Staff Writer l Palladium - Sep 03 2021
USAID Launches $100,000 Competition Call for Data Methods and Segmentation for HIV Services

Source: Health Policy Plus Project

In partnership with USAID’s Office of HIV/AIDS (OHA), Palladium’s Data for Implementation (Data.FI) project is launching a first-ever market segmentation competition challenge for HIV services. The USD 100,000 challenge aims to uncover innovative ways to identify the types of populations that would be able to pay for HIV services and treatments. This will support the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in tailoring HIV treatment services and supporting market diversification.

While impressive advancements in medicine, political commitment, and implementation practices have provided opportunities to scale programs and combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic, achieving true epidemic control requires continued innovation. One critical opportunity is leveraging private markets to support clients receiving HIV treatment services. A preliminary step towards the utilisation of private sector resources is market segmentation by ability to pay.

Within OHA, the team saw an opportunity to leverage consumer market segmentation approaches to improve general understanding of HIV clients who want services that meet their unique needs and preferences, and the challenge was born.

A Total Market Approach to Treatment

There is a growing recognition that achieving sustainable control of the HIV epidemic requires a “total market approach.” In practical terms, this means that USAID needs new strategies to leverage private and public inputs for care and treatment and expand beyond the current approach of relying primarily on financial support from donors and governments.

There’s a need for new collaborative models with new stakeholders and for USAID’s current implementing partners to develop and implement exciting approaches to engage with the private sector to mobilise and deploy diversified markets for care and treatment.

But how can that change happen?

This will require new models and tools to engage the full continuum of public and private sector actors. If successful, there’s an opportunity to increase the quantity and the efficiency of both domestic public and private funding, expand the availability of healthcare services and products for HIV in the private sector, and capitalise on opportunities to expand digital health activities to effectively tailor HIV services to the populations that need them the most.

This new vision, which would involve a shift in systems, raises challenging questions. Such as what are the sizes of the market segments that may be able to pay for HIV services? What are the characteristics of those market segments? This type of information will help shape segmented public and private service delivery models within the PEPFAR context. The new thinking generated in this challenge grant may inform the program’s next phase as the PEPFAR Strategy: Vision 2025 takes shape.

The global health community traditionally relies on quantitative and qualitative formative research to address key questions related to client preferences, expectations, affordability, and acceptability when considering the health interventions in both the public and private sectors. This often includes studies to assess a client’s ability to pay for products and to establish an acceptable pricing strategy.

While formative research and willingness to pay studies are important for global health programming, they are often conducted on a per-project basis, and are costly and time consuming. In some cases, comparative or complementary data already exists, and research efforts can be duplicative.

Those with innovative population segmentation approaches using data sources that already exist are invited to apply with their ideas for a chance to win grant funding. Competitors will be asked to develop profiles that incorporate demographic, geographic, and temporal dimensions, and are encouraged to leverage both novel open data sources, demonstrating the potential for leveraging previously untapped data sources.

Learn more about the competition call, apply here, and contact for more information.