Making All Voices Count
Global Innovation Competition (GIC) 2016 Manual

1. Purpose

Making All Voices Count is an international initiative that contributes towards effective governance and accountability by enabling citizen engagement and open, responsive government in 12 countries in Africa and Asia.

This Grand Challenge is committed to promoting transparency, fighting corruption, empowering marginalised citizens, and harnessing the power of new technologies to make government more effective and accountable.

GIC 2016 aims to fund innovators to implement their best tech governance projects that are within the framework of Making All Voices Count to improve the relationship between citizens and their governments.

2. Global Innovation Competition (GIC)

Hosted annually, the GIC tackles a different problem each year around the citizen-to-government relationship. Its unique approach combines a crowdsourcing and public voting process with the benefit of expert mentoring and workshops during Global Innovation Week.

3. Eligibility

A GIC grant is awarded to applicants with particularly innovative ideas, either proven or to be developed should they win..

The applicant must prove they will implement the idea/proven concept in a Making All Voices Count country. Anyone is welcome to apply, companies, government actors, non-profits, for-profits, NGOs, individuals etc. This also includes applicants from the GIC’s inaugural year. An applicant can apply with as many ideas/proven concepts as they wish, however only one application per entity can qualify for the second round.

The Making All Voices Count countries are: Bangladesh, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

4. Themes

Making All Voices Count is scouting the globe for transformative ideas/proven concepts. Any application closely connected to a theme can be submitted. The themes are directly related to the overarching goal of Making All Voices Count - promoting transparency, fighting corruption, empowering marginalised citizens, and harnessing the power of new technologies to make government more effective and accountable. The themes are also promoted by Open Government Partnership (OGP) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year, the GIC will focus on the following themes:

● Extractive Industries

Citizen participation and engagement in natural resource management and extractives is central to ensuring transparency, accountability and effective governance. Under this theme, GIC 2016 will be looking for projects that address the following questions:

  • ○ How can we improve the accuracy and timeliness of tracking of the local budget with new technology?
  • ○ How can we improve government and private sector standards for environmental and social protection with the use of technology?
  • ○ How can we reduce the risk of social conflict with the use of technology?
  • ○ How can we improve citizen access to natural resource information so that we increase citizen awareness and government responsiveness to citizens needs?
  • ○ How can new technology improve revenue collection and management processes to build trust between governments, citizens and private companies?
  • ○ How can we promote access to resources from extractives for women and marginalised communities through innovative technology?

● Devolution

Increasing interaction between citizens and devolved units of government may lead to effective service delivery at local, national and provincial level. The Global Innovation Competition 2016 is looking for ideas/projects that address the following questions:

  • ○ How can local authorities utilise innovative technology and approaches to deliver more efficient services to citizens?
  • ○ How can we improve access to information on devolution so that we can increase citizen awareness and government responsiveness to citizens needs?
  • ○ How can we strengthen the role of citizen participation in planning and budgeting to ensure inclusive and participatory governance?
  • ○ How can new technology be deployed to monitor implementation and progress of government projects?

● Political Party Funding

Lack of transparency in political party financing leads to challenges in governance across various countries. Under this theme, GIC 2016 is looking for projects that address the following questions:

  • ○ How can we promote effective monitoring of political campaigns and party financing through innovative technology?
  • ○ How can access to information on political party financing lead to reduction in corruption and misappropriation of public resources?

● Human Rights and Transitional Justice

Transparency, participation and collaboration are key drivers in ensuring access to justice and accountability. GIC 2016 is looking for projects that address the following questions:

  • ○ How can we engage youth and marginalized populations in transitional justice and human rights issues addressing legacies of conflict through the use of technology?
  • ○ How can technology be used to increase access to information within justice sector?

● Climate Change and Resilience

The GIC 2016 is looking for projects that address the following questions on ways in which countries and communities can make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable:

  • ○ How can we forecast, warn and disseminate information to ensure coping mechanisms during short and long term disaster?
  • ○ How can technology be used to illustrate the economic impact of climate change?
  • ○ How can we improve citizen access to information and data on climate change so that we can increase awareness and create resilient cities?

