The Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (AF/PDPA), Africa Regional Services of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs have announced an open competition for organizations to submit applications to carry out a regional Idea-a-thon in May 2021, which would be reviewed by a series of online trainings.
What is an Idea-a-thon?
An idea-a-thon is a workshop to generate creative problem solving, based on the model of a hack-a-thon. This U.S.-originated concept is an event of any duration where people come together to solve societal problems—most often using technology to do so. Idea-a- thon would run parallel to workshops and foster networking among participants and with relevant government agencies, businesses, and organizations. It will be called AfrIdea.
- Objective 1: Within six months, at least 80% of participants will demonstrate an increased capacity to implement solutions to community problems through the use of technological and critical thinking tools and strategies learned during the workshop.
- Objective 2: Within six months, at least 70% of participants will start using the technological and critical thinking tools and strategies learned during the workshop in their work settings.
- Objective 3: Within six months, the four teams selected for follow-on activities will implement their technological solutions to address the identified challenges.
- Objective 4: Within one year, at least 50% of Idea-a-thon participants will participate in local or regional initiatives to strengthen their entrepreneurship and civic engagement networks and actively collaborate with diverse audiences to design technological solutions to community challenges.
- Objective 5: Within one year, at least 30% of participants will collaborate with a new partner on a project aimed at addressing a specific problem in their community.
- Objective 6: Within one year, at least 10% of participants will produce and implement idea-generating strategies in their work environments.
- Award amount: $150,000 – $250,000
- Total available funding: $250,000
- Program Performance Period: 24 months total to include, coursework, participant selection, proposed idea-a-thon, AfrIdea, in May 2021 in Conakry, Guinea, and follow-on activities for 6 months.
It has four main components.
- Component 1 consists of a training curriculum that will be implemented leading up to a three-day competition. The training should include informational videos covering materials and topics related to an idea-a-thon from conception to implementation.
- Component 2 consists of a three-day idea-a-thon event and awards ceremony with 36 participants taking place in Guinea from May 17-21, 2021. Twelve teams will compete for additional support in follow-on activities as awards based on their presentations at AfriIdea.
- Component 3 consists of networking activities that take place throughout the program to foster relationships between participants and expose them to professional and educational opportunities.
- Component 4 consists of various follow-on activities to ensure that participants become multiplier effects for their communities. AfrIdea will build the capacity of young West and Central African entrepreneurs to create,
develop, and implement sustainable projects on technological platforms that address specific
problems in their communities.
Mali, Guinea, Senegal, Togo.
Participants and Audiences
- The target audience will be 36 local and regional entrepreneurs, social activists, software/web app developers, and other STEM professionals ranging in age from 18-35 with moderate to high levels of influence in their communities.
- There will be three teams of three people from each participating country for a total of 9 local (from Guinea) participants and 27 international participants.
- The common language among the participants is French; the program should be made available in French. Participants will be selected in coordination with each Embassy. The partner should work to ensure that half of the participants are women.
The following organizations are eligible to apply:
- Not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with experience in Mali, Togo, Guinea, and/or Senegal.
- Accredited public and private non-profit educational institutions.
For more information, visit https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=328309