Calling all young people passionate about health!
How might we ensure adolescent health and well-being in places with a high burden of HIV in the coming decades?
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Open Call Details

‘Game-changers’ can come from anywhere, and through this open call, we invite you to help us identify as many as possible. Let’s work together to find new ways to promote adolescent health and well-being in communities most affected by HIV. 

Prizes will be awarded to the Winner and runner-up in each of the four subcategories. The first prize will be $1500, while the runner-up will receive $500.

Submissions are accepted at any time until the final deadline of 
31st July 2023, 11:59 pm (US Eastern Time).
Challenge overview
‘Game-changers’ can come from anywhere, and through this open call, we invite you to help us identify as many as possible. Let’s work together to find new ways to promote adolescent health and well-being in communities most affected by HIV. Multiple cash prizes will be awarded. All who respond to the open call will be automatically connected to a UN-supported global network of young health advocates. 

Submissions are simple and easy. Everyone is eligible to apply (please see eligibility criteria below for details). We particularly encourage participation from all adolescents between the ages of 10–19 years from all backgrounds and talents with an interest in promoting health and well-being.

We encourage submissions that think beyond medical or mental health. While these are important, we also want to hear ideas and innovations that focus on the complex web of factors that predict well-being more broadly. One way to think about this is to consider all the things that are important for adolescents and young people to feel healthier, stronger, safer and more positive about their overall lives and their futures. 
For example:

  • When you think about what adolescent health and well-being might look like in the next 10–30 years, what do you see as the main building blocks? 
  • How can we create those building blocks if they do not yet exist, and how do we strengthen those that already exist? 
  • What kind of changes or improvements would be most helpful in areas such as education, connecting with people and looking for information (including around social media), and the physical environment that we live in?
  • Which innovations will help us prepare for being better able to face threats such as conflict and pandemics, as well as trends such as climate change, rising inequality, migration, urbanization and digitalization? There are challenges related to all of these trends, but some might also offer opportunities for new and different ways for adolescent health and overall well-being to be promoted and improved. 

All ideas submitted will be reviewed by an independent panel of judges. Several of those judged as the most interesting, promising or likely to have the greatest positive impact will be recognized by TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Disease, a co-sponsored partnership of UNDP, UNICEF, the World Bank and WHO. Winners will be invited to present their ideas at the Global Forum for Adolescents (details available on the Global Forum’s Website).

Although we welcome the opportunity to see all ideas submitted, those with the greatest chance of being selected for further review and possible prizes are those that are ‘actionable’. This means that there are steps and actions that can be taken now (or soon) toward moving the idea or ideas forward. For this open call, we seek actionable solutions that address the two challenge questions:
  1. How might we totally and fundamentally reimagine organizing our healthcare systems and societies to support adolescent health and well-being in countries that have a high burden of HIV?
  2. How might we develop solutions that can support and strengthen adolescent health and well-being in the future, taking into account current and possible threats such as conflict and pandemics and current trends like climate change, rising inequality, migration, urbanization and digitalization?
Submission categories
For example, ideas and innovations could address one or more of the following:

  • Overlapping epidemics (Syndemics), for example, the syndemics of mental health and HIV, violence and poor mental health, COVID-19 and HIV. 
  • Co-infections of HIV including TB, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Cryptococcus, and others
  • Co-morbidities of HIV and chronic non-communicable conditions, for example, obesity, mental health, sickle cell anaemia and others.
  • Addressing the impact of pandemic threats on community and/or population health.
Eligible Ideas and innovation would address: 
  • Skills for future employment and preparation for the world of work, including health.
  • Self-care models, approaches and tools for disease prevention, treatment and management.
  • Models of health citizenship that might help us refine and redefine the rights, entitlements, and obligations agreed upon between adolescent citizens and the State at all levels.
  • Private-public partnerships, joint ventures, and other offerings that might be more responsive to the values and preferences of adolescents.
  • Data Innovations.
  • Planning, coordination and management innovations that transform the way structures and institutions are organized and resourced to improve patient and community health.
  • ‘De-implementation’ to end a programme or policy that does not work, or which is a barrier to achieving better health outcomes.
Eligible Ideas and innovations would address 
  • Restrictions based on ‘social norms’ including traditions, faith, beliefs and similar frameworks.
  • Rumours, myths, biases, misinformation and disinformation that might limit the ability or willingness of people to use important health tools. 
  • Family and community influence.
  • Solutions based on the power and influence of peers and peer networks to affirm and support improved health attitudes and behaviours.
  • Solutions that use triggers, nudges, cues, reminders, incentives and similar behavioural methods to promote and sustain healthful behaviours.
  • Innovative approaches that increase the impact, reach, spread, engagement and widespread adoption of campaigns or messaging that seek to enhance health-related behaviours or perceptions, particularly among adolescents. 
  • New or different ways to share health knowledge and other health promotion efforts that reach adolescents more extensively, including hidden, invisible and marginalised groups.
This subcategory is for submissions that might not fit into one of the three other subcategories but that address the two main challenge questions. Feel free to be creative!
Geographic Scope
We recognize that many innovations and ideas can be ‘game-changers’ everywhere, or almost everywhere. However, for this open call, we are specifically interested in ideas that are relevant to the cultures, societies and key HIV trends and risks in the following countries: Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe. (Despite this focus, people everywhere are invited to apply. You do not need to be a citizen of one of these countries, or living in one of them, to participate.)
Guidelines for contributions
Submissions are accepted at any time until the final deadline of 31st July 2023, 11:59 pm (US Eastern Time).
  1. Anyone is eligible to submit to this open call, but the solutions must focus on adolescent health and well-being in selected countries. These countries include Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
  2. Adolescents aged 10–19 years can submit ideas on their own or as part of a team.  If you are older than 19 years, you cannot submit on your own, but you are welcome to participate as a member of a team. 
  3. Team submissions are encouraged! Each team must include at least one adolescent who is aged 10–19 years, and the team leader should not be older than 30 years.
  4. Only one submission is allowed for each subcategory. If submitting as a team, the team leader should submit on behalf of the team.
  5. Teams can submit ideas to more than one of the four subcategories, but it must be a different idea for each subcategory. 
Submissions in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian.
How to submit
If you have more than one entry, each should be submitted separately. You have a maximum of 500 words (written submission) or 3 minutes (video/audio submission) to describe your innovation or idea and there are two ways to submit:

