Who can apply to the Mission Billion Challenge?

  1. Individuals, including academics, entrepreneurs, scientists, technologists and other engaged citizens.
  2. Organizations involved in research, advocacy, design and implementation of digital ID systems, digital payment or social protection systems.

 Please note:

  • Individuals must be of at least 18 years of age at time of entry
  • Organizations must be legally established entities (profit, non-profit, academic) in their respective countries.

For full participation details, please refer to the Official Rules tab.

How are we CrowdSolving the Mission Billion Challenge?

  1. Sourcing solutions: Anyone, anywhere around the world can submit a solution to the Mission Billion Challenge. You can be an individual, a team, or an organization. Whether you’ve just started building your solution and your team, you’re running a pilot, or you’re ready to scale, we’re looking for innovators and entrepreneurs with the best solutions.
  2. Selecting solutions: Once the submission deadline passes (see timeline for dates), judging begins. After an initial screening by World Bank and MIT Solve staff, Mission Billion judges select the most promising solutions as finalists. These finalists will be invited to pitch their solutions live at the Mission Billion Challenge Pitch Event to be held during the World Bank/IMF Annual Meeting (or alternative) where judges will select the winners.

What type of solutions will be accepted to the Mission Billion Challenge?

Innovations large or small. Human-centered solutions. Solutions that enhance the accessibility and inclusiveness of digital identification systems.

Solution applications must be written in English for the Global Prize and English or French for the WURI West Africa Prize. The Mission Billion Challenge will consider solutions at all stages of development:

  • Idea: A plan or concept by an individual or organization.
  • Prototype: An individual or organization building and testing a product, service, or model.
  • Pilot: An individual or organization deploying a tested product, service, or model in at least one location.
  • Growth: An individual or organization with an established product, service or model rolled out, which is poised for further growth in multiple locations.
  • Scale: An individual or organization working in several locations and that is looking to scale significantly, focusing on increased efficiency.

The most important thing is that your solution addresses the focus of the Mission Billion Challenge. Through open innovation, Mission Billion are looking for a diverse portfolio of solutions across geography, development stage, and team members’ gender and background. We encourage people of all backgrounds to submit applications.

How will my solution be evaluated?

The judging committee for the Mission Billion will be comprised of international experts, staff members of the World Bank and partner organizations. After an initial screening by World Bank and MIT Solve staff, the judges will score the screened solutions based on the following criteria:

  • Alignment: The idea or solution addresses the challenge that has been set forth.
  • Context Appropriateness: The idea or solution – whether it is a global or a regional submission – takes into account the context of developing countries, including low to no connectivity in some areas and little formal technical training among individuals, as well as low literacy and numeracy levels. 
  • Scalability and Ease of Use: The idea or solution can easily be scaled to affect the lives of millions of people.
  • Feasibility: It is feasible to implement the idea or solution, and the team has a plan for the solution to sustain itself after implementation.
  • Innovative Approach: This is a new technology, a new application of a technology, a new idea, or a new process for solving the challenge.

Selected finalists will pitch before the judges and a live audience at the Mission Billion Challenge Pitch Event to be held during the Annual Meetings  of the World Bank/IMF in October 2020. The judges will determine which solutions are the most promising and those selected will receive prize funding and support from the World Bank and its partners.

What is the Mission Billion Challenge timeline?

  • May 27, 2020 - Mission Billion Challenge Opens
  • August 14, 2020 - Deadline to Submit a Solution
  • September 16, 2020 - Finalists Announced
  • October 21, 2020 - Pitch Event during Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group/IMF

What can I win if my solution is selected?

Finalists for the Global and WURI West Africa Prizes will be invited to a high-level event during the World Bank Group Annual Meeting (or alternative) in October 2020 to present their solutions and to compete for up to $150,000 in cash prizes.

Where can I review the Official Rules of the Challenge?

The official rules are available in the Official Rules tab.

Where is a recap of the 2019 Challenge and the submissions?

You can find a recap of the 2019 Challenge here. The 2019 submissions are available on the MIT Solve platform.

Will webinars be available to learn more and ask questions?

Yes, several webinars will be offered during the open period for submissions. The presentation from the June 16, 2020 webinar is available here via: slides or recording