The World Health Organization (WHO), supported by the UN Office of Information and Communications Technology (UN-OICT) and UNAIDS challenge you to use your bright minds and entrepreneurial skills to address one of the of urgent health challenges for the next decade : Keeping young people safe. The range of possible health innovation solutions that may be submitted include:
- apps or games
- wearables, digital technologies, tools or platforms, products
- the creation or improvement of products, services, processes
- new approaches to collaboration or communication, or new ways of engaging young people and/or other stakeholders
- policy reform proposals
with a view to keeping young people safe across the world.
Health innovations are defined here as the creation or improvement of virtual, physical or digital products, services, processes, or systems to improve public health.
Think about the potential for innovations to flow across the world. Perhaps an innovation in a low-income country can have an impact in a high-income country. Learning has no boundaries.
Please help think out of the box!
The winners and their proposals will be invited to an award ceremony at WHO’s Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland in June 2020 (date TBC), as part of a one week program with the Department for Digital Health and Innovation, and mentioned on the WHO public website.
Why this issue is important
More than 1 million adolescents aged 10-19 years die every year – more than 3000 every day – from largely preventable causes. The leading causes of death in this age group are road traffic injury, suicide, interpersonal violence, HIV, and diarrhoeal diseases. Harmful use of alcohol, tobacco and drug use, lack of physical activity, poor diet and unprotected sex during adolescence, and previous exposure to child maltreatment all increase the risks for these causes of death, especially during the individual’s subsequent adulthood. Also, for girls 15-19 years of age the leading cause of death is pregnancy-related complications.
Most of these deaths can be prevented with quality health services, education and societal interventions. But in many cases, essential laws and structural interventions are not in place or are not enforced, and adolescents cannot obtain critical prevention and care services – either because the services do not exist; because they do not know about them; because they are prevented from accessing them, or because they cannot afford to make use of them. Humanitarian and fragile settings are particularly challenging for access to services, and innovations are much needed in such settings. In addition, many behaviours that impact health later in life, such as physical inactivity, poor diet, and risky sexual health behaviours, begin in adolescence.
The above risks relate to what is often jointly labelled as the determinants of health, which are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels. The social determinants of health are mostly responsible for health inequities – the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between countries.
To effectively ‘keep young people safe’ through comprehensive interventions, including on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and mental health conditions, is complex and goes beyond the individual-level interventions. The Challenge invites proposed solutions that can address the above risks for young people, with ‘young people’ in this context referring to adolescents (10-19) and young adulthood (20-24 years) combined.
It involves addressing the various social, economic, environmental and commercial determinants of health by creating enabling environments where people feel confident, empowered and supported to effectively address these factors. Involving young people in identifying solutions to the factors that undermine their safety is equally important. Of further note is the significant potential for global flow of innovation to keep young people safe, including learning and innovation that flow from low-income countries to high-income countries, sometimes referred to as reverse innovation.
Who can participate?
Individuals and groups of up to four (4) individuals are invited to respond to the challenge by submitting a proposed solution to the challenge. There are no age restrictions. Only one (1) submission is allowed per individual or group of individuals. Submissions must be made in your own personal capacity, and not as representative of an organization.
Submissions will be accepted globally, but priority will be given to submissions that demonstrate respect for gender diversity and involvement of young people exposed to, affected by or living with the issue/risk/disease/condition in the development of the respective solution.
Please read the Application Rules carefully to ensure that you are eligible to apply and your submission is consistent with the rules.
What’s in it for you?
All submissions will be featured on the challenge webpage on the Unite Ideas platform.
The winners and their proposals will be mentioned on the WHO public website and invited to attend an award ceremony at WHO’s Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland in June 2020 (date and other details TBC). Flights and accommodation will be covered by WHO, in accordance with its rules and procedures, for up to three winners (one individual representative of each winning proposal).
Winners will be featured on the challenge webpage on the Unite Ideas platform.
