CHMI promotes the diffusion of programs, policies and practices that improve the quality and affordability of healthcare for the world’s poor.

Who We Are

Our vision is for health systems around the world to better utilize innovations to increase access to quality care, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable.

The Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI) promotes the diffusion of health market innovations – programs, policies, and practices – that have the potential to improve the quality and affordability of health care for low-income populations around the world. The CHMI approach combines information provision, analysis, research, and ‘learning’ activities that promote the improvement and adaptation of promising models. CHMI is managed by Results for Development Institute (R4D) in collaboration with a large network of global and country-based partners.


Our Approach

CHMI works to create impact – expanded access to quality, affordable healthcare for the poor – by providing information, analysis, and connections for program managers, funders, researchers, and policymakers who work to enable the scale-up, replication, and improvement of promising innovations in health.

A GLOBAL PLATFORM FOR INNOVATIONS IN HEALTH: CHMI provides free access to the world’s most comprehensive database of health market innovations.

  • Learn about over 1,500 profiled programs, policies and practices profiled in our CHMI database. The database categorizes each innovation’s main ‘approach’ and standardizes the way information is collected and reported – including performance results where available.

  • With CHMI Plus, search for programs that share monitoring and evaluation data, and look for programs that report results. With CHMI Plus, it is easy to search for programs that share more comprehensive and up-to-date information on their program activities, monitoring and evaluation strategies, and any associated internal and external evidence documentation.

  • Know a promising healthcare innovation? Create a new program profile, or suggest a program by emailing

We seek to close the gap in knowledge about emerging trends and developments in health innovation to promote the diffusion of “what works.”

  • With our database as a starting point, CHMI analyzes program models to understand and share what works in healthcare innovation through our Databases at a Glance series and topic briefs.

  • Explore Topic Pages for deeper dives into specific geographies and priority health issues.

  • CHMI’s annual Highlights reports provide insight into and new analysis of the universe of innovative approaches for the poor.

  • Our research initiatives and collaborations inform policy and practice to improve health markets – like our standardized IRIS health metrics developed with the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) to help health innovators and funders track and document impact. Learn more about CHMI research products here.

CHMI connects people implementing, funding, and studying innovative programs to facilitate the adaptation of promising practices and encourage innovative programs to scale and adapt to new settings.

  • Connect directly to program managers of health innovations by clicking “Contact” on any program profile.

  • CHMI works in close collaboration with a network of regional partner organizations serving as catalysts and advisers to country efforts to steward mixed health systems. Read more about our network.

  • CHMI’s portfolio of Learning & Adaptation activities promotes the adaptation and uptake of health models that show promise

  • CHMI’s strategic collaborations with global competitions, innovation awards, challenge funds, and impact investors allows innovators to gain access to funding opportunities and scale their models

Why focus on Health Markets?

The health market is where healthcare transactions are made by consumers and providers of services. These markets are big. In most developing countries, even where public facilities offer care free of charge, the poor rely on private providers operating within the health market for a large portion of their care.

Health markets offer both challenges and opportunities. Patients do not always seek the kind of care that will make them healthier, and providers do not always act in the patient’s best interest. Appropriate care can be expensive and spending out-of-pocket can push people further into poverty. However, when well-monitored and regulated, health markets can be a source of creative new approaches with the potential to achieve greater efficiencies, better quality, and increased access to care. Learn more about the approaches here. Read more about the research we conducted in 2009 on Government Stewardship of Mixed Health Systems, which formed the concept of CHMI.

Our Impact

We established CHMI in 2010 with the aspiration to create an enabling environment for more equitable and better performing health systems that harness innovative models for the benefit of the poor.

Over the past five years, the information, analysis, and connections provided through CHMI have resulted in tangible impact on policy and practice. We recently celebrated CHMI's 5th Anniversary -- visit our dedicated anniversary website to read about what we have accomplished and learned in our first five years.

In early 2015, CHMI underwent a strategic review of its first five years conducted by an independent evaluator in close collaboration with our funders, UK Aid and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). The strategic review process was a great opportunity for all of us to reflect on our work over the past five years and look objectively at what we have accomplished and learned, and where we can go in the future. The review found that CHMI continues to be highly relevant, and that it has facilitated real results with strong potential for long-term impact.

Working through a network of Regional Partners, Global Collaborators, and Expert Partners, CHMI uses a multi-faceted approach to help profiled programs grow and improve on their work. CHMI continually tracks the impact of the information and connections provided through our website and regional partner network. To date, CHMI has recorded hundreds of connections that may lead to partnerships. Below, read three examples of successful partnerships facilitated by CHMI.

  • Uganda: Raising capital —After connecting with Vine Pharmacy through CHMI, the Abraaj Group made a significant investment through its subsidiary, the Africa Health Fund. The capital will enable the drugstore chain and its wholesale business to significantly expand. Download the story.

  • South Africa: Scaling up Vision Screening — After connecting through CHMI, Unjani Primary Health Care Clinics partnered with VisionSpring to offer Unjani’s clients vision screening and affordable reading glasses at Unjani clinics. VisionSpring also used CHMI to partner with Vine Pharmacy in Uganda and ERC Eye Care in India. Download the story.

  • Kenya: Fostering Partnerships — Access Afya, a Nairobi-based chain, developed a mentorship relationship with a fellow innovator in Kenya through CHMI. The chain benefitted from shared insights into the country’s regulatory environment and business practices. Download the story.