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UNFPA Climate HackLab: Identification of Youth, Climate Change and SRHR Innovators and Intermediaries in East and Southern Africa

Frequently Asked Questions


Q1: What is the UNFPA Climate HackLab innovation project about?

As incidents of climate related hazards are on the rise, UNFPA acknowledges that the impact of climate change will also undermine its mission to end preventable maternal death, end unmet need for family planning, and end gender-based violence and harmful practices by 2030.

 The UNFPA East and Southern Africa Regional Office, under the auspices of the Safeguard Young People Programme, has  therefore initiated an exciting innovation project that aims to solicit smart innovations and ideas that will contribute towards building community resilience. Young people across East and Southern Africa are therefore encouraged to grab this opportunity and make a life-changing impact.

Two young innovators will each receive $10,000 in seed capital and for business incubation.

Q2: How does climate change impact UNFPA's work?

When a climate-related disaster strikes, women and girls are exposed to vulnerabilities that put them at greater risk of gender-based violence. Young girls who are unable to attend school if they are displaced, for instance, risk being married off early by parents who can no longer afford to look after them if they have lost their livelihoods. A girl married as a child to a much older man is at greater risk of intimate partner violence due to an imbalance of power in the relationship.

During disasters, health services - including sexual and reproductive health services – are often limited and at times not available, such that women often give birth without much-needed medical support. In addition, women’s and girl's ability to manage their menstruation with dignity is impaired when there is a lack of clean water and menstrual products. 

Q3: Who is eligible to submit an entry?

The innovation project is targeting young innovators, especially women and girls, who have innovative solutions that will accelerate efforts towards UNFPA's goals of ending preventable maternal death, ending unmet need for family planning, and ending gender-based violence and harmful practices by 2030.

Q3: What are the potential areas for innovation?

This exciting innovation project seeks to solicit proposal submissions addressing the impact of climate change on women, girls and young people in the following areas: 

  1. Any idea or innovative solution that supports the empowerment and/or adaptive capacity of women, girls, young people or marginalized groups in hotspot areas affected by climate change. 
  2. Any idea or innovative solution that promotes the involvement of young people, women, and marginalized groups in programme design to help in the delivery of sexual and reproductive health and rights issues in climate change-affected areas.
  3. Any idea or innovative solution that promotes access to health services, including sexual and reproductive health services.
  4. Any idea or innovation that promotes the protection of women, girls, and young people from harmful practices such as child marriage, early marriage, and gender-based violence.
  5. Any idea or innovation that promotes protection systems to prevent and minimize acts of violence, such as sexual exploitation and gender-based violence in emergency settings.
  6. Any idea or innovation tools that promote knowledge of sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender and climate change issues. 
  7. Any idea or innovation tools that promote the achievement of the programme areas of work as stated in the UNFPA climate change value proposition.  
  8. Any idea or innovation that promotes access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender, and climate change information in hotspot areas (humanitarian settings, flooding, or any other early warning system/tools).

Each of the identified innovation solutions must, as far as possible, have a common identity that includes:

  1. Supporting communities or systems resilience; 
  2. Being led by women and/or girls and/or youth and/or marginalized groups;
  3. Creating jobs for youth and women; 
  4. Being commercially viable; 
  5. Being scalable and adaptable to different country and community contexts. 

Q4: What criteria will be used to evaluate submitted innovation projects or ideas?  

The primary criteria for selection include:

  1. Solutions aligned to UNFPA’s work, which are linked to UNFPA’s transformative results; 
  2. Solutions aligned to UNFPA’s work, which are linked to UNFPA’s Climate Change value proposition;
  3. Solutions led by innovators between 15 and 35 years of age
  4. Solutions based in the East and Southern Africa region; 
  5. Priority will be given to young female-led innovative solutions. 

Q5: What does the project aim to achieve?

  1. This exciting innovation project aims to identify at least 30 young climate innovators from East and Southern Africa.
  2. Two innovative solutions or project ideas to be selected as winning solutions.

Q6: What is the winning prize package?

Two winners will emerge from the challenge. Each winner will receive $10000 in seed money and business  support services. The two winners will be matched with a business incubation/acceleration partner to support the business growth.

Q7: How do I submit my project proposal or idea?

All submitted project innovations or ideas should be sent to the registration link here by 31 July 2021.