Posts Tagged “COVID-19 Challenge”

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Building Capacity to Combat COVID-19 in Africa Call for Proposals

Posted by | 03/07/2020 | Funding Opportunities in Africa 2020, Funding Opportunities in Ghana 2020

Building Capacity to Combat COVID-19 in Africa Call for Proposals

COVID-19 in Africa

The Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, has a new initiative supporting innovators and young entrepreneurs who are developing solutions to combat COVID-19 in Africa.

The Zicklin Center has issued a call for proposals, open to students and young professionals (ages 18 to 35 years old) from around the world interested in offering innovative ideas for an effective private and public sector response to the pandemic throughout Africa.

Wharton School is an ecosystem partner of the Entrepreneurship World Cup, contributing with knowledge used to help inform and educate participants as well as outreach efforts to foster the participation of its alumni and leading entrepreneurship stakeholders around the world.

The program intends to:

Utilize different modalities to support capacity development and access to knowledge.
Facilitate the creation of multidisciplinary teams by connecting global talent with field experts, policymakers, and key players from the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Provide visibility to innovative solutions at the Zicklin Center at Wharton thus providing additional opportunities to attract strategic partners and investors.
More information is on the Zicklin Center site. Those interested must submit a proposal by September 15, 2020.

Following submission, proposals will be reviewed based on their significance, originality, feasibility, and clarity. Active support and mentorship will be provided, along with feedback and networking opportunities.

May 7, 2020 – The Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the Wharton School and its many partners are issuing a call for proposals for a new initiative: Building Capacity to Combat CAVID-19 in Africa: Ideas and Innovations from Young Entrepreneurs


The Zicklin Center is launching this Initiative under its pillar: BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & INNOVATION and in collaboration with Wharton’s Global Social Impact students club and several other partners. The Initiative is supported by many partnerships, including global and local networks created within the Ideas for Action (I4A) Initiative (

The initiative is open to students and young professionals (ages 18 to 35 years old) from around the world interested in offering innovative ideas for an effective private and public sector response to the COVID-19 pandemic in countries throughout Africa.

The objective of this initiative is to encourage capacity building ideas and innovations from young entrepreneurs, within diverse teams, supported by senior decision-makers and experts in international development, academia, and the private sector. All proposals will be reviewed and offered feedback. The teams will also receive support from a dedicated startup accelerator at the Wharton School, and benefit from unique networking opportunities with other young business leaders.

Policy Making and Community Based Projects

We encourage proposals that address four broad issues:

Policy Making: Proposals should offer innovations in improving government and other policy making entities responses to the COVID-19. Fragility, weak institutions, and underdeveloped public health systems undermine the effective response to COVID-19. How can we build capacity for good governance, compliance, transparency, accountability, and responsibility in COVID -19 responses? How should we support entrepreneurship in government and health care institutions so that “locally nurtured” ideas get support from the leading authorities? How should we support idea generation from the middle ranks and front lines of organizations? Given today’s rapid pace of change in health care systems, public-private partnerships are of critical importance. How should we encourage public-private partnerships to generate successful health care innovations?

Start-up: How should we expand the activities of existing start-ups or new ones to address COVID-19 challenges in Africa.

Technology and Big Data: How should we best utilize technology, AI, blockchain, and big data in the search for innovative responses to the COVID-19?

Community-Based Projects: Substantial experience and capacity already addresses critical health care issues in poor communities, not only in Philadelphia but also other large metropolitan areas in the United States. How should we incorporate these lessons in addressing the challenges raised by COVID-19 in Africa.

Why Should You Participate?

Networking: Diverse Teams

By utilizing our networks, including nearly 20,000 alumni participants in the I4A Initiative, we are well positioned to facilitate the creation of diverse teams, in terms of location, expertise, and cultural background. If you need, we can also help you bring new team members. Let us know if you would like to share your initial ideas through our networks, so that we can facilitate access to potential new team members, including local or global entrepreneurs.

Beyond Single Project: Leadership in Shaping the Local Ecosystem – Strengthening and Creating Markets

This is your unique leadership moment – an opportunity to demonstrate leadership not only through proposing specific, innovative projects but to get actively involved in managing the initiative locally. Send us ideas on how to best utilize your local presence to shape the external ecosystem and strengthen and create markets, thus making them more supportive to scaling up and implementing the projects. What are the best ways to improve governance, compliance, transparency, accountability, and responsibility in the local ecosystem?

Capturing Best Practices and Knowledge Exchange

Although the Initiative is focused on Africa, we would like to invite you to share your local knowledge, particularly community based best practices, which may be beneficial for the implementation of proposals in Africa. Of course, we are mindful of the limitations of North to South knowledge exchanges; some of the best practices from countries in Africa could be equally relevant elsewhere, including underdeveloped communities in developed countries.

Capacity Development and Access to Knowledge

Based on our longstanding experience with the I4A Initiative, we will utilize different modalities to support capacity development and access to knowledge, both in person and online. This will include resources available at the University of Pennsylvania and other partners, ranging from access to knowledge, including Knowledge@Wharton and guest lectures, to locally supported Ideation workshops.