Please note that entering or winning the challenge is not an endorsement by WHO, UNAIDS or UN-OICT of the entrant or the proposal. It does not oblige WHO, UNAIDS or UN-OICT to provide further support (financial or otherwise) to develop the proposal or enter into any employment, partnership or other relationship with any entrant.
What do I need to submit?
Your submission to this challenge may happen between 4 March 2020 at 10 am and 15 April 2020 at 11:59 PM (all times are New York, USA time), and must include:
- A one-page short description of your idea, solutions or tool (max 400 words)
- A video of yourself/yourselves explaining the solution (max 2 minutes)
- An online working solution or prototype of your tool (preferred), or a video of it in action (max 2 minutes).
- Source code of the solution (This refers to the computer programmes, data files, and other electronic files to make your tool or solution work. These files should be hosted in a publicly accessible repository on the Internet (e.g. GitHub, bitbucket or similar)). Only original, open source work is accepted; however, your solution may also make use of other existing open source libraries.
- (OPTIONAL) If your submission is a policy reform proposal, you may submit an additional document. However, the one-page short description (point 1 above) must contain all the key aspects of your proposal.
Whatever your solution, it needs to be your original work.
Submissions are allowed in any of the six official UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish).
Challenge Phases & Timeline (All times are in New York, USA time zone)
4 March 2020: entry into the challenge starts. The whole world is invited to ‘like’ and comment on their favorite ideas as long as the challenge is open.
4 March-15 April 2020 : challenge runs online. Public review and comments enabled.
15 April 2020 at 11:59 PM : deadline for submission of solutions
15 April 2020 - 22 April 2020 at 11:59 PM: Public review and comments continue.
June 2020: Up to three (3) winners are announced on WHO website and invited to an award ceremony at WHO’s Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland as part of a one week program with the Department for Digital Health and Innovation.
How the proposals will be evaluated
A maximum of 20 submissions will be shortlisted for review by a panel. Submissions will be shortlisted having regard to public feedback on the Unite Ideas platform and the extent to which the proposals meet the evaluation criteria. Submissions may also be shortlisted, where WHO considers, in its sole discretion, that it is of outstanding technical competence.
Shortlisted solutions will be evaluated by a panel composed of representatives of WHO, UNAIDS and UN-OICT. The panel will review proposals against the below criteria:
Criteria to be applied in first review round (identifying the top 20 proposals from the total pool of submissions):
- Alignment with challenge objective – helping keep young people safe – and WHO’s 13th General Programme of Work & Triple Billion Goals
- Impact effectiveness: evidence or likelihood of impact
- Degree of innovativeness
- Technical quality, including sound evidence, data analysis & accuracy of results
Additional criteria to be applied in the second review round (identifying up to three (3) winning proposals among the top 20 submissions):
- Clarity of any investment and other scale-up needs to increase impact of the solution
- Inclusiveness: the approach is user-friendly, and affordable by the poor, or more cost-effective than the status quo, and has the potential to be used by a large number of people, enhancing equity, access and impact
- The extent to which respect for gender diversity and involvement of people affected by or living with the respective issue/risk/disease/condition are demonstrated in the development of the solution.
Will I own my solution after I submit it?
You remain the owner of any solution or content you submit. However, all the inputs and outputs of this project are required to be covered by recognized open-source and creative commons licenses. This means that other people will be able to use your solution as per the conditions specified on the open-source license you choose. You will be asked to accept terms and conditions and Application Rules prior to submitting any content. Read terms and conditions and Application Rules.
To submit your idea, register to the Unite Ideas website, and click on "Post Idea”. You will be able to edit your idea until the final submission deadline.
Before you get started, please read the Application Rules carefully. It has important information about the Challenge such as the eligibility criteria and acceptable submissions.
For complete up-to-date information, please review the official challenge website at: https://ideas.unite.un.org/reboothealth/Page/Home