Double our Impact to Save Newborn Lives

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▲ Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images

We are very excited to share details about a recent gift Founders Pledge member Paul Murphy and his wife Sheena have made to New Incentives. Paul is a partner at Lightspeed Ventures and a co-founder of DOTS, and Sheena is the founder of design firm Nune. Paul and Sheena have been incredibly inspired by the work New Incentives are doing in Nigeria and have decided to donate US $250,000 to help them expand their work in 2022. Paul and Sheena want to use their gift as a challenge and catalyst for other FP members, their network and the public to join them in supporting New Incentives.

A message from Paul and Sheena:

"We started our giving wanting to help individuals in less wealthy countries to gain access to Covid vaccines. As we dug in deeper with the advisory team at Founders Pledge, we learned that there are millions of children now at risk of severe illness and death from preventable disease because Covid has made it so hard to get vaccines for polio, measles and other preventable diseases. We hope you'll join us in supporting this campaign to raise awareness and resources and prevent unnecessary death and suffering for children in Nigeria, thank you."

Why New Incentives?

A Hidden Knock-on Effect of the COVID Pandemic: Missed Childhood Vaccinations

The pandemic has disrupted normal ways of living and working across the globe, and while the global health response has focussed on COVID prevention, treatment and vaccination, the pandemic has also triggered negative health outcomes more generally. With many families staying at home and health systems over-burdened in the COVID-19 response, we have seen a 7% drop in global childhood vaccination rates against diseases like polio, measles, pneumonia, meningitis and hepatitis B. That equates to 10 million more children who missed their vaccinations in 2020 as compared to the year before.

A High Leverage Target: Nigeria

Globally, most unvaccinated children are clustered in just a handful of countries: DRC, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan. This makes those countries particularly high leverage targets for improving health outcomes for children, as a small improvement in health systems can make a comparatively larger difference in outcomes, and at a much larger scale.

When seeking to choose a target from amongst those 6 countries, the next factors to consider are neglectedness and tractability: the availability of alternative sources of funding and our ability to meaningfully move the needle in terms of affecting real change. Viewed through these lenses, Nigeria is a prime target, where a strategic targeted investment in children’s health can go a particularly long way.

Scaling-up An Extraordinarily Effective Solution: New Incentives

We will do this by supporting New Incentives, a program that helps more children get their routine, lifesaving vaccinations in Nigeria by providing cash incentives to parents. The effectiveness of their work has been confirmed in a recent randomised control trial, which showed that New Incentives work doubled the number of children who are fully vaccinated as compared to control - an extraordinary result.

Off the back of these randomised control trial results, New Incentives is planning on growing 3x, going from an expected 265,000 infant enrollments in 2021 to over 655,595 infant enrollments in 2022. With these efforts, they expect to cover 73% of the infant population in their 3 current operating states in Northern Nigeria while also expanding to a 4th and possibly 5th state. They have secured 70% of their 2022 operating budget, but still have a significant gap to fill. Our goal is to make a meaningful contribution towards filling that 2022 budget gap for New Incentives.

How you can help

If you’re inspired by the Murphy’s gift and want to support New Incentives, click here.

  • The Murphy’s donation of $250,000 will allow New Incentives to fully immunise about 9,850 children in Northern Nigeria.
  • Another $250,000 will enable New Incentives to fully immunise a total of 19,700 children in Northern Nigeria.

About the author


Founders Pledge Team

This was produced collaboratively by members of the Founders Pledge team.