OpenIDEO: COVID-19 Global South Health and Livelihoods Challenge 2020

Application Deadline: September 10, 2020 at 5:00pm ET.

OpenIDEO has released a call for innovative ideas to support low and middle income families across the globe during the pandemic. The top ten ideas will receive prize funds as well as potential for additional investment.

  • How might we support low- and middle-income families in the Global South to stay healthy while maintaining a sustainable livelihood during the COVID-19 pandemic?

OpenIDEO seek innovative ideas that demonstrate a deep understanding of low- and middle-income families in urban areas in the Global South and of those who have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re accepting all stages of innovations, from initial design stage to full scale rollout. Anyone is able to submit to the Challenge, whether you are an individual, a team, or a registered organization.

The challenge of COVID-19 for low- and middle-income families in the urban Global South represents a confluence of many challenges in one. According to the IPI Global Observatory, the Global South has “the highest rates of COVID-19 in the world, a lack of adequate access to healthcare, and a large emerging middle class that is at risk of sliding back into poverty.” Statistics from the region only compound the gravity of this reality. For example: 

  • According to a report recently published by ECLAC United Nations, the poverty rate in Latin America and the Caribbean is expected to jump by 4.4% in 2020, translating into about 30 million of people who had entered the middle class, moving backwards into poverty. 
  • A majority of the population in countries like Peru (76%), Colombia (74%), Brasil (80%), South Africa (64.3%) live in urban areas, and many of them live in multi-generational households. People living in close quarters and the urban density puts older adults and those with underlying medical conditions at even higher risk.
  • Many lower- and middle-income cities and communities are living in substandard and poorly ventilated buildings, making diseases easier to spread. Many lack access to clean water, basic sanitation, and regular electricity. Often, those who commute for work rely on crowded public transportation, where there is high risk of disease transfer. 

Stages of Ideas (Our Definition)

For the purposes of this Challenge, we are defining Ideas in these 4 successive stages:

1) Initial Design stage: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

2) Prototype stage: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea. 

3) Pilot stage: I have started to implement the solution as a whole with a first set of real users. 

4) Full-Scale Rollout stage: I have already tested and scaled this idea significantly with the intended user base.


  • Prize funds and support will be available to up to 10 Top Ideas. Additionally, Top Ideas will be invited to pitch their concepts to leadership from Intercorp to be considered for additional investment and implementation. 
  • Select ideas may also have the opportunity to be coached by La Victoria Lab, Intercorp’s innovation lab, to explore pathways for implementation. 

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the OpenIDEO: COVID-19 Health and Livelihoods Challenge 2020



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