Great ideas start with a spark– and grow from the ground up

Responding to the global NCD epidemic calls for novel, evidence-informed and equitable interventions that combine new technologies with outside-the-box ideas, multidisciplinary thinking, and cross-sectoral action. The WHO NCD Lab supports promising grassroots innovations to achieve scale by building knowledge and forging strategic partnerships.

For its 4th cycle, the NCD Lab is looking for innovative solutions that transform how NCD and mental health services are delivered by leveraging the primary health care approach. Submissions are now closed, and selected projects will be announced in September 2024.

Discover the NCD Lab

NCD Lab thematic areas

The NCD Lab supports innovative projects in three main thematic areas ‘Women and Girls’, ‘NCDs and the Next Generation’, and ‘Meaningful Engagement of People Living with NCDs and Mental Health Conditions’. Each thematic area is co-chaired by a GCM/NCD Participant and supported by a Steering Group with international experts from multiple sectors.

Submissions for the 4th cycle of the NCD Lab are now closed. Selected projects will be announced in September 2024.

NCD Lab Cycle 4: Transforming the delivery of NCD and mental health services in primary health care

Most NCDs and their risk factors can be prevented or managed at the primary care level. Primary health care (PHC) improves quality of care, access to services, user experience, and – with long-term investment – overall population health.

It is time to radically reorient NCD and mental health services towards a PHC approach. Integrated health services, empowered people and communities, and multisectoral actions hold the key to this transformation.

Explore how innovative PHC approaches can make a difference in the NCD Lab's three thematic areas.

Explore NCD Lab projects


Primary health care

All people, everywhere, have the right to achieve the highest attainable level of health. This is the fundamental premise of primary health care (PHC).

Primary health care is a whole-of-society approach to effectively organize and strengthen national health systems to bring services for health and well being closer to communities. Its core components are integrating health services to meet people’s health needs throughout their lives, addressing the broader determinants of health through multisectoral policy and action, and empowering individuals, families and communities to take charge of their own health.

Read more

Why apply?

Grassroots innovations selected by the NCD Lab have the potential to shape global policy and practice on NCDs and mental health care. They are included in a global portfolio of leading NCD innovations and receive tailored support to enhance impact and achieve scale by the WHO Global Coordination Mechanism on NCDs and its partners. NCD Lab innovators participate in high-level meetings, promote their ideas to WHO countries and strategic partners, and have access to dedicated networking events and capacity-building workshops.

NCD Lab knowledge resources

Submission deadline: 30 June 2024
NCD Lab Projects Around The World
The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of WHO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Dotted and dashed lines on maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement.

Great ideas start with a spark– and grow from the ground up

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and heart disease are the world’s biggest causes of death and disability. Their causes are multifaceted and complex, spanning from social, economic, and cultural factors to behavior patterns and health literacy.

Bottom-up, grassroots health initiatives that mobilize community knowledge and account for local contexts often prove more effective, equitable and sustainable in addressing NCDs than externally managed, ‘top-down’ interventions. If locally sourced innovations can be corroborated by evidence and scaled in different settings, they could have major national or even global impact.

Read the eligibility criteria


Join the Grassroots Innovation on NCDs Community

The Grassroots Innovations on NCDs community is a global network of innovators, researchers, funders, accelerators, policymakers and other key stakeholders committed to scaling up locally-driven solutions to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in communities and countries. The community is open to everyone interested in sourcing and scaling innovative ideas that help tackle NCDs from the bottom up. Join now by providing some more information about yourself, your work and your interests.

Join now

Knowledge resources

NCD Lab Innovators are supported to achieve greater impact through opportunities to shape global NCD priorities, dedicated knowledge resources, communications support, and more. Explore our resources below.

Submission deadline: 30 June 2024

Share your project. Join the NCD Lab's global network.

The NCD Lab accepts submissions from individuals, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, private sector entities and philanthropic foundations in accordance with the WHO Framework of engagement with non-State actors

Projects may not be connected to or funded by any of the following industries: tobacco, arms, pharmacological, food and beverage, sports, gaming, alcohol, gambling, or sports betting.

Read the eligibility criteria