Frequently Asked Questions

About the Prize

Why is USAID’s Office of Health Systems running the Inclusive Health Access Prize?

USAID’s Office of Health Systems believes that the private sector and civil society, including community or faith-based organizations, can provide new inputs, partners, and processes that break down barriers to accessing health services in low- and middle-income countries and can optimize health systems. Prize competitions support innovation by inspiring and incentivizing others to explore something new and by opening the process of solving a problem beyond usual partners or collaborators. By recognizing locally-based approaches that are helping expand health access to all, USAID's Inclusive Health Access Prize can inspire others to adopt and scale these interventions to improve primary health care outcomes.

What kinds of approaches are you looking for?

USAID is looking for locally-grown approaches that demonstrate how integration and partnership between the public and private sector helps expand access to affordable, accountable, and reliable health services for poor and vulnerable groups. These approaches should also demonstrate a vision for how they will be sustainable, scalable, and replicable in other settings.

What are the incentives for entering this prize?

All finalists will be showcased by USAID, as well as in other forums.

Up to six winners will be announced at a United Nations General Assembly event in September 2019 and each will be awarded $25,000 in funding under USAID’s Innovation Incentive Award Authority. Innovation Incentive Award Authority awards are issued as a funds transfer to the winners’ bank accounts and all award monies may be used at the winning teams’ discretion.

One representative from each winning team will travel to represent their team at the United Nations General Assembly to showcase their leadership, diversity, and potential in the international primary health care field to other leading stakeholders and donors. Travel expenses will be covered by USAID's Inclusive Health Access Prize team.

What do you mean by accessible?

When we refer to accessible health care, we mean health care that is available when and where people need it and can use it.

What do you mean by affordable?

When we refer to affordable health care, we mean that the money people spend on health care provides the best value possible.

What do you mean by accountable?

When we refer to accountable health care, we mean that society as a whole is working together to ensure health care meets people’s needs.

What do you mean by reliable?

When we refer to reliable health care, we mean quality health care that promotes dignity and respect for all patients and providers is delivered in a timely manner.  

Entering the Prize

Who can enter the prize?

The prize is open to individuals, the private commercial sector, civil society, university, non-profit, and community or faith-based organizations from low- and middle-income countries. You must not be a current USAID employee, USAID contractor, work on the Catalyst project, and/or a member of their immediate families. We especially encourage applications from individuals and organizations who are based in low- and middle-income countries and have not worked with USAID directly in the past, but you must be eligible to receive USAID funds. You can learn more about the eligibility criteria here.

I am from a certain country. Am I eligible to apply?

We are looking for locally-led inclusive health approaches in low and middle income countries. A list of low and middle income countries can be found here. Unfortunately, we cannot verify individual eligibility of every country. Also, keep in mind that you must be compliant with USAID and the Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations to receive USAID funds.

Am I eligible to apply?

While we cannot comment on the individual circumstances of each applicant, we encourage you to ask yourself whether your approach is a locally-led proven success in expanding access to life-saving basic health care in low- and middle-income countries.  You should also have a vision for how they might scale up or replicate their approach.

I am a current USAID contractor and would like to submit an application. What if I am a current USAID contractor, but my application for the prize is for a specific project that does not currently receive USAID funding?

We are looking for novel, locally-led approaches.  The prize is intended to reward approaches that USAID has not yet seen and has not previously funded.

My organization has previously worked with USAID through one of the Grand Challenges for Development. Are we eligible for the Inclusive Health Access Prize?

We are looking for novel, locally-led approaches. The prize is intended to reward approaches that USAID has not yet seen and has not previously funded. Current implementing partners and contractors who have a direct relationship with USAID are not eligible to compete in this prize.

Can I get some advice for how to best enter the competition?

We hosted a webinar on June 10, 2019 to provide guidance on our goals, the submission process, examples of approaches we find inspiring, and to resolve any questions you may have. You can watch the video here.

If you have inquiries about how to enter the competition, you may submit them via email to We will publish all questions and answers about the prize on this page to ensure transparent communication.

I couldn't join the webinar on June 10. How can I learn more about the Inclusive Health Access Prize?

The webinar can be viewed here. If your question wasn't covered, questions can also be sent to

Can I submit more than one entry?

Yes. you can submit up to three entries for the prize. Each solution must be submitted separately and each must be different from others you have submitted.

Can I submit an entry that I have submitted to another competition?

Yes, you can submit a solution even if you have submitted it to another competition. Please make sure you provide relevant and specific answers to the entry questions for this competition. The other competition may have rules about you entering your solution in more than one competition and it is your responsibility to check this before you enter the competition.

Are you only looking for existing small scale projects that are looking to scale up? Or are you also accepting applications for brand new projects or pilots that have not yet been implemented?

The Inclusive Health Access Prize seeks to reward proven successes in expanding access to life-saving basic health care in low- and middle-income countries. Competitors should also have a vision for how they might scale up or replicate their approach. We are not looking for brand new projects that have not been implemented.

