Health Systems Strengthening Accelerator

Helping change agents identify innovative ways to accelerate progress toward self-reliant health systems


The Challenge

Globally, significant progress has been made in improving certain health outcomes. But in many low- and middle-income countries, progress toward strong, self-sustaining health systems remains slower than desired. There is a lot of global knowledge about what works, but it isn’t consistently applied. In some countries, innovative approaches need to be identified and tested. And, key stakeholders are often not engaged effectively to ensure relevance, coordination and support.

The Opportunity

Many around the world are embracing these new approaches to health systems strengthening and the Health Systems Strengthening Accelerator (HSS Accelerator) aims to help build on this growing movement. Working with others, we will ask not just how to strengthen a particular “building block” or policy lever to improve a part of health system performance today, but how can multiple parts of a system improve in a coherent way. And what are the country institutions, functions and processes that countries need to sustain their own ongoing, evidence-based health system strengthening into the future?

Our Work

The HSS Accelerator is a five-year global initiative that provides catalytic support to countries as they tackle vexing health systems challenges and accelerate progress toward self-sustaining health systems. Read the concept note here.

The HSS Accelerator will identify and work with groups of local stakeholders in up to 20 countries to make progress on health systems challenges that require multiple institutional structures and processes at the system, district or community levels to work in concert. The HSS Accelerator will provide these groups with:

  • Access to local and regional coaches who will serve as facilitators and mentors to help strengthen their capacity to address future health system challenges;
  • Knowledge translation support that includes timely, tailored syntheses of evidence, innovative ideas and innovations tried elsewhere, frameworks and tools to adapt and contextualize approaches;
  • Guidance on how to conduct formative research and analysis or to use rapid feedback techniques so that teams learn and adapt iteratively

The HSS Accelerator may also involve local institutions to support or, in some cases, lead this work. In most cases, the HSS Accelerator will seek to work with existing mechanisms rather than creating a new committee or task force to complement, not duplicate, ongoing health systems strengthening efforts and the priorities of the country.

Over five years, the HSS Accelerator will document and share lessons about how to do HSS better and amplify the stories of the change agents who are leading the way. R4D will lead the HSS Accelerator with support from Health Strategy and Delivery Foundation (HSDF, headquartered in Nigeria), and ICF. Additional global, regional, and local partners will be selected in partnership with USAID/OHS and USAID Missions based on demand.

Fostering Digital Communities

We create and support global communities of innovators, funders and policymakers for continuous and iterative learning, knowledge generation, exchange and collaboration. Click on the logos below to explore our communities: