The David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s
Quality Innovation Challenge Learning Brief



In partnership with Mathematica Policy Research, LFA developed a learning brief for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s Quality Innovation Challenge (QIC). The QIC, an initiative of the Foundation’s Population and Reproductive Health program, encourages new research and innovative ideas for improving service delivery, engaging communities, and increasing provider accountability in the reproductive health field. In 2013, the Foundation awarded grants to nine grantees around the world to improve the quality of reproductive health care. LFA and Mathematica synthesized the achievements, challenges, and lessons learned from QIC grantees to provide insight into what does and does not work in quality improvement.

The learning brief offers several key lessons from the QIC work on how to encourage innovation in the future:

  • The design of the Initiative encouraged collaboration among diverse but complementary organizations. Launching the QIC Initiative at an international conference gave nontraditional stakeholders, including student associations, mHealth organizations, and research organizations, an opportunity to contribute, and, in some cases, design projects collaboratively, drawing on the unique expertise of each organization.

  • Approaches that provide anonymity can be more effective than in-person interventions in reaching youth. Grantees found that youth were less restrained when they were able to ask questions anonymously and privately.

  • Mobile health (mHealth) tool development is most efficient when it includes stakeholders with both technology and health expertise. Including staff with both public health and technology experience in mHealth projects can help ensure that the needs and priorities of both sectors are fulfilled. 

  • Developing reliable quality measures requires significant investment in early phases of research. Grantees needed to conduct in-depth research up front to develop an evidence-based conceptual framework for measurement development.

The achievements, challenges, and lessons learned from the 2013 QIC Initiative are further detailed on the Foundation’s website. The Foundation intends to launch another round of Quality Innovation Challenge grants in 2016.