Deadline: 15-Jul-21

Do you have a digital solution that addresses the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Global South? If yes, then apply for this Global South COVID-19 Digital Innovation Challenge!

The Global South COVID-19 Digital Innovation Challenge, in response to COVID-19, is co-organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).

The challenge will identify scalable innovative digital solutions that will enable countries, societies, communities, institutions and individuals from the Global South to deal with the cascading effects of the pandemic – across governance, economic and social sectors, and wellbeing – and contribute to the organizations’ respective focuses on South-South cooperation and digital technologies.

The Challenge objective is to promote South-South cooperation by replicating or scaling up existing innovations with a potential partner/ country in the South.

The Challenge will provide a mentorship scheme to increase the potential/ capabilities of the selected proposals/ teams to scaling up innovations across developing countries.

Goals
The Global South COVID-19 Digital Innovation Challenge aims to build a network of champions in developing-country ecosystems to:

  • accelerate the response to the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • grasp the current innovation impetus and bring innovative digital solutions into international development, and reach out to entities which are usually in innovation’s frontlines activities;
  • leverage South-South cooperation networks, platforms and funding mechanisms to achieve impact at scale through sharing and replicating selected innovations; and
  • provide open access to resources from the international expert community and build entrepreneurship capabilities for innovators in governments, intergovernmental organizations, private sector and start-up companies, research institutions and academia, and CSOs.

Categories
Applicants’ projects/MVPs must fall into one of the following categories/topics:

  • Enabling governments and communities to suppress the transmission of the virus: Use of technologies (such as AI, block chain, IoT) for-
  • Social-distancing measures (e.g., logistics and distribution for local supply chains, digital aggregate platforms for food delivery)
  • Telecommuting solutions
  • Technology-based health solutions (e-health/ telehealth)
  • Learning and knowledge sharing through open educational resources (OERs), teleschooling (e-learning), etc.
  • Mitigating the socioeconomic impact and safeguarding people and their livelihoods
  • Pilot or scale up digital cash transfers solutions
  • E-commerce solutions
  • Digital financial inclusion solutions
  • Digital rights- and security-related solutions with a special focus on vulnerable and digitally unserved groups
  • Food security and water management solutions
  • Incubating inclusive agribusiness
  • #RecoverBetter
  • Preparedness measures (e.g., contact tracing, testing and surveillance) by governments and communities
  • Skills development and digital literacy solutions for small, micro, and home-based businesses (particularly those owned by women and youth in the informal sector)
  • E-governance solutions (digitizing government functions)
  • Renewable energy for healthcare solutions

Award Information

  • Will be provided with seed funding up to USD 25 000 to implement/improve/scale up their proposed solution(s), with mentorship and training support, in a new market (developing country) by end of April 2022 (subject to the presentation of a sound budget and workplan with clear milestones and budget allocation.
  • The seed funding will be applied based on progress of implementation.)
  • Both the seed funding will be provided by ITU subject to the terms and conditions of agreements signed between ITU and each winning institution/organization.

Outcomes

  • The Global South COVID-19 Digital Innovation Challenge aims to build a network of champions in developing-country ecosystems to:
  • accelerate the response to the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • grasp the current innovation impetus and bring innovative digital solutions into international development, and reach out to entities which are usually in innovation’s frontlines activities;
  • leverage South-South cooperation networks, platforms, and funding mechanisms to achieve impact at scale through sharing and replicating selected innovations; and
  • provide open access to resources from the international expert community and build entrepreneurship capabilities for innovators in governments, intergovernmental organizations, private sector and start-up companies, research institutions and academia, and CSOs.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Only legally registered organizations/institutions from developing countries are eligible to participate in this challenge.
  • The challenge is open to governments, intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, private sector and start-ups, research institutions, academia, and civil society organization (CSOs).
  • Applying organizations/institutions must have an existing project or minimum viable product (MVP) that:
  • promotes South-South cooperation by replicating or scaling up existing innovations with a potential partner/country in the South,
  • demonstrates a new innovative project/prototype, outlining its potential for scaling up through South-South cooperation, and
  • is a digital solution.

For more information, visit https://cocreate.itu.int/hubbub/communitypage/120093

By Andrew

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