Creativity, Innovation and Informal Health Sector (CiHS)

Project Date :

10 April 2023
Good healthcare is vital to national prosperity. It contributes significantly to productivity, human capital, and poverty reduction, meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. However, the healthcare sector in many emerging market countries is struggling due to factors ranging from inadequate funding, weak infrastructure, and skilled workforce shortages to corruption. Most ofthe people from these countries live in poor rural communities, meaning that they have little or no access to public healthcare services. As a result, they mainly rely on informal healthcare service providers. These providers – organisations and entrepreneurs – contribute to public health and economic growth, especially in many low- and middle-income countries through their various innovative activities linked to preventive, curative and restorative interventions. Despite their relevance, there is very little evidence of the innovation activities occurring in the informal healthcare sector.

The CiHSproject seeks to study the nature, scope and forms of creativity and innovation effortsimplemented by organizations and entrepreneurs in the informal health sector.

Second, national innovation ecosystems include the interactions among diverse actors, knowledge generation and technology diffusion. The project maps how informal healthcare organisations and entrepreneurs interact in the ecosystems. In addition, it analyzes their role in influencing innovation efforts and competition in the healthcare sector.

Finally, the issue of informality has profound regulatory and policy implications. The project proposes a policy framework that outlines support mechanisms that can promote indigenous innovations and consequently, transition to a formal economy.


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