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Fletcher D-Prize Challenges

The Fletcher D-Prize is structured around several key poverty challenges. Applicants can select from one of the pre-established challenges described below or create their own. 

Challenge 1: Girls' Education

Fletcher D-Prize proposes two proven solutions to help enormous numbers of girls:

  1. Older men often prey on young girls, and contribute to 14 million unintended pregnancies annually in sub-Saharan Africa. Girls are also three times more likely to be infected with HIV than male classmates. A 1 hour “sugar daddy awareness” class significantly reduces these risks. We will award seed capital to an entrepreneur who can launch a new organization to teach “sugar daddy awareness” classes.
  2. Fewer than 50% of girls in developing countries will graduate from high school because they cannot afford fees, yet it only costs $250 to send a girl to school for a year. We will award seed capital to a social entrepreneur who creates a fundraising website with profiles of the smartest yet poorest girls entering high school and raises money from developed-world donors.

Read the full challenge.

Challenge 2: Energy

Fletcher D-Prize proposes two proven energy solutions in need of greater distribution:

  1. 600 million families in sub-Sahara Africa use kerosene lanterns to light their homes. Yet solar lamps are cheap, clean, create cost savings, and can increase household incomes by 30% and nearly double study hours for children. We will award seed capital to a social entrepreneur who can sell solar lights to rural or slum-dwelling households.
  2. Traditional cook stoves are ineffective, cause chronic exposure to smoke, and are estimated to be the cause of 4% of the global disease burden. Modern cook stoves cost as little as $13, and provide cost savings and health benefits. We will award seed capital to a social entrepreneur who can sell cook stoves and maintain long-term adoption rates.

Read the full challenge.

Challenge 3: Education

Fletcher D-Prize proposes two proven education solutions in need of greater distribution:

  1. Developing countries cannot fill thousands of teaching jobs, and teacher absenteeism is highly prevalent. “Flipped classrooms” and deskilled curriculums can be run by a facilitator, and reduce the need for expert teachers. We will award seed capital to an entrepreneur who can launch an organization to implement an effective curriculum for a resource-limited classroom.
  2. In sub-Saharan Africa, 40% of children remain illiterate even after five years of school. Weak accountability is the root, and a proven solution is to report on school performance. We will award seed capital to an entrepreneur to launch an organization that tests student and school performance, and makes the information publicly available to local communities.

Read the full challenge.

Challenge 4: Governance and Infrastructure

Fletcher D-Prize proposes two challenges to expand accountable governance and infrastructure:

  1. The provision of public services in less-developed countries is rife with corruption. Yet many countries have recently used new data-collection technologies to report on corrupt local officials and expand transparency. We will award seed capital to a social entrepreneur who can improve transparency in public services, and report data on the performance of public officials.
  2. World Bank infrastructure projects have generated a higher social rate of return in transport than in any other sector, yet only 19% of roads in sub-Saharan Africa are paved. New roads are often built quickly, cheaply, and may not be finished. We will award seed capital to a social entrepreneur who can create a simple road-construction mapping and monitoring system.
Read the full challenge.
Challenge 5: Global Health

Fletcher D-Prize proposes four global health interventions in need of greater distribution:

  1. Schistosomiasis, an intestinal worm, affects 220 million people, and causes serious health problems in 40 million. Praziquantel, a drug that costs only 8 cents per pill and has no side effects, is an effective treatment. We will award seed capital to a social entrepreneur who proposes a pilot campaign that distributes praziquantel.
  2. For $20, a child can be vaccinated against a range of infectious disease for life, yet millions of children remain unvaccinated. A primary problem is poor cold chain and inventory management, as up to 70% of vaccines are wasted. We will award seed capital to a social entrepreneur who can create a simple management system that tracks vaccine supplies.
  3. Misoprostol is a drug that costs $3 and prevents maternal death from postpartum hemorrhaging. Yet PPH is responsible for over 100,000 deaths annually. We will award seed capital to a social entrepreneur who can develop an organization that trains traditional birth attendants to administer misoprostol and prevent PPH.
  4. Many health conditions are easily correctable with early intervention or surgery, yet identifying at-risk patients among large populations is difficult. Examples include obstetric fistula, cervical cancer, club foot, and cataracts. We will award seed capital to a social entrepreneur who can create a model to identify patients for early treatment or surgically-correctable treatment of these conditions.

Read the full challenge.

Challenge 6: Custom Challenge

Propose your own challenge! If you know of another proven intervention in need of greater distribution, we'd like to hear it. The only requirements are to choose an already proven poverty solution that is in need of distribution to more people in the developing world.

Read the details.