Deadline: 15 April 2020
Are you ready to expand into new markets and help tackle gender inequality through access to digital technology? If yes, then apply for the Solutions for Women Challenge.
The World Bank Group, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries, has partnered with CES —the world’s largest and most influential technology event—to launch a Global Tech Challenge to bridge the digital gender divide.
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This year’s World Bank Group – CES Global Tech Challenge addressing the gender digital divide calls for innovative solutions that can bridge the gender digital divide through focus on both supply- and demand-side challenges that constrain women’s access and use of digital technologies. The challenge will award scalable innovative solutions that seek to address four key focus areas:
- Platforms: Solutions in this focus area will focus on digital platforms that uniquely serve the needs of women and girls in emerging markets. Some examples under this focus area may include:
- E-commerce platforms focused on reaching women and girls in emerging markets through their products and marketing strategies
- Platforms that build communities for women entrepreneurs to discuss and network online
- Women’s safety helpline platforms that enable reporting of sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, and gender-based cyber violence in a secure and safe way
- Digital Skills: Solutions in this focus area will focus on the development of digital skills products and programs with a focus to closing the gender digital divide. Some examples of such programs may include:
- Applications that use personalized and adaptive learning to teach learners basic, intermediate, or advanced digital skills, or any combination thereof, using digital technologies.
- Coding bootcamps delivered online and blended programs that target and recruit women and girls to prepare them for a changing labor market. These may be either integrable within education curricula or provisioned as standalone services for onthe-job learning.
- Products that impart education in advanced digital skills with complementary investments in and measurement of hard-to-measure socio-emotional skills such as collaboration, creativity, innovation and learning.
- Online content: Solutions in this focus area will focus on applications and technology solutions that provide relevant online content that is tailored towards women and girls. Some examples may include:
- Applications that impart technology-enabled early-grade reading content, focused on addressing regressive gender norms
- Content solutions in local languages that address issues around sexual and reproductive health
- Locally relevant content on educational and career opportunities for women and girls in various stages of their career, including alternative and non-traditional careers in the country context
- Innovative business models: Solutions under this focus area will focus on relaxing supply-side barriers to accessing digital technologies. These may include:
- Innovative subscription models that may subsidize or alleviate the financial burden on women to own and use mobile devices (such as pay as you go) or other business models that target or include women in meaningful ways to sustainably access the Internet
- Mobile subscription models that favor women-ownership and use of mobile internet on an ongoing basis
CES Global Tech Challenge Opportunity
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This challenge forms one of three CES tech challenges being conducted in partnership with the World Bank Group.
- Receive recognition and brand visibility at CES 2021 as a Global Tech Challenge winner
- Engage with governments and World Bank Group task teams to scale their solutions within development projects
- Access mentorship from technology companies and task team leads to help scale their solutions
- Share their stories at multiple international fora — CES 2021, regional conferences, and the World Bank Group’s Spring and Annual Meetings,
- Build their professional networks through engagement with other winners and raise their international profile and brand
The greater participation and recognition of organizations in emerging and developing countries in international tech events and tech challenges are encouraged.
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Benefits for Innovators
The Global Tech Challenge: Solutions for Women provides a platform for innovators to
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- Deploy solutions at scale.
- Replicate tested ideas in new environments.
- Engage with World Bank clients.
- Build long-term, sustainable solutions to achieve digital equality.
- The challenge is open to all eligible for-profit and public interest organizations that are currently in the process of scaling solutions to bridge the gender digital divide.
- Individuals and governments are not eligible to apply.
- UN Agencies are not eligible to apply.
- Recently registered organizations (both for-profit and not-for-profit) are eligible to apply.
- There are no eligibility restrictions based on the size of the organization, be it a start-up, privately traded, or publicly traded organization. There are no restrictions on the size of public interest organizations either. There are no restrictions based on the organization’s focus area or current business lines. Organizations that are exploring gendered effects of existent solutions are eligible to apply.
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- Solutions will be evaluated by a diverse and eminent panel of experts drawn from different global practices within the World Bank Group.
- The panel shall comprise task team leads, researchers, managers, and country management units.
- There will be separate panels for the focus areas outlined by the challenge.
- Care will be taken to ensure diversity (both of geography and gender) on the judging panels. Applications will be screened for eligibility by a working group before being presented to the full panel.
- Conflict of interest (including perceived conflicts) will be considered in constituting review panels for each application. Conflicts of interest would include presence on boards of applicant organizations as well as close familial relationships with senior management or the Board of Directors of an applicant entity.
- Innovators will have the opportunity to meet World Bank teams in June-July 2020
- Finalists announced in October 2020 at the World Bank Annual Meetings
- Winners announced at CES 2021
For more information, visit https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/digitaldevelopment/brief/global-tech-challenge-solutions-for-women-shetheuser?cid=ECR_TT_worldbank_EN_EXT