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Challenge Technology to Support Education in Crisis and Conflict Settings Ideation Challenge
Technology to Support Education in Crisis and Conflict Settings Ideation Challenge
STATUS: Awarded
Posted: Feb 02 2015
Challenge ID: 9933698
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This Ideation Challenge is looking for technology-supported approaches to provide basic education in one or more of the following crisis or conflict situations: Health Crisis, Natural Disaster, and Conflict Zone. Proposed Solutions should be usable within the first six months after the onset of the crisis or conflict and be usable within the context of a developing country.

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features: 

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The awards will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by a panel of expert judges, based on the Evaluation Criteria. The total payout will be up to $50,000, with at least one award in each of the three categories being no smaller than $5,000 and no other award being smaller than $1,500.
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solvers grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal. 

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on 30 March 2015.  Late submissions will not be considered.



Crisis or conflict situations, and their immediate aftermath, can severely disrupt the delivery and quality of basic education services. Even once the crisis or conflict subsides, this interruption can have long-term consequences on student enrolment and retention in school as well as their cognitive, academic and socio- emotional development. This means educational gains in affected regions can quickly be stalled or even reversed as a result of this disruption. 

As a result of missed schooling due to conflict or crisis, a large number of students are over age per grade level. (i.e. older than the average age of those in the same grade level). Girls’ educational attainment is particularly impacted by crises or conflicts since they are already disproportionately under-enrolled in school and subject to gender-based violence. The educational attainment of marginalised children, such as children with disabilities, is particularly impacted by crises and conflict. Child welfare is also impacted by teaching and learning materials, provided in areas where children have been relocated to, which may contain discriminatory content and/or promote controversial and exclusionary messages. 

The Solution

Proposed Solutions should focus on a specific country, area or region in a developing country and be deployable within the first six months after the onset of one or more of the following crisis or conflict situations: 

  • Health Crisis: (e.g. Ebola Crisis) As has been seen with the recent Ebola crisis, schools may be closed as a containment measure to prevent the spread of disease. Infrastructure, while perhaps weakened due to lack of manpower, may still be present.
  • Natural Disaster: (e.g. Philippines Typhoon Haiyan) In the aftermath of typhoons, earthquakes, floods, storms, or other natural disaster events, schools and homes may be destroyed or damaged along with power, transportation, utilities, and telecommunications infrastructure. Students and their families may relocate to temporary camps.
  • Conflict Zone: (e.g. Syrian Refugee Crisis) During conflict, violence by armed groups may force school closures or schools may remain open but serious safety concerns exist regarding student welfare at school. Additionally, conflict often disrupts existing infrastructure and limits the availability of human resources, such as teachers. Depending on the type of violence, students and their families remain at home or may flee to displacement or refugee camps with limited infrastructure and dismal living conditions. Curricular content, particularly as it relates to ethnic, social, and religious norms, may be a source of contention. 

Proposed Solutions should specify the crisis and/or conflict situation(s) selected and include a description of the setting the approach is being implemented in, the telecommunication infrastructure and technology assets being utilized,  the form in which the educational content would be delivered and the target group. 

Proposed Solutions should not include any personal identifying information the Solvers do not wish to make public, or any information the Solvers may consider as their Intellectual Property that they do not wish to share. While the settings should be realistic and Solvers may choose to highlight a specific crisis and/or conflict, there should be justification for the assumptions made, deep knowledge or research is not necessary and the setting can be theoretical. 

For more information and to enter, click here

What is InnoCentive?
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?

An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.

In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.

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