My organization works in a conflict-sensitive region. If the winners are required to brand their projects, is there a waiver for those who can’t due to security?

Winners will not be required to brand their projects as prize winners, but we do intend to celebrate winners in public events and media.  All public communications will be cleared with winners in advance of publication.

I am having issues logging in. Who do I contact about log-in problems?

Log-in issues are often very specific to the individual experiencing them. First, we encourage you to reference the application platform’s log-in guidance. If you are still experiencing problems, please contact Technical Support at

Can I submit my application via email? 

No. Only entries submitted via the online platform will be reviewed. Please click here to register for the prize and submit your entry.

When is the deadline for entries?

Entries must be submitted by 5 p.m. ET on June 28, 2019. Late entries will not be accepted.

When will the application form be posted?

The entry form is available via this link. If you would like to preview the questions in advance of submitting an application, you may do so starting at page 15 of the Inclusive Health Access Prize Call.

Is a letter sufficient to demonstrate cooperation with partners?

A letter of agreement is sufficient to demonstrate collaboration with partners.

Are only public-private partnerships eligible to compete or are we eligible as an NGO?

NGOs are eligible to compete, however the prize requires evidence of cooperation between NGOs and public health system actors to extend the reach of primary care.

Does an organization being women-owned or the composition of the team (the balance of women and men) influence the judging process?

No, questions about the balance of the team and organization’s ownership are for demographic purposes only and will not influence judging.  As part of USAID’s support for women’s entrepreneurship, women-led organizations are strongly encouraged to apply.

Are there any regions excluded from applying to the prize?

Only locally-led approaches in lower and middle income countries are eligible. Prior to award, we will confirm an organization’s eligibility to receive U.S. Government funds, but because OFAC restrictions are evolving, we did not want to foreclose team from applying right now.

My organization is operating in multiple countries. Should we submit one application per country or as a multi-
country project? Were we to win, would we get prize awards for every country where we operate?

While we cannot recommend one approach over another, the prize goals include gathering evidence of proven approaches and a vision to scale or replicate success in new fields or geographies. We also emphasize approaches that are locally driven and locally-led. So we would advise that applicants consider how they are able to effectively demonstrate that in a country or a multi-country project.

One prize award will be made per qualifying submission, not on the number of countries where the approach is being implemented.

Can an organization’s entire health system intervention be rewarded or does the submission need to focus on a specific project?

We recommend submitting a specific approach rather than an entire organizational portfolio.

After Entering the Prize

What do I do after I enter the competition?

You do not need to do anything after you’ve entered the competition. USAID's Inclusive Health Access Prize team will be in touch if you’re selected as one of the finalists. If so, you will have a teleconference or videoconference interview with USAID staff and partners. You will be given advanced notice to prepare a three-slide presentation and submit additional evidence in support of your entry.

Can I remove my entry once I have submitted it?

Yes. If you want your entry to be removed after you have submitted it, you can send an email to and request for it to be removed.

Who will be judging entries for this prize?

The judges may include representatives from USAID, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and other leading international public health organizations. Each of the judges will have particular knowledge across a range of areas , including health systems strengthening, primary health care, public-private partnerships, and public health, as well as specific expertise in different regions and sectors. When USAID funds are involved, USAID has sole discretion over the ultimate winners of the prize.

What happens to entries that do not make it to the finalist stage?

Even if your solution is not selected, we will continue alerting competitors to additional funding opportunities and other types of support.

Finalists and Winners

Will I have to pay to attend the awards presentation at the United Nations General Assembly?

USAID's Inclusive Health Access Prize team will cover the travel expenses for one representative from each winning team to travel and represent their team at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019.

What can I do with the prize award if I win?

While we encourage that the prize award be used in ways that can continue to beneficial to the public and the primary health care sector, you are under no obligation to do so.

What grant reporting is expected of prize winners?

As this is not a grant, it is a prize there are no reporting requirements for the prize winner after the prize is made. Prizes pay for results achieved, and in this case the result we are looking for is your approach and scale up or replication plan, which are submitted via the prize process.

What is the grant duration of the prize for awardees?

As prize awards are not grants, there is no duration,  Winners will earn no-strings-attached award to use at their discretion.

Who pays for the winners’ attendance at the UN General Assembly event? Can a winner designate a representative to attend on their behalf?

The trip to the UN General Assembly event will be paid for by USAID as part of the prize incentives.  The awardee can designate a representative to attend on their behalf.

Does the awards process require a DUN and Bradstreet number?

Prize awards do not require DUN and Bradstreet numbers.

How will winning solutions be shared with USAID missions?

An important goal of this prize is to increase visibility across USAID (including Missions) of proven, exciting approaches that may merit additional support and integration into programming.

What do you mean when you say organizations will be expected to share knowledge?

A goal of this prize is to highlight and disseminate innovation in primary health approaches where the private sector can expand the public sector’s reach to provide primary health services to citizens. Winners will be celebrated at an event taking place during the United Nations General Assembly and other global health forums.

Competitions for Development

The information provided on this website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.