5. Application Process

Anyone wishing to submit an application is invited to visit: The first round questions include:

  • ○ What is your Idea/project title?
  • ○ Is this a new untested idea or has it already been proven?
  • ○ What problem does your idea/project want to address?
  • ○ How will the proposed approach build on or add to the existing ways of dealing with the problem?
  • ○ What innovative technology shall you use and why?
  • ○ Which theme does your idea fit best?
  • ○ Which sub-theme question will you be answering and how?
  • ○ How does your idea/project engage local, regional or national governments as a means of increasing citizen engagement and/or government responsiveness?
  • ○ How does your idea/concept engage with gender equality and/or the rights of disadvantaged groups?

Additional information will be entered in the second round by those that qualify.

The GIC 2016 will have the following three rounds:

  • ○ First Round (Preliminary): Public Votes and Nominations
  • ○ Second Round (Semi-final): Initial Idea Review
  • ○ Third Round (Final): GIC week consisting of mentoring and networking

5.1. First Round: The Public Votes and Nominations

All eligible applications,, will be made available on Here, votes will be cast allowing members of the public to view and support ideas they feel are best, and want to see through to the second round.

The GIC 2016 will also use nominations and wildcards. The wildcards will be decided upon by the GIC Committee, while the nominations will be made by strategic partners. A total of 15 ideas will be nominated to the semi-finals. Semi finalists will therefore comprise 25 ideas selected through voting, 15 ideas selected through strategic partner nominations and 10 wild cards to make a total of 50 ideas.

5.2. Second Round: Idea Review

A total of 50 ideas will enter the semifinal stage. Applicants will be required to supply additional information necessary for a more in-depth review of their application. Once submitted, the ideas will undergo an initial review by the jury. From this initial jury review, 30 ideas will be selected for dialogue between Making All Voices Count programme staff and applicants designed to better understand the ideas/proven concepts more thoroughly. The screening reviewers will then nominate applicants to the GIC Committee, who will decide which applicants make it to the final.

5.3 Final Round: The Global Innovation Week

The GIC 2016 final will be hosted in Accra, Ghana in what we call the Global Innovation Week. The finalists will meet each other and go through an intense mentorship programme, before making final presentations of their ideas/proven concepts. Invitation and attendance to the GIC Week is a prize in itself, as it opens up a world of networking and other opportunities to all finalists.

At the end of the GIC Week, Making All Voices Count will host the Global Innovation Gala night, where the winners will be announced.

6. Winners and Grants

Grant funding for the winners will all be in one pot just as it was for GIC 2015. The applicants will apply with the budget they need to implement their project. As such the applications will be more targeted, favouring sound proposals with budget needs that can be justified. This allows for an increased number of grantees as well as allowing the programme to increase its grant stream for the GIC, both positively affecting the cost benefit ratio of the competition.

The winners will receive a grant with similar requirements and reporting as any other programme grant and will therefore be subject to further due diligence. The grant pool available for GIC 2016 is GBP 450,000 up from last year’s GBP 300,000

7. Grounds for disqualification

Making All Voices Count reserves the right to withdraw, at any time, any application deemed ineligible or not in line with the GIC’s intent and purpose, or that violates the terms and conditions of the competition.

This includes, but is not limited to: use of automated and paid clicking services, registration of multiple email addresses for purposes of influencing votes, publishing unduly and irrelevant negative material on competing ideas, spamming, unrealistic scoring of peer reviews and any other practise that could compromise the outcome of the competition.

8. Dates

  • Tues 8-Sep: First round applications open
  • Mon 5-Oct: First round applications close
  • Mon 12-Oct: Public voting and nominations begins
  • Wed 11-Nov: Public voting and nominations closes
  • Mon 23-Nov: Semi-Finalists announced and additional data input starts
  • Mon 18-Jan: Finalists announced
  • Mon 22-Feb: Global Innovation Week starts
  • Thu 25-Feb: Global Innovation Gala Night
  • Fri 26-Feb: Global Innovation Week ends

9. FAQ - Additional information

Please consult this manual and the FAQs carefully before applying. If your question still remains, email us at Check thoroughly as we may not have resources to respond to questions already answered in the documentation.

10. Helpful Resources

Making All Voices Count strongly recommends that applicants use NESTA's Development, Impact and You (DIY) toolkit to further strengthen your idea and pitch. Some of these online tools that may be useful are:

All the best!