The innovative and fresh ideas needed to tackle the world’s biggest challenges will likely come from youth. That’s why the World Bank Group and the Wharton School sponsor the Ideas for Action competition. The Ideas for Action initiative, each year, invites hundreds of young people aged 18 to 35 from around the world to share their ideas for financing solutions to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The SDGs are a set of 17 global goals that seek to end poverty by 2030, promote peace, and preserve the planet for future generations. They were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015, and dovetail with the Bank Group’s own goals to end poverty and boost shared prosperity.
Youth engagement is key to successful implementation of the SDGs. For the nearly three billion young people, constituting half the world’s population, the SDGs provide an inclusive, transformative, universal framework to achieve a better world by 2030.
The 2016 Ideas for Action competition drew global interest, with entrants from 125 countries, who submitted 309 proposals from every region of the world. The winners were selected through a rigorous process based on the creativity, significance, feasibility, and clarity of the proposals. Reviewers included young development staff, as well as senior executives and technical experts from international organizations, academics, and the private sector representatives. Other competition partners included: the World Bank Group Youth to Youth Community (Y2Y), Young Americas Business Trust (YABT), and the Organization of American States (OAS).
The winning submission from 2016 from Team DLVR from Nigeria, proposed an innovative approach to a peer-to-peer service for local communities in Nigeria that seeks to tackle logistical challenges for low-income people in emerging market nations. It would create an online technology platform that connects people to complete scheduled and on-demand deliveries. This service focuses on logistics and supply chain bottlenecks, harnessing the knowledge of local communities to build an innovative distribution network at the “last mile” of the supply chain. It has numerous applications, from e-commerce, to agriculture, and medical service delivery.
The second-place team, OINCS from Uruguay, proposed a mobile crowdsourcing platform that enables users to report and share in real-time information about crimes and vehicle traffic in their cities. OINCS promotes a better city life experience by helping people travel faster and more safely. Community users inform and alert others of any adverse event or information related to traffic and citizen security, allowing them to react to events going on around them.
The third-place team, Naukri Search from the United States puts forth a dual platform employment service aimed at increasing transparency in the slum labor market of Mumbai by improving access to employment information and opportunities. Naukri Search emphasizes the readily available technologies of each segment of the labor market. The system enables slum residents to receive accurate, up-to-date information concerning potential employment opportunities within their region.
The I4A competition offers the winners a platform to share their ideas and encourages young people to take ownership over implementation of the SDGs. It also provides them access to some of the leading professionals in the international development profession including in the private sector. The three winning proposals, the three runners-up, as well as the four honorable mentions will be compiled in the 2016 Ideas for Action book, which will be launched at the 2016 IMF-World Bank Group Annual Meetings in Washington D.C. Click here for more information.
Since their generation will be the most affected by the Global Development Goals, young adults need to be the ones planning to reach them. Our hope is that the Ideas for Action competition will continue to foster a sense of ownership while incubating some exciting and practical ideas that can shape our future for the better.