USAID's Tech Challenge on Atrocity Prevention

Speeches Shim

In support of President Obama's strategy for atrocity prevention, USAID and Humanity United commit to issuing a Tech Challenge on Atrocity Prevention to support innovative ideas and best-in-class solutions to prevent mass atrocities.

USAID and its partners recognize that 21st century technology is driving tremendous innovation in many social sectors and that some of the tools and solutions used elsewhere might be transformative when applied to atrocity prevention. This challenge encourages individuals - including students - in the United States and abroad to bring new perspectives to these problems and to support the President's vision of 'never again.' Collaborations with universities and the tech industry are encouraged, but not required.

Rather than identifying a specific problem to be solved or barrier to be overcome, the Tech Challenge seeks to support innovations designed to advance atrocity prevention efforts. Illustrative areas may include:

  • Improving the ability to model or forecast the potential for mass atrocity, perhaps drawing on work related to modeling pandemic outbreaks or using forecasting models to identify opportunities for prevention;
  • Linking early warning to early response, ensuring warnings reach at-risk populations and increasing the likelihood that local, national and international actors respond;
  • Improving accountability efforts aimed at increasing the likelihood that perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice;
  • Increasing the impact of women and girls on peace-building efforts to establish inclusive settlements that foster resiliency, encourage accountability, and avoid backsliding and additional atrocities.

USAID will partner with Humanity United to award a combination of prizes for innovative ideas and incentive grants to support the application of select ideas in real world contexts. A jury comprised of subject matter experts and technical specialists from inside and outside of government will review the proposals and announce the first round of awards by January 2013.

Following the initial round of prizes, Humanity United will utilize its convening power to bring together key voices, experts and practitioners on atrocity prevention to meet with prize winners in order to further develop their innovations and work toward bringing these ideas to scale in specific country contexts. Furthermore, USAID aims to use that opportunity to engage prize-winning innovators and other key stakeholders in a brainstorming exercise to identify a problem statement for a potential Grand Challenge for Development in Atrocity Prevention.