Society for International Development, Washington Chapter


SID-Washington Innovation Challenge

Challenge to identify innovative and simple technology applications shaping international development.
SID-W Annual Conference
Annual Conference Panel

Challenge Overview

The power of connectivity and use of technology have become some of the most consequential shifts in an individual’s behavior and in society. How are governments, donors or implementing partners leveraging simple and accessible technology to shape international development and:

  • Provide better access to goods, services, and information?
  • Increase outreach and engagement?
  • Improve decision making?

Please provide a successful or failed, international development-focused application of technology within one of these three areas. Discuss what worked well, what did not work well, and lessons learned.

Winning submissions will be selected to present on the "Innovative Use of Technology" panel at SID-Washington's Annual Conference, on May 31st in Washington, DC.



Challenge Guidelines


1. Annual Conference Panel Participation

Winning submissions will be selected to present on the "Innovative Use of Technology" panel, at the SID-Washington Annual Conference on Thursday, May 31 in Washington, DC. They will also be featured in all associated online collateral and social media.

The SID-W Annual Conference brings together current and future colleagues, competitors, funders, partners, and others for a day of discussion, debate, information exchange, and networking. Attendees include development professionals representing the private sector, NGOs, think tanks, consulting firms, government agencies, multilateral institutions, universities, and more, actively engaged in international development. This conference typically draws 800-900 people working in all sectors who come to share information and network. 

2. Annual Dinner Individual Tickets

Winning submissions will also be offered two complimentary tickets to the SID-Washington Annual Dinner, a premier networking event, on Thursday, November 29 in Washington, DC.


Submission Requirements

  • Written submission
    • PDF preferred
    • 5 pages max
    • Any content that properly addresses judging criteria
  • Optional: Video submission
    • Link required
    • 3 minutes max
    • Video quality and production value will not impact score



All individual and institutional members of SID-Washington, whose membership is current at the time of submission and through the Conference on May 31st are eligible.

Disclaimer: Individual members who are currently employed by an institutional member of SID-Washington should get approval from the appropriate departments to represent their organization at the Conference.​


Judging Criteria

  • 40% - Innovation/Resources: Is the solution distinctive or fundamentally different from existing approaches? Could the solution viably be implemented and sustained, using accessible and simple resources/technology? Would the solution inspire people to support it?
  • 15% - Product Definition: Has the team clearly defined a product or solution? Is the value proposition clear? Does the product address a clear pain point and the needs of their defined user and customer?
  • 10% - Problem Definition: Does the team have a clear and deep understanding of the problem? Is there a clear pain-point their idea is addressing? Is the societal or market need clearly articulated? Do they understand the ecosystem that surrounds the problem?
  • 10% - User and Customer Definition: Did the team talk to users and/or relevant stakeholders to validate assumptions? Is their user and customer well-defined? Does the team understand the societal need?
  • 10% - Sustainability: Has the team developed a plan for the sustainability of their innovation? Do they have the ability to continually generate revenue to sustain the operations of the team's innovation/venture?
  • 10% - Presentation and Other Strengths: Was the submission professional? Is there anything else that the team has done exceptionally well?
  • 5% - The Team: Does the team include the diversity of expertise necessary to accomplish their goals? Has the team engaged a strong group of advisors and/or partners? Is the team passionate? 
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