EXPO 2020 DUBAI’s special edition COVID-19 Call for Proposals is now open. This call invites individuals, communities, NGOs, start-ups, health workers, businesses, governments and international organisations from around the world to share solutions that address the global health crisis.
Within the spirit of the overall programme, calling for best practices related to COVID-19 for projects and initiatives delivering robust and sustainable solutions to address the global pandemic and achieve Agenda 2030. This call for proposals is aimed at highlighting the importance and enhancing the visibility of cross-sector integrated solutions, helping people prepare, respond and recover from the effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
This Special Edition COVID-19 Best Practice Call is aimed at recognising and promoting the visibility of integrated development best practices for a better 2030 with a particular view on building back better and moving towards a “better normal” as we come out of the ongoing crisis. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development serves as an urgent and constant reminder that a more equitable, just and green world is a top priority for all. It is even more pressing than ever before to come together as a global community to push the needle forward on the SDGs for more resilient people and the planet.
Expo 2020’s Global Best Practice Programme, ‘Small Steps, Big Leaps: Simple Solutions for Sustainable Impact’, is a platform to showcase projects that have provided tangible solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. It will gather and spotlight simple but effective initiatives for localising the SDGs, which can be adapted, replicated and scaled for enhanced worldwide impact.
The call for proposals will run between September – December 2020, inviting individuals, communities, NGOs, start-ups, health workers, businesses, governments and international organisations to share solutions from around the world in response to tackling COVID-19.
By sharing success stories with visitors and participants from across the world, the Programme will place people at the centre of change, with communities as the ultimate beneficiaries.
Best Practices for a Better 2030
As per the definition shared by the international community, “best practices” are initiatives which have consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and which are used as a benchmark or are setting a benchmark. In addition, best practices:
- have a demonstrable and tangible impact on improving people’s quality of life
- highlight the interconnected nature of interventions and how ripple effects play out
- are the results of an effective partnership between multiple actors on the value chain (the public, private and civic sectors of society)
- can be transferred, adapted, replicated of scale in other places
For the purpose of this call, Expo 2020 Dubai defines Best Practice as ‘a simple tangible successful solution or initiative, implemented by individuals or communities or agencies in partnership to address integrated development challenges that can be adapted or replicated to scale globally for sustainable impact’.
Solutions Streams for Bp2030
Initiatives recognised under the Programme should relate to one of the following five solution streams and focus on one of the five topical pillars. Solution streams:
- Unsung heroes (individuals) – including frontline workers, first respondents, delivery to the last mile, teachers, health professionals and carers
- Community in solidarity – people coming together as a group to help other community members (e.g. community-based and voluntary organisations) and/or NGOs, foundations, social enterprises, cooperatives implementing first hand responses
- Campaigns – relating to raising awareness, marketing, public health advertisements, social media (hashtags) and educational movements
- Creative partnerships – international cooperation and collaboration between different actors in action
- Government responses – at agile approaches led by governments for example efficient distribution of PPE to frontline health workers; making clean water and sanitation facilities available; ensuring academic learning continues outside of classrooms; supporting businesses and workforces; and making recoveries from the pandemic as green as possible
Solutions can cover any of these five topics:
- Health & wellbeing: The world is currently in the midst of a severe and acute public health emergency due to the ongoing global pandemic. COVID-19 is placing unprecedented strain on national health systems and exacerbating pre-existing health inequalities. This is having a significant toll on people’s wellbeing as they confront challenges such as social distancing and self-isolation, loneliness, anxiety disorders and the virus outbreak itself. With healthcare workers on the frontline, directly engaged in diagnosing, treating or providing care to patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, they are at increased risk of psychological problems and moral injury when dealing with challenges associated with the virus.
- Best practices relating to this topic should reflect innovative solutions around integrated health care delivery and could inclide mobile health mechanisms, community health workers (CHWs) and frontline workers, as well as the distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE). Solutions related to this topic could also respond to the challenges of protecting mental and physical wellbeing of healthcare professionals and civil society, ensuring transmission of the virus is suppressed and risk of infection mitigated.
- Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH): For the first time in living memory, the world is focused on a common goal: beating COVID-19. Using the 2030 Agenda as a roadmap, the human centric approach calls for investment in water and sanitation (Sustainable Development Goal 6) – which still lags far behind in many parts of the world. Inadequate access to appropriate hygiene services, hand washing facilities and clean water is a fundamental component of many compounding social problems in developing and developed countries alike, leading to millions of preventable deaths each year. Limited access to these basic services and safe water impedes individuals and the global economy, perpetuating the cycle of poverty, stigma and lack of opportunity.
- Best practices relating to this topic should reflect WASH as a first line of defense against the virus and should support the human rights approach which includes: accessibility, affordability and acceptability of services; paired with focused attention to the importance of behaviour change and removing societal taboos relating to sanitation and hand-washing.
- Education and skills development: The global context for education and skills development has fundamentally changed following the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic has resulted in schools not opening across the world, with over 1.2 billion children out of the classroom at some point during various lockdowns within countries. The disruption of learning and children unable to physically attend school has significantly changed traditional modes of education. E-learning and smart education have emerged as core components for many students across the world. Yet not all students have access to online and tech-related resources.
