&Cs) to the successful finalist(s) for this collaboration.

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About the challenge

AMREF Health Africa is looking to transform its digital learning and data collection tools for Community Health Workers, using next-generation technologies to create a more user-friendly and intuitive system. Their goal is to improve responsiveness, functional optimization, and performance measurement of new and existing tools, including interactive voice response (IVR) and short message service (SMS) and smartphone usage. All of these tools can currently cause daily problems such as:

  • Inability to use in multiple languages
  • Slow response times to fix user issues
  • Limited functionality for users living with disabilities
  • In-house capabilities to make code changes is slowed down
  • Lack of connectivity problems
  • Integration with multiple platforms
  • Limited harnessing of AI benefits
  • Limits to 2-way communication

AMREF would like to enhance their existing learning tools via additional or alternative functionality. They also require solutions to interface with their existing data collection platform. They would like to explore gamification, video and embedded visual aids to attract younger users.

Particular use cases will be methods of early disease detection/disease surveillance and onboarding and monitoring of new clients in remote areas.

  • Entrants to this competition must be:

    • Established businesses, start-ups, SMEs or individual entrepreneurs.
    • Africa-based entrants, UK-based entrants and those from RoW are invited to apply.
    • Up to GBP 25,000 seed funding (Subject to T&C)
    • Opportunity to pitch your solution to AMREF
    • Collaboration/partnership with AMREF
    • Technical support from AMREF team
    • Sector expertise from Innovate UK
    • Support in the development of a prototype or pilot
    • Invitation to attend or present at Innovate UK events
    • Investor introductions (if investment is required)
    • Application support for any Innovate UK or similar competitions that are relevant.


AMREF Health Africa was founded in 1957 (as African Medical and Research Foundation) to deliver mobile health services and to provide mission hospitals with surgical support. It later moved towards community-based health care (CBHC) and training community health workers to deliver primary health care.

During the 1980s, greater emphasis was given to strengthening health systems and staff development, with special attention to health needs identified by communities themselves. AMREF established a unique year-long training course in community health.

AMREF’s strategy focuses on finding ways to link health services to the people that need them by focusing more on people, and less on diseases – making responses tailor-made to specific community needs.
AMREF’s vision is creating lasting health change in Africa. “Their goal is to transform the health of African communities by investing in women and young people as agents of change.”


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