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Call for Youth Voices on Health Innovation
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This call for submissions page can be translated into many different languages.

For more details, click on “Select Language” to the right:

Purpose

The purpose of this open call is to engage youth (18 to 35 years old) around the world to celebrate their social innovations in health and support them in further research and measuring the impact of their ideas. 


Social Innovation in Health is defined as a community-engaged process that links social change and health improvement, drawing on the diverse strengths of local individuals and institutions. Social innovation argues that having local beneficiaries drive the development of a health programme results in more sustainable and accountable services (Halpaap et al, Lancet Global Health, 2020).


The Social Entrepreneurship to Spur Health (SESH) team, as part of the Social Innovation in Health Initiative (SIHI), are interested in novel ideas and new solutions by youth innovators around the world to address health issues. These include youth-led innovations in health that target youth, or youth-led innovations that target the wider communities that youth are embedded in. 


Exceptional ideas will be recognized by the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) and will receive seed research funding for pilot implementation at selected sites. In addition, selected finalists will receive mentorship and support for research, as well as opportunities to network and partner with global experts. These exceptional submissions will also receive local and international recognition.

Finalists will be expected to work with SESH and the SIHI network, in collaboration with TDR, to further develop, pilot and evaluate their innovations following the results of the open call.

Background

Building on the success of national level youth social innovation crowdsourcing calls in Malaysia and the Philippines organized in 2021, we are delighted to announce this new open call with a global focus. Evidence from crowdsourcing open calls suggests that youth are capable of developing high-quality creative health solutions in diverse settings.


This open call will identify youth-led social innovation in health initiatives around the world. Given the strong focus of this open call on providing research support, ideas with evidence on pilot or early-stage implementation are preferred.


This open call has a strong focus on building capacity for research among selected finalists and winners. Therefore, submission themes or focuses may include, but are not limited to the following: 


Innovations focused on addressing specific health topics: 
  • Addressing the increasing incidence or spread of infectious diseases 
  • Management of issues that are relevant to youth (including those at the interface of infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases such as obesity and mental health conditions) 
  • Addressing the impact of epidemics/pandemics on community and/or population health

Innovations in changing processes, systems, and developing people-centered approaches to health: 
  • Engaging and empowering community members (especially youth) to participate in health-enhancing activities 
  • Developing innovations to target structures (e.g. healthcare institutions, policies, health systems, organizational practices) to improve patient and community health
  • De-implementation as an innovation (e.g. cessation of a programme or intervention that doesn’t work, or remains a barrier to achieving better health outcomes)

Innovations in campaigning or messaging for health: 
  • Innovative campaigns or messaging (e.g., health campaigns, songs, edutainment) to enhance health-related behaviors or perceptions 
  • Developing platforms for sharing of health knowledge and other health promotion efforts to enhance health 


The final deadline for contributions is June 30, 2022 11:59pm (Geneva Time). SESH (Social Entrepreneurship to Spur Health) Global and SIHI with support from TDR are the main organizers of the open call. Guidelines for contributions are described below. 

Guideline for contributions
  1. Eligibility: All youth 18 to 35 years old are eligible to submit to this open call. Group submissions are also allowed for groups up to 4 people.

This crowdsourcing open call will identify youth-led social innovation in health initiatives around the world and support them in further research and measuring the impact of their ideas. Given the strong focus of this open call on providing research support, ideas with evidence on pilot or early-stage implementation are preferred.
 
Language for the entries: Submissions in all six languages of the United Nations will be accepted (Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian)
 
Ways to submit: 

Method 1: Online form submission
• You may submit your idea through this link
• 500-word submission that describes your innovation or idea. These can be submitted as a single Word or text processing file via our online submission form as an attachment.
• Links to images, audio files, and video files can be embedded as hyperlinks in the text

Method 2: Chat-based (WhatsApp or WeChat) submissions
• Download your offline submission form here (You can find other language versions of offline submission form below)
• Please send your filled submission form directly via WhatsApp to +6591878576 or WeChat to WeChat ID: seshllc
• Images, audio files or video clips accompanying your text submissions can be forwarded as well


For enhanced accessibility to participate in this open call, we also accept audio-only or video-only submissions that are no longer than 3 minutes in length.
• You would be expected to describe your innovation or solution within this 3 minutes timeframe.
• You may submit this either via the online submission form or forward this through a chat-based submission platform, as described above

Format of your submission: There is no required structure for your submission, regardless of whether you choose a 500-word submission or a video/audio description. However, here are some questions that your submission could address:

• How would you describe your innovation in one or two sentences?
• What problem is this innovation addressing? Has anyone else tried to address this problem?
• Is there any evidence on the impact of this innovation so far? Has this innovation been implemented before?
• What are some outcomes that you hope to achieve with your innovation?
 
