IMPACTcancer is a global cancer literacy project helping to reduce cancer burden in resource-limited settings. We will develop an algorithm to identify and help predict what best practices and key cancer literacy programs should be implemented based on country, demographic and infrastructure-specific criteria. Leveraging the algorithm, we will create the first-ever open source, iterative, online cancer literacy platform for low to middle income countries and NGOs/NPs.


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  • Help from the Exchange Volunteer Army
  • Provide resources, best practices, tool kits, research, data, etc
  • Connect us with funding and resources
  • Help us prototype our innovation
  • Give us business planning and strategy advice

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About This Innovation

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What phase of development is your innovation currently in?: 

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Currently conducting audit of organizations addressing cancer burden in low to middle income countries

How does your innovation work?

More people worldwide die from cancer than from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. Additionally, the International Agency for Research on Cancer estimates that more than half of new cancer cases worldwide occur in economically developing countries. These countries also have nearly double the number of deaths from cancer as economically developed countries. Despite advances in developed countries, cancer remains a significant and under recognized problem in developing countries. The World Health Organization has established a global target of reducing premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases, including cancer, by 25% by 2025.

A key barrier to addressing the cancer burden in low to middle-income countries is cancer literacy. We will curate and share best practices and implementation strategies, lessons learned, and effective program recommendations from NGOs and non-profits already working to address cancer burden. Understanding both the opportunities and challenges to education will be critical. In addition to audting publicly available data, we’ll partner with local organizations/research companies and NGOs/non-profits already in the country to identify the best approaches for reaching each audience, based on cultural preferences, norms and expectations. To be effective and make an impact, we’ll tailor both the resource materials and the distribution strategy based on market/community.

What does success look like here? We will create an algorithm to identify and over time, help predict what best practices and key cancer literacy programs should be implemented based on country, demographic and infrastructure-specific criteria. This information will live on the easy to navigage, user-friendly IMPACTcancer website and companion mobile app. The website/mobile app interface will start with answering one question:

Where would you like to IMPACTcancer today?

Depending on the country selected, you will receive a validated set of cancer literacy resources specific to your target region. 

What is your strategy for expanding use of your innovation?

The first target country is Haiti and then Rwanda. Given the public health programs already in place in those countries focused on cancer and the NGOs active, we will have data and existing infrastructure to leverage to implement a cancer literacy program. 

In the short-term, we will (1) develop the algorithm and (2) launch the online platform and mobile app with a focus on developing countries with some level of cancer support program in place.

In the long-term, we have two aims for expansion:

  • Target resource-limited settings that do not already have a cancer program in place and leverage our algorithm's predictive capabilities to implement a cancer literacy program from the ground up
  • License our algorithm to private sectors companies to help inform/guide the public health/CSR programs they invest in based on what will be more impactful and sustainable in target regions

Next Steps

  • Secure advisor to help develop IMPACTcancer technical platform framework
  • Begin to source data (private and public)
  • Build on existing literature and work to develop standardized approach for determining cancer literacy level in low to middle income countries
  • Determine top 10 country/community targets for program implementation
  • Identify and approach potential partners