The Inter-American Development Bank, through the Competitiveness and Innovation Division’s Innovation Lab, is launching two international calls for proposals to benefit people with disabilities in Latin America and the Caribbean, based on a methodology called “crowdsourcing,” a process whereby certain activities are outsourced through a crowd of people (usually in dispersed locations) that respond to a call to try and solve a problem. This initiative is financed by the Italian Trust Fund on Information and Communication Technologies for Development. Deadline for proposals submission is December 31, 2012.
The Innovation Lab (I-LAB) is a one-stop shop where people exchange challenges, ideas and solutions. Through The Innovation Lab’s networks, problems are converted into high impact innovations. Innovation is a key element for competitiveness, productivity, economic growth and, thus, inclusive development.
Through these two calls, the I-LAB aims at providing answers to the following questions:
How can we remove those barriers that prevent the labor inclusion of people with disabilities? Are there barriers to labor inclusion of people with disabilities that are particularly gender relevant? What are the innovations that private sector players need to remove those barriers? What is the demand for such solutions? How can we turn labor inclusion and gender equality into reality?
In particular, these two new calls aim at giving a voice to all those that have an innovative ideas and at engaging Latin American and Caribbean firms. In order to reduce the social and economic exclusion of people with disabilities in general, and women in particular, it is crucial to support solutions that can generate income while fighting back prejudices.
The call “I-LAB: Inclusion in Firms” is open to firms and public and private entities that can present innovative solutions for the labor inclusion of people with disabilities. Priority will be given to those proposals that have a focus on gender. The public will have the opportunity to vote on the proposals with the highest potential impact. Those proposals receiving the most votes will qualify for the following phase. In the second phase, a panel of experts will select the best proposal that may receive non-refundable financial support of up to $50,000 to jump start the implementation of the proposal. Applicants must register and submit their proposals online through the Innovation Lab’s website (www.bidinnovacion.org/inclusion-in-firms).
The call “I-LAB: Disruptive Ideas” is open to everybody (entities and individuals) and aims at identifying ideas regarding how to break those barriers that limit the labor inclusion of women and men with disabilities. Everybody can submit ideas and vote for those that are the most innovative and that have the highest potential impact. The participants that submitted those ideas receiving the highest number of votes will be invited by the IDB to present their ideas in detail and discuss how to implement them. Participants must register and submit their ideas on line through the Innovation Lab’s website (www.bidinnovacion.org/disruptive-ideas).
Proposals for both calls should be submitted no later than December 31, 2012 (COB 6pm ET USA).