D-Prize: Seeking Distribution Solutions for Poverty Alleviation
By Guest Contributor on Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
In theory, the world has created a sure-footed path to development. Education, energy, global health, and other innovations have illuminated a clear path for improving the lives of millions . Yet poverty remains a hard reality. Though proven solutions have been invented, many have yet to be distributed to people in need.
Teenage girls in sub-Sahara Africa, for instance, are commonly preyed upon by “sugar daddies” who give money and gifts in exchange for sex. Girls are three times more likely to be infected with HIV than male classmates, and 4 million unwanted pregnancies occur annually. However solutions, like a one hour “sugar daddy awareness” classes, have been shown to reduce teen pregnancy by 28 percent.
Expanding the reach of proven solutions like “sugar daddy awareness” classes will directly improve the lives of millions. That is why a new organization named D-Prize is offering seed capital to anyone who can launch a new organization that distributes a proven poverty solution in the developing world.
Monica Lambert is a current agriculture Peace Corps Volunteer in Madacasgar who is hoping to use a D-Prize award to distribute solar lamps to her community.
“I’m really excited about the D-Prize energy challenge because it could benefit the students in my village by allowing them more time for their studies. Most students who attend school also have household chores they are responsible for; leaving them few daylight hours for homework or studying. I’d like to change that because as I’m quickly learning during this Peace Corps experience — higher education is the way out of poverty.”
Knowledge gained through the Peace Corps is particularly useful in this competition. For instance, an understanding of local knowledge, culture, and social dynamics can be incredibly valuable for a winning idea to an energy challenge. When it comes to selling solar lamps or cook stoves, an entrepreneur from the Peace Corps community will better understand how tackle social barriers to distribution, train local salespeople, and market effectively to potential customers.
Jesse Flanagan, an RPCV who served in El Salvador. He notes that his Peace Corps experience helped him reach the finals of a recent D-Prize competition.
“An entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to do good in the world were what pushed me to join the Peace Corps and ultimately what drove me to submit a proposal to the D-Prize. I think D-Prize is an excellent fit for creative volunteers or RPCVs looking to expand their impact.”
Between 5 and 15 winners will be selected, given mentorship, and awarded up to $20,000 to launch a pilot program. D-prize is accepting new proposals through November 30. Come explore challenges in need of your talent at www.d-prize.org.