Social Innovation Competition 2020

Social Innovation Competition 2020 Guidelines

Welcome to the next step of the Social Innovation Competition and congratulations on your commitment to embark on this adventure to solve climate change-related issues! We are pleased to give you some insights on the elements we are looking for in your final paper. Below you will find the guidelines for the project, but do not hesitate to use your imagination!


HDRI aims at reimagining development and at discovering new pathways for a just and sustainable future based on research and advocacy. Following the quest to ‘leave no one behind’, HDRI  is dedicated to align its work with the Agenda 2030 and to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Our 2019-2020 campaign is driven by the willingness to foster innovations in order to respond to the greatest global crisis of the 21st century: climate change. Given the urgency of the ongoing crisis, this year’s competition will focus on SDGs relating to the environment and sustainability (SDGs 11-12-13-14-15).

We wish to base the action-plan of our event on the collaboration between Organisations and NGOs in order to provide our students with a holistic experience from experts and practitioners, and prepare them to become the policy makers and innovators of tomorrow.


Open to all students

Team Composition

Team can go up to 5 students. Single entries are permitted, but team registration is encouraged.


Please register your teams on the “Social Innovation Competition” google form available here prior to submitting your proposal. Participants are required to submit an abstract before registrations close.

Student participants will have the opportunity to participate in a workshop organised by HDRI to receive advice from professionals on their innovations.

HDRI point of contact

Each team will have a point of contact from the HDRI who will be available to answer all questions about the subject, the content and resources available. They can also help teams solve bottlenecks, and assist with making sure that their preparation process runs smoothly.


 Proposals must be submitted by email ( before 11:59 pm on Sunday 29th of March. 


  • Deadline for registration : Sunday 8th of March 2020, 11:59pm
  • Deadline for proposal submissions : Sunday 29th of March 2019, 11:59pm
  • Announcement of the three selected submissions:  Thursday 2th of April 2020
  • Event : Wednesday 8th of April 2020, 7:00 to 9:00pm

Evaluation Criteria: Clarity, well written and researched, originality

The final project will be assessed based on its clarity, relevance and the thoroughness of the research. The originality of the paper is also imperative. The evaluators will take into account the following criteria in your projects:

  • Relevancy: the degree to which the proposal of your project is compatible with the needs of the environmental issues in the geographical area you have chosen.
  • Efficiency: an assessment of the achievability of the project from an economic and funding point of view
  • Effects: long term and short term effects, how your intervention might possibly impact the environmental problem 
  • Practicability: if the idea could actually be implemented.


After the evaluation of the proposals, three student teams will be selected to pitch their projects in front of a panel of experienced jury members. The jury panel will consist of practitioners and policy analysts in the field of climate change and environment. 
The winning team will have the chance to be published on our HDRI website, and more prizes are yet to be announced!

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 broad population sample or country or cross-culture specific as long as the problem is relevant and the implementation methodology clearly defined. It is imperative that the final paper takes into account potential risks and how to overcome them, the short term and long term goals, and how the impact of the project is to be measured. It should be no longer than 6 pages. 

Your proposal should include the following:

1. Title and team name (if applicable)

2. Short Abstract and description  (150-200 words)

3. Explanation of problem and context (200-400 words) 

4. Explanation of your solution (700-1,400 words)

(It should include the following points)

  • Why is it relevant?
  • 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, where and how? Please elaborate. (150-300 words) 

6. What are challenges you might face and how can they be addressed? (200-400 words) 

7. Any additional relevant information

Formatting guidelines:

  • Proposals should be between 1,500 and 3,000 words, with proper citations and references. The word count does not include the appendix, footnotes/citations, or any charts/graphs. 
  • The submission must be in Times New Roman, 12 pt font.
  • All appropriate information must be cited.
  • The submission should be sent in PDF or Microsoft Word format in English.