FAQs on the Big Ideas Competition

3 min read

What is the theme of the competition?

The competition is looking for data-driven solutions to advance Sustainable Development Goal 11: make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Specifically it is looking to advance basic service delivery, sustainable transport & energy, resilience to natural disasters & climate change, and harmonious urban environments. Applicants are free to focus on any topic related to Sustainable Development Goal 11.

Who is eligible for the competition?

The competition is open to residents of ASEAN member states (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) as well as residents of the Republic of Korea. Please note that if you are shortlisted we may require evidence of your residency.

Is the competition open to individual applicants?

This competition is open to individual applicants or teams of up to three members.

How many winners will be selected under the competition?

The competition includes a total of 15 awards.

Is it possible to be selected for multiple awards?

Yes, it is possible to be selected for multiple awards. For instance: you may win a country-specific prize and become the grand winner at the same time.

What are the prizes?

  • One Grand Award: US$ 6,000
  • Three Excellence Awards: each winner will receive US$ 2,500
  • Eleven country-specific awards: each winner will receive US$ 2,000


In relation to the prize money, who is responsible for costs related to transfer of the prize funds?

The prize amount is subject to change due to currency fluctuations. The costs related to the deposit, withdrawal and currency exchange of the prize funds are the winners’ responsibility.

What are we looking for from the proposals?

The proposals should:

  • Include new ideas, not already published
  • Use more than one source of data, such as big data, open data, and newly collected data (one example is crowdsourcing)
  • Be realistic, implementable, and cost efficient
  • Clearly explain the details of implementation
  • Proposals will earn more points in evaluation if they include building a prototype that can be further refined and developed


When I can submit my proposal?

You can submit proposals up until midnight (23.59 GMT+7), on 6th June 2016 at big.ideas@undp.org

Is it possible to submit multiple proposals?

Yes, as many as you like.

How should we submit our proposal(s)?

Please submit your application to: big.ideas@undp.org. The subject line of the email should be displayed in the following format: [Country name] Title of the proposal.

In what language should we submit the proposal?

All proposals should be written in English.

What are the stages of evaluation?

There are two evaluation stages. The first stage of evaluation is based on your proposal, from which a short list of 22 proposals is developed (two from each country). In the second stage of evaluation, the 22 applicants on the shortlist present their ideas and undergo a short question and answer session with all the judges.

What are the criteria for the evaluation?

For the competition, the following criteria will be used as the basis for the evaluation:

  1. The issue tackled
    • Clarity: a well defined issue
    • Priority: the issue is closely related to advancing SDG 11
  2. The idea submitted
    • Originality: the idea is unique or more efficient that other approaches available
    • Community: the idea uses existing networks or engages and empowers citizens to act on their own data for locally driven solutions
    • Sustainability: the idea is easy to implement, cost effective and the data used is reliable and available
  3. Proposals will earn more points in evaluation if they include information on a prototype that can be further refined and developed during a post-competition incubation process

When will I know if my proposal has been selected?

You will learn if your proposal is selected for the second evaluation via email during the week beginning 6th June, 2016.

What should I prepare for the presentation during the second stage of evaluation?

For the presentation, you are strongly recommended to pre-record a video presentation in English to be used for the second round of evaluation. However, if your team is not able to pre-record the presentation, your team is expected to inform the committee so that we can arrange an appropriate way for you to present your ideas.

Where I can submit my video presentation?

You can submit your presentation via YouTube and send the link to us via email to big.ideas@undp.org

How much time is allocated for the presentation?

The length of presentation for each team is ten minutes and the question and answer session via telephone with the judges will last about five minutes.

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