Out of the 344 applications received during the fourth Challenge Window, the Data for Local Impact Innovation Challenge (DLIIC) has selected 41 finalists (13 females and 28 males) to reach the pitch stage. These 41 finalists pitched their ideas to a panel of expert judges from the Ministry of Health and the Prime Minister’s Office of Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled. The pitch event took place on 11-13 September at the Tanzania dLab and highlighted many promising innovations.
The DLI fourth Challenge Window focused on community level problems identified by ordinary citizens in the context of DLI’s sister project, Data Zetu, which aims to increase data use at the subnational level. These citizen-identified problems targeted four thematic areas:
- Teenage pregnancy
- Substance abuse
- Physical/sexual abuse
- Early childhood development
These problems are common to many of Tanzania’s communities, can be addressed with data innovations, and align with PEPFAR priorities to reduce HIV/AIDS infections.
The fourth Challenge Window opened for applications on April 27 and closed on June 27, 2018. After the panel of judges select winners from among the 41 finalists, DLI will announce the winners on our social media accounts. Individuals/teams will be awarded grants of USD10,000 – 25,000, while organisations will receive grants of USD75,000-100,000. This grant funding will be awarded together with technical support from the DLIIC project team.
“We had received over 300 applications in this challenge window, but after the screening process 41 proposals turned out to be among the top leading and well-equipped proposals,” said Mr. Agapiti Manday, the DLI Project Manager. He added “We are hoping that from the 41 finalists who pitched today, we will then select the best of them, and this is not only depending on how they pitched but also depends on the whole project proposal, especially on how viable it is.”
Prior to the pitch event, DLI provided training to the finalists to help them strengthen their ideas and presentations. Speaking shortly after the pitch session, Mr. Elias Mwinuka, one of the finalists, said, “I am very excited and happy that I had the opportunity to apply for the challenge and given the chance to do the pitching.” He added, “It was great that we started with pre-pitch training, which gave us good tips of what needed to be done during the pitch.”
On her part, Ms. Irene Swenya, who is also among the finalists, said, “this was my first time applying for the DLI Innovation Challenge and having the opportunity to come and pitch – really for me it’s a wonderful chance.” She added, “the good thing is, the judges don’t just ask questions; they help you shape your idea so that at the end of the day you can create a better solution.”
The DLI Innovation Challenge has already awarded more than USD 1.1 million in grants to 37 winners from the first three Challenge Windows. These previous windows aimed at reducing the risks of HIV/AIDS and improving healthcare services in the local communities in Tanzania. Learn more about how these grantees are leveraging data to tackle health challenges through the Winner Profiles for the 1st Challenge, 2nd Challenge, and 3rd Challenge.