About the Project

Welcome to this COVID-19 resource site from Northeastern University's Center for Emerging Markets

Some countries in Asia and Africa have had more success fighting COVID-19 than the US or Europe, because they've had more experience fighting other epidemics, such as SARS, MERS, Ebola, or Zika. Their COVID-19 death rates per million population have been 0.1% to 1.0% of those in the US and Europe. The rest of the world, including the United States, can and must learn from them—through a process that is sometimes called reverse innovation. On this page, you'll see a menu of ideas with potential for reverse innovation. 

Click on any idea to learn more about it. Anyone at any level can embrace reverse innovation to help fight COVID-19. All it takes is an open mind, some imagination, and a willingness to adapt ideas borrowed from elsewhere. Please use the Suggestion Box above to share other ideas that should be added to this site, or to provide feedback. Thank you!

— Ravi Ramamurti, University Distinguished Professor of International Business and Director, Center for Emerging Markets

To learn more about reverse innovation and COVID-19, see Ravi Ramamurti, Using Reverse Innovation to Fight Covid-19,” Harvard Business Review, June 17, 2020, and the follow-up article, “Global Crowdsourcing can Help the US Beat the Pandemic,” October 26, 2020.

Ideas for Reverse Innovation

Click on an idea below to learn more about it. Follow the stories cited under that idea for additional details. Please use the suggestion box on top to propose other ideas for this website and to give feedback.

Overall Strategy

Countries that fought COVID-19 effectively seem to have followed a 4-pronged strategy as shown below. They leveraged prior experience, speed, multiple policy tools, and pursued a nationally coordinated strategy. As COVID-19 runs its course, the U.S. can also leverage these elements to fight it off more effectively. And to learn more about how China, South Korea, Rwanda, or Vietnam tackled COVID-19, follow those links.



Contact Tracing

Isolation and Quarantining

Treatment and Vaccines


Learn More

About the Team

This COVID-19 resource website was produced by Ravi Ramamurti, University Distinguished Professor of International Business and Director, Center for Emerging Markets, with the help of three Northeastern University students: 

Hugh Shirley graduated from Northeastern University in 2019 with a BS in Biochemistry. He will matriculate into Harvard Medical School in Fall 2020 to pursue an MD.

Jorja Kahn is a rising senior at Northeastern University, studying Behavioral Neuroscience and Global Health. She plans to pursue a Master's in Public Health in the future. 

Jamie McGloin graduated from Northeastern University in 2020 with a BS in Health Science. She is currently working in Infection Control/Hospital Epidemiology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

About the Center