GCARSIH Call for Applications

Call for Applications: The Gelia Castillo Award for Research on Social Innovations in Health

The call for applications for the Gelia Castillo Award for Research on Social Innovations in Health (GCARSIH) 2020 is now open.

The Gelia Castillo Award for Research on Social Innovations in Health (GCARSIH) aims to recognize the outstanding social innovations that address persistent, societal and health systems challenges. Through the innovators’ experience, we can better understand why and how social innovations create impact, and discover how to scale up these effective interventions.

This Award is open to ongoing social innovations in health developed by Filipinos for the Filipinos. The entry must be implemented in the Philippines.

For the purposes of this Award, Social innovations in Health (SIH) are defined as new solutions (product, services, models, markets, processes) created by multi-sectoral health system actors. The solutions must (a) address a health need more effectively than existing approaches, (b) have the ability to enhance people’s capacity to act and take ownership of their own health, and (c) result in a more effective use of available resources.

Who can submit an entry?
The Award is open to all individuals, groups and institutions that have successfully developed and implemented social innovations in health in the Philippines. Participating institutions may be:

  • public or private
  • members of the consortium
  • scientific, technological and professional societies or associations
  • research institutes
  • universities and colleges
  • others

How to submit an entry
Step 1. Complete the Submission Entry Form, which includes a comprehensive write-up of the health innovation, a description of future plans for sustainability or scale-up, and relevant supporting documents.
Step 2. Submit your entry in person, via courier or via email.

  1. Email: Send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject GCARSIH SUBMISSION / <Name of Innovation> / <Name of Region>
  2. In-person or courier: Please refer to the Submission Entry Form for the list of RHRDC addresses.

A. Eligibility. The submitted social innovations in health will be considered for shortlisting based on the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Developed by Filipino/s
  2. Implemented in the Philippines for at least one (1) year (note: COVID-19 related innovations will be accepted even if these have been implemented for less than a year)
  3. Based on an identified priority health need of a community or geographical context
  4. Complete submission entry form (that has enough information for a fair review) submitted within the set deadline

B. Selection. The shortlisted, eligible entries will be reviewed by an external independent panel of experts based on the following selection criteria:

  • Degree of Innovativeness (25%) - The innovation provides a novel approach to address a systemic health challenge within its local context, providing an alternative to the status quo.
  • Significance (15%) - The innovation addresses a health priority of the Philippines, or a localized priority (e.g. prevalent yet neglected health problem in a town or a marginalized group).
  • Participatory & Co-owned (15%) - Participatory approach is evident in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the innovation.
  • Potential for Further Research or Scale (15%) - There are clear plans for further research and development of the innovation.
  • Inclusiveness (10%) - The innovation has the potential to be used by a large number of people, enhancing equity and access.
  • Effectiveness (10%) - The innovation has a demonstrated positive outcome on the health challenge it is addressing.
  • Affordability (10%) - The innovation is affordable to the poor or to those who are otherwise excluded; or the solution is more cost-effective than the status quo.

Shortlisting and Final Selection
The RHRDC will conduct the initial review and shortlisting of applications based on the eligibility criteria, and endorse the shortlisted entries to the GCARSIH Secretariat. Applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria will be notified accordingly.

The Final Selection will be conducted by an independent panel of experts convened by the GCARSIH Secretariat. The innovations will be scored on a scale of 1-5 in 0.5 increments. The panel may conduct on-site or online validation calls (e.g. telephone or video conference).

The panel has the prerogative not to give the award if the innovations fail to reach the threshold score. The decision of the panel is final.

The top innovations in health will receive a cash prize, eligibility for a research and development grant, and a training package with subject matter experts to enable the project to further expand and scale.

The training package will include modules on the following:

  • - Design thinking for social innovation
  • - Embedding research in social innovation/Implementation research basics
  • - Entrepreneurship and innovation
  • - Measuring outcomes and impact
  • - Sustainability through policy and governance
  • - Writing a research and development proposal for your social innovation

Important Dates
Submission of entries: September 21, 2020

Guide Document (.pdf)
Submission Entry Form (.doc)