Social Innovation Competition 2022

Welcome to the HDRI Social Innovation Competition and congratulations on your commitment to embark on this adventure to solve violence-related issues!

In the current global context, with 90% of countries failing to guarantee civil liberties (Transperency International 2021), a deterioration of global peace, justice, and safety, both on an individual and societal level, the Human Development Research Initiative–Sciences Po, LAPA–Georgetown, IRSA–Leiden University, UNSA–Yonsei University, and AECP–El Colegio de México invite undergraduate and graduate students from all over the world to propose innovative recommendations to solve a pressing issue: the wave of violence that has exponentiated conflict all over the world.  

We are pleased to give you some insights into the elements we are looking for in your proposal. Below you will find the guidelines for the project, but do not hesitate to use your imagination!

WELCOME to the Social Innovation Competition 2022!


This year’s Social Innovation Competition aims at reimagining development and discovering new pathways for a just and sustainable future based on research and advocacy. Following the quest to ‘leave no one behind’, the competition is dedicated to working within the UN Agenda 2030 and to contributing to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Our 2022 campaign is driven by our witnessing of unfair treatment, injustice, and violence everywhere, both close to us and far away. We want to foster innovations that respond to these urgent issues, thus, this year’s competition focuses on SDG 16, which aims at furthering peace, justice, and strong institutions in the world. 

In this regard, the 2022’s competition will focus on the targets 16.1 Reduce violence everywhere and 16.2 Protect children from abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and violence. Participating teams must come up with innovative solutions to a problem of their choice which directly relates to one of the indicators established in the SDGs. The action plan should focus on recommendations for NGOs working on the issue defined.


The call is open to the general public throughout the country from March 7th to May , 2022. 

Registration opens March 7th

Deadline for application submissions May 22nd

Pre-selections phase May 27th

Final round and closing ceremony June 3rd


Eligibility: All students from all over the world are invited to participate. Each individual must be registered at an academic institution until the end of the competition. 

Team Composition: Teams can consist of up to 5 students. Single entries are permitted, but team registration is encouraged. Note: Group participants must appoint a group leader to represent them. All the participants will be jointly responsible and must respect the rules of the contest. 

Registration: To participate, interested teams and individuals must register in the competition’s google form:


All applications will be assessed and scored using the criteria set out in the Evaluation section below. There will be two evaluation phases: a pre-selection and a semi-final selection.

Pre-selection: Each application will be scored using the criteria presented in the Evaluation section below. The evaluation will be conducted by a pre-selection jury consisting of the organizing committee with one representative from each hosting university. All scores will be subjected to a normalization process to ensure consistency and fairness. 

Semi-final selection: The top-scoring applications will be taken forward to a jury panel appointed by, but independent, from the organizing committee. The jury panel will be composed of experts on the competition’s topic. The jury will choose the final winning proposals. Teams that make it to the final will be asked to hand in a creative product to present their proposal. Further information on the second round will be given to the teams that are chosen as semifinals.  

Policy paper training workshop (optional): Participants will have the opportunity to participate in a training session with an expert guest speaker to receive advice on how to write a policy paper. 

Evaluation and exclusion criteria

Clarity, well written and researched, originality

The projects will be assessed based on their clarity, relevance, and thoroughness of the research. The originality of the proposal is also imperative. The evaluation process will be divided into two phases:

Policy brief proposal

The registered teams will have to present a policy brief paper on the topic of their choice (related to SGD 16.1 or 16.2). The evaluating jury will take into account the following criteria in the policies you bring forward: 
Relevancy: The degree to which the proposal is compatible with the SDG 16 needs in the geographical area chosen – worth 25%.
Efficiency: An assessment of the achievability of the project from an economic and funding point of view – worth 25%.
Effects: An assessment of the long-term and short-term effects and the impact on the existing problem – worth 25%.
Practicability: Whether the recommendations can be implemented or not – worth 25%.

Submission requirements and formatting guidelines

Students are required to identify a problem or issue of their choice and propose an innovative solution. They may choose an issue that affects a small or broad population sample, a country or the problem can be cross-culture specific. All scenarios are possible as long as the problem is relevant and the implementation methodology is clearly defined. It is imperative that the final solution takes into account potential risks and how to overcome them, short-term and long-term goals, and how the impact or outcome of the project is to be measured. The proposal should focus on policies that non-governmental organizations can enact to solve the problem at hand.

The proposal should be no longer than 2000 words (Times New Roman 12 pt, 1.15 spaces, and 2.5 margins on all sides). 

Your proposal should include the following:

1. Title and team name.

2. Short abstract with five keywords.

3. Explanation of context and problem.

4. Explanation of your solution, including the following points:

  • Why is it relevant to the problem?
  • How is it innovative?
  • By who, how and when would it be implemented?
  • What is the expected impact? How would you measure this impact? 

5. Are there similar examples? If so, what and where?

6. What are the challenges you might face and how can they be addressed? 

7. Any additional relevant information.

If you have any questions please email

Good Luck!