- Best practices relating to this topic should showcase effective approaches to impactful learning experiences for all students, anywhere; these could include smart solutions or activity-based methodology led by parents, guardians or relatives.
- Protecting livelihoods: Informal workers, which represent 1.6 billion people across the world , have experienced significant impacts from the effects of COVID-19 and various lockdown measures. From street vendors and market traders, to waste pickers and domestic workers – economies depend on this workforce. Those in the informal economy need to earn an income to provide food for themselves and their families, as the majority of them cannot depend on income replacement or monetary savings. Not working and having to stay home, means losing their jobs and livelihoods. Insecure livelihoods, which affect poor and rich communities alike, takes many forms, ranging from informal employment to the working poor. As the world attempts to reopen, measures to mitigate the growing difficulties faced by these workforces must be addressed.
- Best practices relating to this topic should convey solutions that support the creation of new enterprises that offer and promote alternative employment and income opportunities, greater inclusion of women in the workplace, enhanced competitiveness of products and services, and improved market access.
- Digitalisation: Technology is playing a pivotal role in tracing, tackling and preventing the spread of the virus. Digital solutions are creating effective services and software, remote working solutions, along with implementing deployment mechanisms to benefit society. Currently, 3.6 billion people in the world do not have access to the internet, yet online and digital tools are increasingly playing a critical role for communication, awareness-raising, teleworking and skills development. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that we have only just scratched the surface of how we can use digital connectivity to lead and develop our lives. The decade of action will be a decade of accelerated technological progress, outlined by artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT).
- Best practices relating to this topic should showcase affordable and scalable technological solutions that accelerate progress towards achieving the SDGs, mobilising communities to build forward. They could include how digital transformation is playing a pivotal role in all stages of recovery phases via e-solutions such as digital payments for service provision; geospatial technology for mapping hotspots for hunger, water insecurity and disease incidences; tracking and tracing apps for COVID-19; upskilling workforces to become digitally literate; and improving digital connectivity, such as connecting farmers to markets (value chains).
To provide support and visibility to awardees, Expo 2020 Dubai will offer:
- Opportunities to showcase projects through content or programming within the Opportunity Pavilion (1 October, 2021 to 31 March, 2022)
- Exposure for projects on the official Global Best Practice Programme ‘Small Steps, Big Leaps’ webpage
- Visibility at the Expo site’s Global Best Practice Area (a dedicated space will house selected projects on a rotational basis)
- Opportunities to disseminate specific promotional materials during the World Expo (a select number of awardees will receive video coverage and others may be featured in print media)
- Potential communications support and media coverage before and during the World Expo
- A paid visit to the Expo 2020 Dubai site during event time for one project representative to showcase and programme around the best practice project (includes flight and accommodation for the duration of participation)
Where will Best Practice Projects be showcased?
Selected best practice projects will be integrated into Expo content or programming within the Opportunity Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. A separate dedicated space will also house selected projects on a rotational basis.
Selected best practice projects from the Special Edition call for proposals related to COVID-19 will be displayed alongside projects chosen from the 2019 call and Untold Stories stream.
Participation will be based on principles of inclusion and diversity. Eligible candidates include governments of all nations, corporations and businesses, international organisations, public organisations or associations, universities and educational institutions, public-private partnerships, communities, individuals, entrepreneurs and inventors.
Participation Parameters and Selection Procedures
- Completeness of application – duly completed applications with all supporting materials
- Eligibility – has to come from one of the solution streams and relate to at least one of the 5 topics
- Coherence and convergence – a solution from one of the 5 streams, responsive to one of the 5 topics being spotlighted, and responsive to the current state of the world within the COVID-19 context
- Localisation – delivery and implementation of the SDGs
- Impact – demonstrates sustainability (solution viability), tangible impact (across social, economic, environmental dimensions) and reflects the integrated nature of development challenges and solutions/touches upon more than one SDG
- Transference – potential for adaptability, replicability and / or scalability
- SDG Alignment – exhibits an innovative response approach and can be developed further to assist in effective recovery in line with the 2030 Agenda
Submissions will be screened pre-evaluation to ensure no conflict of interest, balanced regional representation, and ability of the candidate to participate in the event. The evaluation will be conducted by an evaluation committee and approved by a no objection basis by International Selection Committee (ISC) that includes a Chairing Committee (2 co-chairs) and evaluation committee corresponding to each of the topical priorities.
- The following entities will form the evaluation committee:
- United Nations
- Dubai Cares
- Cisco Expo 2020
- Dubai will ensure that support and visibility is provided to the wining cases as follows:
- Showcased in content and / or programming during the Expo between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2022
- Showcased on Expo’s Inspiring Stories e-blog
- Provided high visibility at Expo Site and points of connection to International Participants, commercial partners, corporates, and Non-Official Participants
- Invited to participate in conferences, workshops, summits, incubators and storytelling platforms to transfer and share their experience
- Offered options for disseminating specific promotional materials during the Expo
- Provided comms and media coverage prior to and during event
- Special reception for all winners (and other pavilions, eg. Cisco, UN & Dubai Cares)
For more information, visit https://www.expo2020dubai.com/en/programmes/best-practice-programme