1. Purpose

Making All Voices Count is a global initiative that supports innovative thinking, scaling, and research that deepens both existing and new innovations that enable better citizen engagement and government responsiveness.

This Grand Challenge focuses global attention on creative and cutting-edge solutions, including those that use mobile, web and other technologies, to ensure the voices of all citizens are heard and that governments have the capacity, as well as the incentive, to listen and respond. The aim of Making All Voices Count is a substantial push towards effective democratic governance and accountability.

The GIC 2015 aims to support projects whose objectives match those of the wider Making All Voices Count initiative.

  1. Global Innovation Competition (GIC)

The Global Innovation Competition tackles a different governance and accountability problem each year, and makes use of public votes to identify and score entries. A peer review process is used to scrutinise the most promising entries, and the applicants that make it to the final are invited to attend the Global Innovation Week in Jakarta.

  1. Eligibility

GIC grants are awarded to applicants with particularly innovative ideas or proven concepts.

The applicant must prove they will implement the idea/proven concept in a Making All Voices Count country. The Making All Voices Count countries are Bangladesh, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

Anyone is welcome to apply: companies, government actors, non-profits, for-profits, education establishments, NGOs or individuals. Applicants from last year’s GIC are also eligible to reapply. Applicants can apply with as many ideas/proven concepts as they wish, however only one application per entity will qualify for the second round, and that will be the application with the most votes.

  1. Themes

Making All Voices Count is scouting the globe for transformative ideas/proven concepts. Any application closely connected to one of the following themes can be submitted: •Legislative Openness – Inclusive & Participatory Lawmaking

Understanding and operating in accordance with the law in a transparent and accountable way is central to good democratic governance. For this theme, the GIC 2015 will be looking for projects that: ◦provide long-term potential for influencing policy at the local and national level; ◦seek to address key areas of tension between citizens, cso’s (watch dogs) or governments on reducing corruption and promoting human rights; ◦provide a platform for governments to embrace modern approaches to governance such as e-diplomacy, e-petitions, codes of consultation, and open legislative data; ◦provide avenues for dialogue especially at local and county levels; ◦promote transparency and accountability of national institutions (political) and parliaments. •Sub-national Governance

Improved relationships and interaction between citizens and their governments is central to Making All Voices Count. As citizens have better access to the their sub-national governments, much of the conversation takes place here. Therefore, the GIC 2015 is looking for ideas/proven concepts that: ◦improve freedom to and/or access of information; ◦increase good governance; ◦incentivize monitoring and good practice; ◦incentivize transparency and accountability; ◦promote fiscal and budgetary responsibility; ◦investigate political power and deal with power distribution and access; ◦promote access for disadvantaged groups. •Gender Equality

Women are a disadvantaged group and often have limited representation in and influence on government, highlighting the importance of the issue. As a result, the GIC 2015 is looking for projects that: ◦investigate political power and deal with power distribution and access; ◦address issues of gender inequality within the access to public data; ◦promote gender equality in the area of governance, accountability and transparency; ◦further citizen engagement to shape government policies that empowers women; ◦promote gender equality in government service provisioning. •Building resilience and response to humanitarian crisis

All countries are vulnerable to various forms of natural disasters including floods, bush fires, earthquakes and tsunamis. All countries also – to varying degrees – have an element of internal threat from communal or political violence. Technology is being increasingly seen as a tool to build and foster resilience, and to better prepare and act/respond effectively in life-saving ways should a crisis occur. Therefore, the GIC 2015 is looking for projects that: ◦follow the money on resilience/response efforts; ◦improve governance that mitigates against man-made humanitarian crisis; ◦improve governance for resilience and/or responses to natural disasters; ◦utilize data to facilitate dialogue for change between actors.

  1. Application Process

Anyone wishing to submit an application is invited to visit: http://ideas.makingallvoicescount.org

Applicants will be required to provide information in two stages; a more limited amount for the first round, followed by more thorough answers in the second, should you qualify.

The first round questions include: •What is your innovative idea / concept? •How does your innovative idea / concept promote better governance, transparency, accountability and/or decreased corruption? •How do you intend to engage government with your idea / concept? •How does your idea/concept engage with gender equality and/or the rights of disadvantaged groups? •Why should YOU win?

