Improved Nutrition: Solutions through Innovation

Improved Nutrition

Solutions through Innovation

Logo: GAIN

Competition Information

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Welcome Letter

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and Ashoka’s Changemakers believe that good nutrition for the entire world’s population is within our reach. Everyone can be well nourished. We need your help to identify the innovative solutions that can make this a reality for communities currently lacking access to adequate nutrition or unaware of its benefits.

Many of these solutions are likely to come from creative-thinking community members and local, grassroots organizations with the potential for growth and scale. All of them must be radically creative at their core.

The world has made strides in lessening malnutrition’s scope, yet approximately one billion people are still malnourished, and 25,000 people die every day from hunger and related causes. You are key to identifying new approaches that break the mold.

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and a heart for making a difference in one of the most significant challenges of our time, join us.

Competition Guidelines & Criteria

Eligibility Criteria

The competition is open to all types of individuals and organizations (charitable organizations, private companies, or public entities) from all countries. We consider all entries that:

  • Reflect the theme of the competition: "Improved Nutrition: Solutions through Innovation." Entries will demonstrate system-changing solutions that expand and improve nutrition to undernourished populations.
  • Indicate growth beyond the stage of idea, concept, or research. At a minimum, entries should be at the demonstration stage and indicate success. While we support new ideas at every stage and encourage their entry, the judges are only able to evaluate programs that are beyond the conceptual stage, and have demonstrated a proof of impact, even at small scale.
  • Are submitted in English, Spanish, French, or Portuguese.

Please complete the entire entry form and submit before the deadline.

Assessment Criteria

The winners of this Changemakers collaborative competition will be those entries that best meet the following criteria:

Innovation: This is the knock-out test. The entrant must describe a systematic and/or disruptive innovation in the field of global nutrition. The innovation should be a unique model of change, demonstrating a substantial difference from other initiatives in the field and ready for large-scale expansion. The solutions we seek lie in:

  • broadening access to previously unreached populations;
  • providing innovative nutritional education and consumer awareness;
  • making the most of scarce resources by circumventing barriers to distribution;
  • developing new home fortification products and supplements;
  • using technology in innovative ways to connect with affected populations; and
  • monitoring resources and evaluating effectiveness.

Many of these solutions are likely to come from creative-thinking community members and local, grassroots organizations with the potential for growth and scale. All of them must be radically creative at their core.

Social Impact: It is important that the innovation provides a system-changing solution that expands and improves nutrition to communities currently lacking access to adequate nutrition or unaware of its benefits. The entry must demonstrate impact on the target population it addresses - either a specific underserved community or the undernourished at large. Some innovations will have proven success at a small level, while others will have grown to engage millions of people. Regardless of the level of demonstrated impact, it is important that the innovation have a potential for application globally. This will be judged by considering the innovation's potential for scale and replication, in addition to the entrant’s ability to formulate a clear “road map” to reaching larger goals.

Sustainability: For an innovation to be truly effective it must have a long-term plan for securing financial backing and community support. Entries should describe not only how they are currently financing their work, but also how they plan to finance their work in the future. The most successful entrants go beyond discussing whether or not they will charge for services and describe a business plan. They should also demonstrate that they have strong partnerships and support networks to address an ongoing need, and to aid in scalability and the maintenance of a clear financial strategy.

Competition Deadlines, Procedures, and Rules

Online competition submissions are accepted until December 2, 2009 at 5PM U.S. EST. At any time before this deadline, competition participants are encouraged to revise their entries based on questions and insights that they receive in the Changemakers discussion. Participation in the discussion enhances an entrant’s prospects in the competition and provides the community and the judges an opportunity to understand the entrant’s project more completely.

There are four main phases in the competition:

  • Entry Stage, September 16-December 2, 2009: Entries can be submitted until 5PM US EST on December 2, 2009, and throughout this stage anyone can participate in an online review discussion with the entrants.
  • Online Review and Judging, December 2, 2009 - January 24, 2010: Online review and discussion continues. Simultaneously, a panel of judges who are experts in the field and a team of Ashoka staff select the competition finalists.
  • Voting, January 25-February 8, 2010: The Changemakers community votes online to select the three award-winners from the field of finalists.
  • Winners Announced, February 17, 2010. The Changemakers collaborative competition winners - the three finalists that receive the most votes - will each receive a cash prize of USD $5000. Five entrants will be chosen by GAIN to attend, all-expenses paid, the GAIN Business Alliance Global Forum in May 2010, where they will have the opportunity to present their solutions to investors.
  • Early entries, received by November 4th, will be eligible to win a digital camera.
  • Early Entry Prize Winners Announced! GAIN and the Ashoka Changemakers team are excited to announce the winners of the early entry prizes:

    "Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes Sustainable Nutritional Education & Treatment" submitted by Greg Tulley from the Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation (Nepal)

    "Nutrition on Your Door-step Empowering Local People to Promote Nutrition with Moringa Oleigera Plant" submitted by Henry Osadolor from the Centre for Community Development (Nigeria)

  • Being an Early Entry Prize winner does not preclude you from winning the competition in any way, or guarantee finalist status—all entries will be equally evaluated per the Changemakers criteria at the completion of the entry period.

    Participation in the competition provides the opportunity to receive feedback on your blueprint from fellow entrants, Changemakers staff, judges, and the Changemakers community. Showcasing your blueprint and the challenges involved in creating social impact advises potential investors about how best to improve funding/investing patterns for the sector and to maximize the strategic impact and effectiveness of their future investments.

    Disclaimer - Compliance with Legal Restrictions

    Ashoka complies fully with all U.S. laws and regulations, including Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations, export control, and anti-money laundering laws. All grants will be awarded subject to compliance with such laws. Ashoka will not make any grant if it finds that to do so would be unlawful. This may prohibit awards in certain countries and/or to certain individuals or entities. All recipients will comply with these laws to the extent they are applicable to such recipients. No recipient will take any action that would cause Ashoka to violate any laws. Additionally, Ashoka will not make any grant to a company involved in the promotion of tobacco use.