Habitat for Humanity


Malaria Prevention through Innovations in Home Design or Home Life

Searching for solutions to significantly reduce the number of mosquito bites inside the home, thus lowering disease transmission.
Submission Deadline



For some, a mosquito bite may simply be an itchy nuisance. However, mosquitoes are also carriers of infectious diseases such as Malaria, West Nile virus, and Zika virus. Malaria is the primary concern of this Challenge, as Zika and West Nile viruses have very low prevalence in Kenya. Transmission of vector-borne diseases most frequently occurs within and around the home. Therefore, Habitat for Humanity is searching for solutions to significantly reduce the number of mosquito bites inside the home, thus lowering disease transmission.  Solutions should aim to reduce the number of mosquitoes that enter the home and/or affect the behavior of the mosquitoes while inside the home so they can’t or don’t bite the residents. Furthermore, the solicited solution should have a positive impact on the comfort of residents inside the home.

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation and proof-of-concept demonstration data if available.



Malaria is a life-threatening parasitic disease that is transmitted by infected mosquitoes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are an estimated 3.5 million new cases of Malaria and 10,700 deaths per year in Kenya. The main ways to prevent and reduce malarial transmission include the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets and indoor residual spraying of insecticides. Nets provide protection only if they are used properly and there are growing concerns related to insecticide resistance. Habitat for Humanity is approaching this problem from a different point of view; this Challenge is seeking innovative and cost-effective solutions to retrofit low-income houses with an improved home design or with something that can be done to or in the home to prevent disease transmission.

The submission to the Challenge should include the following:

  1. A detailed description of the proposed Solution and how it addresses each Technical Requirement presented in the Detailed Description of the Challenge. This description should be accompanied by a well-substantiated rationale for the design, annotated drawings, and cost estimates.
  2. Proof-of-concept demonstration data, if available, showing implementation of the proposed solution.

The Challenge award is contingent upon theoretical evaluation and field demonstration or validation of the submitted Solutions by the Seeker.

To receive an award, the Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive Intellectual Property (IP) rights to the Seeker. Instead, Solvers will grant to Habitat for Humanity a non-exclusive license to practice their solutions and the right to share awarded solutions with other nonprofit and for profit organizations worldwide. Habitat for Humanity will make awarded solutions freely available to other nonprofit and for profit organizations to help improve the state of low-income housing worldwide.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on June 7, 2021. 

Late submissions will not be considered.



Employees and interns of Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), as well as their immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling, and their respective spouses) or persons living in the same household, whether related or not, are eligible to enter the Challenge; provided that they will not be eligible to receive an award if their Solution is chosen.  In addition, the Solutions of employees and interns of HFHI will fall under HFHI’s employment policies and be considered work product of HFHI. Please note, employees and interns of Habitat for Humanity Affiliates and independent National Organizations are eligible to enter and receive an award if their Solution is chosen.



Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working in more than 70 countries around the world. Habitat’s vision is of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.  Habitat works toward our vision by building strength, stability and self-reliance in partnership with families in need of decent and affordable housing.

Through the Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter (TCIS), Habitat for Humanity facilitates more efficient and inclusive housing market systems, making affordable housing possible for millions more families.

Habitat for Humanity formally launched the Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter at the historic Habitat III, which took place in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016. The Terwilliger Center is one of Habitat’s key commitments toward the implementation of the United Nation’s member states’ New Urban Agenda.

The Terwilliger Center consolidates more than a decade of experience in developing market-based solutions for housing and the body of work resulting from these early efforts, formerly referred to as the Center for Innovation in Shelter and Finance. Through the Terwilliger Center, Habitat will accelerate and facilitate better functioning inclusive housing markets to enable more than 8 million people access to improved shelter solutions by 2020 (

Habitat is supported in this project by SeaFreight Labs (, an open-innovation consultancy using global challenges to cost-effectively deliver breakthrough innovation. Participation in this project is a direct result of the recent SeaFreight Labs decision to join the Pledge 1% movement.


What is InnoCentive?

InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an RTP Challenge?

An InnoCentive RTP (Reduction to Practice) Challenge is a prototype that proves an idea, and is similar to an InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge in its high level of detail. However, an RTP requires the Solver to submit a validated solution, either in the form of original data or a physical sample. Also, the Seeker is allowed to test the proposed solution. For details about treatment of Intellectual Property (IP) rights, please see the Challenge Specific Agreement.