  • You can submit your idea or ideas through this Online form.
  • Your entry can be submitted as a single Word or text processing file – or video/audio file, if you choose that option – via our online submission form as an attachment.
Submission format
There is no required structure for an entry, regardless of whether you choose a written submission of 500 words maximum or a 3-minute video/audio description. However, here are some questions that your submission could address: 

  • How might you describe your idea or innovation in one or two sentences?
  • What problem or problems is your idea or innovation addressing? Reflect on gaps that may exist. 
  • What are some outcomes that you hope to achieve with your idea or innovation? Who do you think will benefit, and how?
  • Who or what do you think will need to be involved to ensure your idea or innovation moves forward? (For example governments, the private sector, communities, civil society, research organizations, etc.) Who or what should take the lead?
  • What existing resources and opportunities – in your country or region, for example – could be used to develop and use your idea or innovation?
  • Do see you any possible problems or challenges with the development or use of your idea or innovation? If yes, what are they and how might they be overcome?
  • How might your solution harness or leverage the advancements in science and technology that are underway or anticipated in the coming decades?
  • How might your solution help us adapt to key global threats in our shared future – for example, the impacts of climate change, rapid population growth in certain parts of the world (especially India and Africa), economic uncertainty, pandemics, etc.?
  • What will be relevant to adolescents in 2030 in all or many of the countries prioritized in this challenge?
Judging process and criteria
Submissions will be judged on a 1–10 scale according to the following five criteria:
This refers to how clearly your idea or innovation has been described. You should try to explain in simple, direct ways (1) the background or reason for the idea or innovation, (2) details of what the innovation or idea is, and (3) how it could impact or improve health.
This refers to whether your innovation or idea aims to address health problems or improve health issues that directly affect adolescents in a given community.
This refers to how new, unusual or unique your idea is. What you propose should be groundbreaking.
These terms are related to how your innovation can be designed, developed or used in real-life settings. Feasibility refers to how easy and practical it is to implement your innovation; scalability and replicability refer to how easily your innovation can be introduced to and used effectively in a larger population and in other settings; and sustainability refers to how your innovation can be continued.
This refers to both the ways in which gender, socioeconomic status, wealth, language, ethnicity, location, identity and other intersecting factors have been acknowledged or addressed in the approach to innovation, or as an outcome of the innovation itself.
Applications close: 31st July
Phase 1: Screening of the first batch of entries for eligibility by the organizing committee: As entries come in.
Phase 2: Evaluation of the first batch of entries by Jurists: 
15th July to 31st July
Phase 3: Screening of the second batch of entries for eligibility by the organizing committee: 1st August to 
4th August.
Phase 4: Evaluation of the second batch of entries by Jurists: 5th August to 19th August
Phase 5: Review of submissions requiring further evaluations by selected jurists: 20th August to 25th August.
Phase 6: Collation of final scores by organizing committee: 25th August to 30th August.
Announcement of finalists: 1st September
Prizes, awards and opportunities
  • Prizes will be awarded to the Winner and runner-up in each of the four subcategories. The first prize will be $1500, while the runner-up will receive $500.
  • Winners will be invited to present their idea or innovation at the Global Forum for Adolescents.
  • All people who submit eligible submissions will be invited to social innovation training workshops on building capacity for social innovation monitoring and evaluation, crowdfunding, and related competencies.
Organizing Committee
Steering committee members for this open call have no declared or potential conflicts of interests
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The term ‘open call’ refers to an invitation to participate that is open to all and is made available widely, in contrast to invitations that are sent only to pre-selected potential entrants. Open calls usually allow people to participate over a period of time and with relatively few restrictions. The open call structure is often used by governments, private foundations and others to promote innovation. More details about open contests for health.
Yes. Only one submission from an individual or team is allowed for each of the four subcategories and the same idea cannot be submitted more than once overall.
No. Since the open call is for early-stage ideas, concepts and proposals, participants do not need to have an incorporated business or be part of an organisation in order to enter the open call. At the same time, we welcome submissions on behalf of organisations or businesses, including those that are adolescent-led.
Participation in the challenge is free, with no purchase or payment obligation.
Submissions must be the original work of the participant or the participant’s team. Participants must not knowingly infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate any intellectual property rights, privacy rights, or any other rights of any person or entity in the performance of work. Please note that the organising committee might request further information from you or your team about your idea or innovation after you submit it.
Social innovations in health are inclusive solutions to address the healthcare delivery gap that meet the needs of end users through a multi-stakeholder, community-engaged process.
According to the WHO, Self-care refers to the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health worker.
Helpful Resources:
  • Crowdsourcing in health and health research: a practical guide 
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