Judging Criteria

Submissions will be judged on a 1-10 scale according to the following five criteria: 


1. Clear and concise description: This refers to how clearly your innovation or solution has been described. A clear innovation or solution would include a clear background or rationale, brief details of your innovation or idea, and how this will impact or improve health. 

2. Relevance: This refers to whether your innovation or solution tackle or address important health issues or relevance to a given community. This is usually evidenced through prior evidence or background on your target population and how your proposed innovation or solution would be relevant.

3. Novelty: This refers to how novel or innovative your solution is. The solution should be novel to the context in which it is implemented or aim to innovate within existing systems. 

4. Feasibility, Scalability/Replicability and Sustainability: This refers to the practical or pragmatic aspect of your innovation. Feasibility refers to how easily and practically implementable your innovation is; Scalability refers to how easily your innovation can be generalized to a larger population whereas replicability refers to the ability to replicate your project in other settings; Sustainability refers to how your innovation can be sustained beyond piloting or initial phases and is usually evidenced by how it can be self-sustained financially or further taken up by other stakeholders. Is the innovation or solution easily piloted? Are there means to assess the effectiveness of this solution? Are there preliminary data or prototypes available? 

5. Promotion of Equity and Fairness: This refers to both the ways in which the proposed innovation addresses issues of equity and fairness (in health outcomes, in representation), as well as the participating team’s methods of developing their ideas. For example, do solutions involve empowering youth and community members through co-creation or participatory processes? Are gender and other intersection inequalities acknowledged or addressed in the approach to innovation, or as an outcome of the innovation itself? 

After screening for eligibility, all the eligible entries will be assessed by independent judges. Each submission will be reviewed by at least three independent individuals and final decisions will be made by the steering committee. 

Please note that the Go Youth! Team may request further information from you about your idea or innovation as part of the open call vetting process.

Timeline
Deadline: June 30, 2022 11:59pm (Geneva Time)
Judging: July-August 2022
Finalist Notifications: August 2022
Piloting Finalists’ Projects and Research: September 2022 onwards
Prizes

This open call will provide unique opportunities to further sharpen the social innovations, demonstrate impact, and introduce people to SIHI and related social innovation stakeholders. Specifically:


• All social innovations that have a mean score of 8.5/10 or greater will receive tailored feedback from individuals on the judging panel and steering committee


• Selected finalists (number determined by the steering committee) will have an opportunity to pitch their ideas to a regional Social Innovation in Health Initiative Hub, a global event organized by SESH, or other global health stakeholders (e.g., TDR expert on infectious diseases of poverty)


• Selected finalists (number determined by the steering committee) will receive pilot research funding to assess impact (funding quantum would be determined based on number of finalists/scope of pilot project)


• All people who submit eligible submissions will be invited to a series of social innovation training workshops in late July and early August to build capacity for social innovation monitoring and evaluation, crowdfunding, and related competencies


• All people who submit eligible submissions will receive collated feedback about strengths and weaknesses of the applications overall, in addition to a report summarizing the process and outcomes of the open call

Steering Committee Members

Ms Louise AGERSNAP (Switzerland), Dr Darlan ALVARADO (Honduras), Dr Uche Veronica AMAZIGO (Nigeria), Dr Phyllis AWOR (Uganda), Mx Kalisito BIAUKULA (Fiji), Mx Katusha DE VILLIERS (South Africa), Dr Beatrice HALPAAP (Switzerland), Dr Meredith LABARDA (Philippines), Mr Senthilkumar MURUGESAN (India), Mr Thu Kyaw MYAT (Singapore), Mr Siddharth NAIR (India), Ms Noluyolo NGOMANI (South Africa), Mr Willice ONYANGO (Kenya), Dr Robert SCHERPBIER (Switzerland), Ms Yusha TAO (China), Dr Rayner TAN (China), Dr Joseph D TUCKER (United Kingdom/United States)


Steering committee members for this open call have no declared or potential conflicts of interests


Go Youth! Global Open Call 2022: Preparing Your Ideas to Spark Global Health
We are also organizing a participatory webinar targeted at preparing youth for submission to the open call. Further details on the webinar and registration below.

Go Youth! Global Open Call 2022: Preparing Your Ideas to Spark Global Health


Date: 2 June 2022 (Thursday)

Duration: 1.5 Hours (9:00-10:30am EST / 2:00-3:30pm WAT / 9:00-10:30pm China)

Target Audience: Youth aged 18 to 35 years old

Purpose: To introduce youth to the Go Youth! Global Open Call, and to prepare them for submission to the open call. Prizes for the open call include seed research funding, opportunities for mentorship and networking with international experts, and other opportunities to pitch your ideas at the regional or global level.