The GIC 2015 will have the following four rounds: 1.First Round: The Public Votes 2.Second Round: The Peer Review 3.Third Round: The Screening Review 4.Final Round: The Global Innovation Week in Jakarta, Indonesia

5.1. First Round: The Public Votes

All eligible applications, as approved by the GIC Committee1, will be made available on http://ideas.makingallvoicescount.org. Here, votes will be cast allowing members of the public to view and support ideas they feel are best, and want to see through to the second round.

The GIC 2015 will also use wildcards to increase the chance of applicants from less ICT-enabled countries/regions, who by definition will have a harder time crowdsourcing votes. The wildcards will be decided upon by the GIC Committee.

5.2. Second Round: The Peer Review

A total of 50 second round applicants will enter a peer review assessment of each other. For this purpose, an applicant will firstly supply additional information necessary for a more in-depth review of their application. Each of the entries in the second round will be divided into five groups, who will review the other entries in that group and rank them on the strength of their idea/proven concept. The Jury2 will also review the second round entries and based on their review, a number of wildcards may be assigned. A total of 30 entries will make it through to the third round.

5.3. Third Round: The Screening Review

The third round screening review consists of a dialogue between Making All Voices Count staff and applicants designed to better understand the ideas/proven concepts more thoroughly. The screening reviewers will then nominate applicants to the GIC Committee, who will decide which applicants make it to the final. This number is flexible, and based on total budget requirements – an important change for the GIC 2015 – which will be further explained in section six below.

5.4. Final

The GIC 2015 final will be hosted in Jakarta, Indonesia. The finalists will meet each other and go through an intense mentorship programme, before making final presentations of their ideas/proven concepts. Invitation and attendance to the GIC Week is a prize in itself, as it opens up a world of networking and other opportunities to all finalists.

At the end of the GIC Week, Making All Voices Count will host the Global Innovation Gala night, where the winners will be announced.

  1. Application budget

One significant change to the GIC 2015 is the way in which the prize money is disbursed. Instead of having set amounts for the winners, there will be one pool of money. All applicants will apply with the budget they need to implement their project. Therefore we advise applicants to apply for realistic and justified grants.

N.B: Applying for too much will result in applications being screened out in the second and third round. As the amount you ask for goes up, your chance of winning goes down. Be responsible and realistic.

  1. Winning a GIC grant

The winners will receive a grant with exactly the same requirements and reporting needs as any other Making All Voices Count grant. As a result, winners will undergo further due diligence to ensure they meet the requirements of Making All Voices Count. If not, they will be unable to receive their grant and therefore will be dropped from the competition.

The total pool of grant money available to winners of the GIC 2015 is GBP 300,000.

  1. Grounds for disqualification

Making All Voices Count reserves the right to withdraw, at any time, any application deemed ineligible or not in line with the GIC’s intent and purpose, or that violates the terms and conditions of the competition.

This includes, but is not limited to: use of automated and paid clicking services, registration of multiple email addresses, publishing unduly and irrelevant negative material on competing ideas, spamming, unrealistic scoring of peer reviews and any other practise that could compromise the outcome of the competition.

  1. Dates

Mon 15-Sep: First round applications open

Wed 15-Oct: First round applications close

Wed 22-Oct: Public voting begins

Sun 23-Nov: Public voting closes

Wed 03-Dec: Second round applicants announced and Peer review additional data input starts

Fri 19-Dec: Peer review begins

Wed 21-Jan: Peer review ends

Mon 26-Jan: Third round applicants announced

Wed 28-Jan: Third round screening review begins

Sun 25-Feb: Third round screening review ends

Mon 02-Mar: Finalists announced

Mon 06-Apr: Global Innovation Week

Thu 09-Apr: Global Innovation Gala Night

Fri 10-Apr: Global Innovation Week ends

  1. FAQ – Additional information

Please consult this manual and the FAQs carefully before applying. If your question still remains, email us at gic@makingallvoicescount.org. If your question has already been answered in the FAQ or manual we will not respond twice, so please check thoroughly.


1 Consisting of members from the implementing partners Ushahidi, Hivos and IDS.

2 Consisting of members from the implementing partners Ushahidi, Hivos and IDS as well as experts in the field. The composition will be announced at a later stage.