Call for papers

Special supplement on social innovations for health

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When it comes to addressing local health challenges, social innovations can frequently match and exceed the impact of high-tech innovations, and they can also work in synergy. Social innovations in health are inclusive solutions that meet the needs of end-users through community-engaged, person-centered processes. We want to identify the most important work studying these innovations and highlight case examples that have made a significant impact on health outcomes.

Kindly supported by the Social Innovation in Health Initiative (SIHI), BMJ Innovations and our partner journals at BMJ are planning a special supplement in early 2022 focused on social innovations for health.

There are dozens of well-studied examples of social innovations. Examples of social innovations include community empowerment programs to decrease Chagas risk in Guatemala, rapid malaria screening at drug shops in Uganda, and crowdsourcing open calls to spur innovation and engagement.

We are accepting manuscripts across the following article types:

  • Original research
  • Early-stage innovation reports
  • Systematic and Narrative Reviews

Manuscripts should be submitted for publication via BMJ Innovations, but will be considered for publication in other BMJ Journals as part of this collaboration.

You can find out more about the submission guidelines for these article types here. Original research studies should consider using the social innovation research checklist.

These papers should be submitted through our normal submission system but please select ‘Social innovations’ on the special issue menu within ScholarOne. The closing date for submissions is 5pm (GMT) 5th November.

We are also commissioning a small number of discussion papers and editorials. Priority for this supplement will be given to manuscripts that have (1) greater relevance to social innovation and support the advancement of social innovation in LMICs (2) demonstrate feasibility in diverse settings feasibility in diverse settings (especially low and middle-income countries) (3) show strong community engagement, inclusion, and consideration of vulnerable populations. Authors who are from LMICs and first author women are particularly encouraged to submit. For these, we encourage pre-submission inquiries at

This call for submissions is supported by TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, co-sponsored by UNICEF, UNDP, the World Bank and WHO. TDR receives additional funding from Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, to support SIHI. The special supplement is also supported by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). The call for submissions is in partnership with the Social Innovation in Health Initiative and Social Entrepreneurship to Spur Health.