Request for Application #2019-020

Digital Financial Services on Health Outcomes and Health Systems

Dalberg Advisors - submission in repsonse to RFA - DFS on health outcomes and health systems

Executive summary: 

Dalberg is pleased to submit this concept note to Digital Square to develop a landscape report on the role of DFS in boosting health outcomes and supporting health systems. Investment from Digital Square would support a public health strategy team to build this landscape report, through a combination of desk research, workshops, and stakeholder interviews. Our first priority will be to seek input and suggestions from Digital Square's community and beyond, and our approach will maximize the value of this investment by being highly hypothesis driven. We would welcome suggestions and feedback from Digital Square and its partners to refine this concept, and look forward to hearing from you all. 

Consortium Team: 

Erin Barringer (Partner) and James Eustace (Associate Partner), co-Leaders of Dalberg’s Global Health Practice would work closely with Greg Snyders (Partner), Dalberg’s Investing for Development Practice Lead to run this engagement. Erin has led engagements on health system strengthening for Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID as well as private sector actors and has expertise in health insurance and savings models. James has led much of Dalberg's work on health financing and digital health with major global organizations including software foundations, BMGF, USAID, pharmaceutical firms, and WHO. Greg works with major institutions to conduct assessments of DFS across multiple sectors. The team would draw heavily upon a broader set of Dalberg partners across our 26 global offices. The day-to-day project team would consist of a full-time Project Manager with experience in health and DFS, and a full-time Consultant with experience in DFS and health.

We bring a strong focus on pooling knowledge and information from sectoral experts, and will be guided by the expertise and perspectives they bring. Practically, we will do this by engaging external stakeholders in three ways: 

  • Through regular meetings and calls with the Digital Square team and it's core partners (and via a core steering group, if desired). 
  • Through two in-person workshops. The first to develop and prioritize a set of hypotheses aroudn which our work will be structured. The second to present, critique, and refine our emerging findings. 
  • Through 20-25 interviews with a select list of DFS and health experts, funders, implementers, academics, etc. 
Final Technical Application: 
Application Status: 
Not Approved


The proposed “dimensions” form a potentially interesting approach. Implementation considerations focus based on experience thus far, including a focus on scale and sustainability, which makes sense. From a research standpoint, the mixed methods assessment approaches will help to build the evidence base.

Is eight weeks sufficient time? Would any part of Phase 2 actually be conducted in-country and/or with (or through) local organizations? It is important to focus on some deep dives into specific examples – we recommend further emphasis on this.

The emphasis on scale of DFS operations for health is noted. What considerations can be included to assess the relevance and impact for targeted users?

Can you use the 'approach' to demonstrate your expertise as well as telling us?  Another recommendation is to augment your process thinking with key insights  based on your understanding of the landscape.