Innovation Challenge

(The submission period has ended.)

We are launching a global challenge for youth ages 18 –29 to spark the next great digital innovation to increase access to comprehensive sexuality education. While many young people receive some form of sexuality education in school, evidence suggests that it is often lacking. As we work towards strengthening school-based sexuality education, new media and technology provide additional opportunities to ensure access to information and linkages to resources where young people live, learn, work and play. The winner receives $4,000 USD in seed funding to bring their idea into reality, plus support and mentorship from YTH.

Need a little kickstart to get 
those ideas flowing? You can:

  1. Use an existing online community or communications platform
  2. Integrate sexuality education into your social media channel
  3. Develop a stand-alone app or website
  4. Dream up something totally different!

Eligibility Criteria

Teams of 1 to 5 people – groups are encouraged!

All team members must be ages 18-29

Video Submission

Along with a short online application, each team will submit a 3-5 minute video to pitch your idea to our panel of expert judges!!

Your video should:

  1. Introduce all team members (as a group or sequentially)
  2. Describe your proposed digital idea and what makes it innovative – in other words, what’s different about it compared to what already exists?
  3. Share how this innovation meets the challenges youth in your community face when accessing sexuality education, information and resources
  4. Explain how you plan to utilize your seed funding if you win the challenge!

Please note that while applications must be submitted in English, the content for the innovation itself can be in any language.

(The submission period has ended.)

As you prepare your pitch, use UNESCO’s International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education. Here are some specific sections to review:

  • What is Comprehensive Sexuality Education? (p. 16-20)
  • Safe Use of Information and Communications Technologies (p. 57)
  • Delivering Effective CSE Programmes (p. 90-93)
  • Key Principles for Scaling up Sexuality Education (p. 99)

When creating your digital innovation, please consider the following:

Digital Divide

The digital divide refers to the distinction between those who have the access and skills to use information and communication technology (ICT) products and services, and those who are excluded. The digital divide can occur across differences in gender, age, education, income, social group and/or geographic location.

Gender Equity

Digital platforms can promote positive gender norms and gender equality, as well as help marginalized groups find safety and community. However, these same platforms can also exacerbate gender inequalities and fuel discrimination and marginalization, particularly against young women.

Online Censorship

Censorship of online sexuality information, often by platforms themselves, presents a key barrier to getting comprehensive and necessary content to young people. This includes blocking content, or not allowing certain posts to be ‘promoted’ or to allow advertising, making them less visible to users.

Age-Appropriate Topics

Comprehensive sexuality education encompasses a range of topics that must be tailored by the age and developmental level of your audience. This might look like talking about consent around hugs from family members with a toddler, or consent around romantic relationships with a 15-year-old.

Safety & Protection

Digital platforms should apply methods to protect users from harm, and ensure anonymity and confidentiality. Young people also need support to critically assess digital content and develop digital literacy, so that when they are online they can find accurate content, avoid harm and use appropriate reporting and help-seeking measures when needed.

Have questions? Contact us!

Caitlyn Caruso

[email protected]

Emma Schlamm

[email protected]

With support from UNESCO
ZonaSegura ZonaSegura is a trauma-informed youth-centered innovative mobile solution to address teen dating violence in Honduras. Learn more about ZonaSegura on our program page.