4 teams emerge winners of Innovation Program pitch 2021 to win UGX 60M

The Digital Human Rights Lab hosted the second round of the Innovation Program Pitch 2021 event in Kampala with support from GIZ and StartHub Africa. The Digital Human Rights Innovation Program aims to create digital solutions for Human Rights Defenders to execute their work in better more efficient ways and more secure ways.

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After receiving over 100 applications from throughout the country and participating in a month-long design sprint, eight teams were selected to submit their innovative ideas and solutions to assist Human Rights Defenders in safely carrying out their work.

The exceptional innovation program saw 4 teams emerge as the winners of the joint prize of UGX 60,000,000 and qualified for the 6-month mentorship program where they will interact with mentors according to their specific needs.

The teams that won the Innovation Program pitch 2021

The winning teams included: Awesome Mind speaks, who unveiled the “My Pal App”, a mental health and wellness digital solution that aims at increasing mental health information and services for young people.

Centres4her is an innovation aimed at increasing access to post violence services to girls and women.

The Debunk team and Disability Innovations UG.

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Ayazika Phillip explained the significance of the BeHeard campaign under whcih the event was held in speaking out against the recent increase in human rights abuse towards marginalized communities. He said, “It is important as human rights defenders that we adapt to technology since human rights violations in this digital era have transcended onto online spaces especially against minority groups.”

The Digital Human Rights Lab made the announcement for innovators to send their applications on 29th March 2021 as they shared their ideas on how to improve human rights work.

Applications were evaluated according to criteria like problem-solution fit, impact, motivation, human rights work, team’s skill set, degree of innovation and technology. The 6 Areas of Action depict the subject areas in Ugandan human rights work where innovative digital solutions, techniques, and ideas are in high demand.

The best 10 teams were then selected to join the Design Sprint where they worked together with coaches to develop and refine their ideas.

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