Register here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwtfuiuqTIiGdcpjT_xujlZMyX8iXZXdzLw


This 90-minute workshop will introduce the open call to youth around the world, and will provide more details on the open call, provide details on social innovations in health, provide tips on preparing a high-quality submission, and the opportunity to workshop your idea in small groups moderated by organizing team members. 


Participants are strongly encouraged to attend the webinar with an elevator pitch (maximum 1-minute) for their idea that they hope to submit, for purposes of sharing in small groups. Facilitators from the Social Entrepreneurship to Spur Health team will moderate these small groups with the goal of better preparing your idea for submission to the Go Youth! Global Open Call 2022.


Please note that your attendance at this workshop will not influence judging related to the Go Youth! Global Open Call 2022. We have a strict conflict of interest policy and judges will recuse themselves from assessing any submission that they have previous knowledge about.

FAQs

1. What is an Open Call? 

Open calls provide a structured mechanism to solicit diverse feedback over a period of time. Open calls have been widely used by governments, private foundations, and others to spur innovation. More details about open contests for health are available here


2. What is Social Innovation in Health?

The World Health Organization defines Social Innovation in Health as “A solution (process, product, practice, market mechanism) implemented through diverse organizational models. The solution has been developed by a range of actors in response to a systemic health challenge within a geographic context. It profoundly challenges the current system status quo and has enabled healthcare to be more inclusive, effective and affordable.”


3. Can I apply as an individual or a group? 

You can submit an idea as an individual or on behalf of a group up to a maximum of four individuals. 


4. Is there a limit to the number of contributions? 

No, there is no limit. However, in the interest of fairness to all other participants only 1 of your ideas may be selected to qualify as a finalist. 


5. Do I need to submit on behalf of an organization? 

Since the open call is for early-stage ideas, concepts and proposals, participants do not need to have an incorporated business or be part of an organization in order to enter the open call. However, we will welcome submissions on behalf of organizations or businesses that are youth led. 


6. Does it cost to participate? 

Registration for and participation in the Challenge is free, with no purchase or payment obligation.


7. What is the prize? 

This open call will provide unique opportunities to further sharpen the social innovations, demonstrate impact, and introduce people to SIHI and related social innovation stakeholders. Specifically:


• All social innovations that have a mean score of 8.5/10 or greater will receive tailored feedback from individuals on the judging panel and steering committee


• Selected finalists (number determined by the steering committee) will have an opportunity to pitch their ideas to a regional Social Innovation in Health Initiative Hub, a global event organized by SESH, or other global health stakeholders (e.g., TDR expert on infectious diseases of poverty)


• Selected finalists (number determined by the steering committee) will receive pilot research funding to assess impact (funding quantum would be determined based on number of finalists/scope of pilot project)


• All people who submit eligible submissions will be invited to a series of social innovation training workshops in late July and early August to build capacity for social innovation monitoring and evaluation, crowdfunding, and related competencies


• All people who submit eligible submissions will receive collated feedback about strengths and weaknesses of the applications overall, in addition to a report summarizing the process and outcomes of the open call


8. Are there any other conditions that apply for eligibility? 

Submission must be the original work of the Participant. The Participant must not knowingly infringe, misappropriate, or otherwise violate any intellectual property rights, privacy rights, or any other rights of any person or entity in the performance of work. Please note that the Go Youth! Team may request further information from you about your idea or innovation as part of the open call vetting process. 


9. Who is the Social Entrepreneurship to Spur Health? 

The SESH (Social Entrepreneurship to Spur Health) initiative is a partnership joining individuals from the Southern Medical University Dermatology Hospital, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of North Carolina-Project China. The main goal of this project is to create more creative, equitable, and effective health services using crowdsourcing open calls and other social entrepreneurship tools. Crowdsourcing is the process of having a group solve a problem and then sharing that solution widely with the public. SESH is the Social Innovation in Health Initiative Hub for China. 


10. Who is the Social Innovation in Health Initiative? 

The Social Innovation in Health Initiative (SIHI) is an informal network of individuals and institutions sharing a common goal to advance social innovation in health, through research, capacity building and advocacy, to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage and meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Since 2014, SIHI has identified and studied more than 40 community-based social innovations across 17 countries that are transforming health care delivery to improve access so no-one is left behind. 


11. What is TDR? 

The network is supported by TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Disease, co-sponsored by UNDP, UNICEF, the World Bank and WHO. TDR is a global programme of scientific collaboration that helps facilitate, support and influence efforts to combat diseases of poverty. TDR is able to conduct its work thanks to the commitment and support from a variety of funders. For the full list of TDR donors, please see: https://www.who.int/tdr/about/funding/en/. TDR receives additional funding from Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, to support SIHI.

Enquiries
Contact our contest coordinator, Rayner Tan, at Rayner.tan@seshglobal.org
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