In 2012, Humanity United and USAID launched the joint Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention, to identify new technologies and approaches to help us better predict, prevent and respond to the rise of mass atrocities.
The Tech Challenge consisted of five sub-challenges, focusing on: i) identifying third-party enablers of atrocities, ii) capturing evidence of atrocities, iii) forecasting the potential for atrocities, iv) communicating with conflict-affected communities, and v) gathering information from hard-to-access areas.
Overall, we awarded prizes to 24 problem-solvers across these five categories, highlighting the most innovative and interesting approaches from over 900 submissions.
Yet we wanted to do more than identify new ideas. We also wanted to help pilot and scale the most promising of these innovations. In 2014, USAID issued an RFA offering seed grants for select Tech Challenge winners. These grants were meant to demonstrate the applicability of winning innovations, encourage partnership between the winners and operational NGOS, and expose these NGOs to new tools.
Later that year, USAID awarded four seed grants, to International Evidence Locker, IVR Junction, People’s Intelligence and the Serval Project. Over the coming months, we look forward to highlighting some of the incredible work done by these recipients over the past two years.