The COVID-19 pandemic highlights how countries with platforms (such as digital ID systems, digital payment systems, and integrated social protection information ecosystems) are able to quickly scale up existing or introduce new social protection programs. In particular, countries with such assets have been able to efficiently make emergency cash transfers to vulnerable groups—such as women and girls, the poor, informal workers, migrant workers, people living in remote areas, and refugees.
The Mission Billion Challenge seeks solutions to how countries can increase their efforts to further support these groups—who often lack smartphones, computers and broadband internet access—so they can access services and cash transfers with minimal health risks.
The Mission Billion Challenge is seeking solutions to ensure the inclusivity of ID systems for vulnerable groups while taking into account the social distancing measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to address these specific needs:
- How can countries ensure that everyone—especially vulnerable groups—are able to apply/register for an ID in a way that protects people’s health and the integrity of the ID system?
- How can countries ensure that digital authentication mechanisms in low connectivity environments are accessible and user-friendly for vulnerable populations to facilitate remote access to services and benefits?
WURI WEST AFRICA PRIZE
- How can informal sector workers in West Africa more easily participate in social protection programs?
The Challenge is offering cash prizes totaling US$150,000 for the most promising and innovative solutions.
MAY 27, 2020 - Mission Billion Challenge Opens
AUGUST 14, 2020 - Deadline to Submit a Solution
SEPTEMBER 16, 2020 - Finalists Announced
OCTOBER 16-18, 2020 - Pitch Event during Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (or alternative)
Mission Billion is open to:
Including academics, entrepreneurs, scientists, technologists and other engaged citizens.
Involved in research, advocacy, design and implementation of digital ID systems, digital payment or social protection systems.
The Mission Billion Innovation Challenge is powered by the MIT Solve platform, an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that uses open innovation and crowdsourcing to solve global challenges. Through this MIT Solve platform, innovators and organizations, participants are able to submit a solution to the Mission Billion Challenge. Submissions will be evaluated by committees formed of staff members of the World Bank and partner organizations. The final evaluation panel will be composed of globally recognized experts in the field of digital identification systems.