Call for innovative ideas and solutions

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a human rights violation which has impacted the lives of millions of women and girls around the world, and especially on the African continent. Globally, an estimated 200 million women and girls alive today have undergone some form of FGM, and if present trends continue, another 68 million women and girls will be cut by 2030.

A deeply entrenched social and cultural norm in many places, FGM has serious implications for the sexual and reproductive health of girls and women, such as hemorrhage and infection, fistula and complications during childbirth. In Uganda, 55% of women age 15-49 have heard of female circumcision; 0.3% of women are circumcised. Although the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDH 2016) showed a reduced prevalence among girls and women 15 - 49 from 1.4% in 2011 to 0.3% in 2016; 2020 data from the field showed an increasing trend.

Ending the practice by 2030 – the target set out in the Sustainable Development Goals – would require redoubling evidence-based efforts and innovation. UNFPA and UNICEF through a joint programme to End FGM have taken the eradication of FGM and other harmful practices seriously and have led to a number of interventions to prevent its occurrence. Through the financial support of the Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Programme (SIARP), UNFPA is calling young people (especially 18 - 24years) and girls, to submit innovation ideas and solutions which will halt and prevent FGM in the communities and/or across Africa.

Deadline for submission: 8th October 2021.

8 innovation teams will be selected to participate in a tailor-made week-long Boot camp (first half of Nov 2021) and 2 of the teams will be selected for a sprint programme following a ‘solution pitch event’. The 2 solutions will have access to seed funding (up to $50,000 combined) to design, rapidly prototype, and test their proposed solution’s potential over a 6-month incubation period led by a credible and recognized African innovation hub. Selected innovators are expected to complete all phases of the program which will include a boot camp, virtual pitch events, live pitch at an identified international SRHR event, and 6-month incubation.

During incubation, the selected innovators will be able to access coaching from subject matter specialists and industry experts in innovation, design thinking, lean startup methodologies, business development, frontier technology, supply chain and logistics, and other relevant areas to complement and expand their work’s potential.

How do you qualify?
● Ideas must be new, innovative and respond to any of the priority areas identified in the Call.
● Ideas can be from individuals (young people) representing social enterprises and not-for-profit organizations including academic and research institutions.
● Be based in a Uganda
● Innovators must be 35 years or younger (African Union definition for youth). Women and girls are strongly encouraged to apply.
● Innovation teams cannot be represented by more than 3 members. We expect the represented team members will transfer knowledge to other team members.
● Have an agile growth and learning mindset, including a willingness to pivot and adapt. Refer to the UN principles for innovation
● Able to commit at least 6 months to the incubation stage
● Willing to be incubated by a partner identified by the UNFPA and partners
● Willing to merge your solution with other innovators based on advice from the business advisory partners
● Willing to showcase your business through communication platforms to be determined by UNFPA

Application process
- Complete the following application form by the deadline ( 8th October 2021). Please keep your responses short and to the point (staying within character limit in the questions, which includes spaces.
- Your innovation submission will be reviewed against a set criteria to select teams to attend a customized boot camp with WFP in the first two weeks of November 2021.
- If selected you will be contacted to participate further assessments and invited to participate in the boot camp. Following the boot camp, a select number of teams will pitch their idea to an expert panel who will decide on the winning team.
- The submission needs to be done in English.
- Google Form does not auto save, we recommend typing your responses separately and then submitting in one go.

 How to apply

Qualifying innovators should submit their innovative solution by clicking here: https://forms.gle/A8mbB4SzuSCtQaBJ6 Please keep your responses clear, concise (adhering to character limits)

The deadline for submission is 8th October 2021.

For additional information, email: hndagire@unfpa.org or agaba@unfpa.org

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