The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations Round 9 which offers grants ranging from $100,000 to $1 million for innovative ideas and projects is open to accepting applications for the new topic: “Aid is Working: Tell the World.”
As stories of corruption and waste of money in international aid and development sector are prevalent everywhere, it is making people in developed countries believe that aid is not solving the problems of poor and developing countries. Although such a context exists, it is also true that aid has made some difference to the lives of the beneficiaries and it is important to continue maintaining the support for it. To increase the support of the people for aid programs, this Challenge is to support such projects that will innovatively gather stories of success showing that aid is working for the poor.
In partnership with the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the Grand Challenges Explorations Round 9 seeks ideas on new approaches to communications that motivate the public in the wealthy countries of the world to change their minds about aid, and take actions to demonstrate their support.
It is seeking game-changing ideas that have never been imagined on their own but could revolutionize the field. Some examples (but not limited to) are given below:
- New ways to collect and share first-person stories from those impacted by aid in the developing world;
- Data collection and visualization that demonstrates the “how” and “what” of aid, e.g. where funding goes and how it impacts people and communities; money spent on development relative to other areas; measurable progress against the Millennium Development Goals. (The foundation is particularly interested in MDGs 1,4,5,and 6.);
- Creative distribution mechanisms to deliver stories, data, and information to key audiences;
- Concepts that spark active engagement and collaborative problem-solving, e.g. games, crowdsourcing, and other projects that move the field from one-way communications towards authentic engagement;
- Revolutionary ways to humanize the challenge and the solutions and to connect communities receiving aid to those who provide it.
The grant program is open to anyone from any discipline, from student to tenured professor, and from any organization – colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations and for-profit companies.