To support your idea, we will connect teams with those who work within the field and have years of business, policymaking, and development experience. This will include access to a mentor or advisor, either at University of Pennsylvania, or at other institutions across the world, who can serve as a constant sounding board and also provide referrals for other individuals that each team may reach out to.

Promoting your Work

In addition to providing substantive feedback from our accelerator and experts, opportunities to get new team members, and access to knowledge, we will feature your work at the Zicklin Center and the I4A’s websites, thus providing additional opportunities to attract strategic partners and investors.


September 15, 2020. The proposals will be reviewed and offered feedback on a first come, first serve base, starting from the moment we will receive the proposal. If you need our support in identifying new team members and finalizing your ideas, please contact us and send the summary of your idea ( by June 20.

For more information, including the format of the proposal or the summary of the proposal, please see the Zicklin Center and the I4A’s websites.

Submission Portal

When you and your team are ready to submit your idea, please access the submission portal through the link on the Ideas for Action website at


UNICEF COVID-19 Innovation Challenge 2020 Receiving Applications

UNICEF COVID-19 Innovation Challenge

COVID-19 is impacting us all as we deal with the new normal of social distancing and lockdowns. Misinformation and fake news amplify our fears.

Hard realities like loss of income, job insecurity, stalled education, food shortages and lack of clean water, force us to explore unique ways to cope. While we cannot always prevent such impacts, we can be better prepared.

UNICEF has partnered with Cartedo to empower youth across Africa to solve a series of global grand challenges and positively impact communities while developing employability skills.

We believe that youth have unique perspectives on these challenges and should be given the opportunity to become knowledge producers. This is your chance to Be seen, Be heard and Be the Change!


This challenge gives youth a voice in exploring how we might empower people and communities to become more pandemic-resilient. We are looking for your ideas tosolve real challenges faced by real people just like you.

This challenge offers you the opportunity to develop future-ready employability skills like design thinking while contributing to the global efforts to tackle COVID-19. As you progress through this challenge, you’ll use a human-centered design approach to:

  1. Discover how COVID-19 is impacting real people in different ways
  2. Define these challenges from a human-centered perspective, and
  3. Develop innovative solutions to these challenges

You’ll start by exploring human needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic and turn your findings into core challenges faced by real people.

By using our tools &techniques you will generate multiple ideas to solve these challenges and prototype solutions to share with people around the world.

ITU Innovation Challenge 2020 Open to Applications

ITU Innovation Challenge 2020

The ITU Innovation Challenge 2020  will be taking place amid a global pandemic caused by Covid-19.

This has resulted in stress on value chains and countries’ readiness for a digital economy, significantly affecting social conditions worldwide.

Global supply, production, consumption and delivery chains are disrupted. Traditional economies are struggling, as industries have not been digitalized and infrastructure is inadequate to cope with current stress levels.

Policy-makers and innovators worldwide are under pressure. Their communities must embrace a digital economy so that a semblance of normalcy can be maintained in these uncertain conditions.

Therefore, the overall theme of this year’s challenges is Rethinking the digital economy’s value chains during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The challenge is a global open competition platform for innovators and ecosystem builders to present their ideas and projects, empowering them to transform their communities into thriving digital societies.

Three opportunities to win

  1. Digital change-maker challenge: For innovators with ideas that create digital impact in their communities.
  2. Ecosystem best practice challenge: For ecosystem builders with good practices that nurture an enabling environment for innovators in their communities.
  3. Women in technology challenge: For innovators with digital projects that create impact for women in their communities.


COVID-19 Challenge

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the recent outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a pandemic, spanning 112 countries and infecting over 150,000 people.

As scientists and public health experts rush to find solutions to contain the spread, much still remains unknown about COVID-19.

As the world races to contain the virus, existing and emerging technologies are proving to be valuable. In fact, governments and health care facilities have increasingly turned to technology to help manage the outbreak.

In China, where the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported, the government has launched several initiatives to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) and data science into the healthcare system to track and contain the outbreak.

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has sparked alarm worldwide. Many countries are grappling with the rise in confirmed cases.

It is urgent and crucial for us to discover ways to use technology to contain the outbreak and manage future public health emergencies.

The Challenge

In this six (6) week innovation challenge students ages 13-17 from around the world will have the opportunity to form virtual teams to develop technology-based solutions to slow the spread of COVID-19.

How It Works

The challenge begins on Wednesday, March 25th, 2020, when the challenge statement is released. To participate and have access to the challenge question, you must first sign up!

Once signed up, participants will be invited to join Launchpad, an online collaboration platform where participants from around the world can form teams and work together to design and present ideas that can be deployed in response to COVID-19. Learn more about Launchpad and our past innovation challenges.

During the six-week challenge, participants will have access to a series of curated learning resources and expert AMA sessions that aim to prepare and inspire solvers. Participants will also have the opportunity to connect with experts that are available on Launchpad.