Event | February 22, 2016 - February 25, 2016

The Global Innovation Competition is unique.

It is not just a competition, but an opportunity for the kind of intensive collaboration, training and support that most project teams will simply never have access to.

Last September, we asked teams from across the world to send in their ideas on how tech4gov could change lives. More than 400 ideas and 30,000 public votes were submitted from across the world, and in February 2016, the final 15 teams in the 2016 Global Innovation Competition met in Ghana. They spent five days working with expert mentors, and challenging each other to improve and adapt their ideas - and to make their case for funding to the competition jury.

The week is all about the finalists, all about developing their ideas and helping them get to the next level

- Declan Ottaro, Innovation Coordinator

Watch the video below to see why the GIC is providing us with new ways of funding, funding and learning from the best tech4gov projects, and read some of the reflections below from this year's event.

Why is the GIC unique?

Despite the name, the GIC is not just a competition. It's an opportunity for the kind of intensive mentoring, support and collaboration that most project teams applying for funding will simply never have access to.

Making All Voices Count invests significant time in supporting potential grantees throughout the process - including at the final week - and also provides mentoring all the way through to the end of the project.

The GIC process is all about transformation. These finalists that are willing to learn, will rise to the top.

- Scott Stiefvater, GIC mentor

Who takes part?

Because the GIC is set up to be an easy process, with very short application form and a keen understanding by the assessment team that English is not the first language of most applicants, it brings together people with a wide range of ages, experience and project sizes.

This year was no exception: the youngest participant this year was 23 years old and the oldest was 50; and there were nine brand new ideas but also six projects have been tried and tested and are now looking to scale up.

What was the highlight?

You might have the best technology in the world, but if you don't engage people, it's worthless

- Frederico Silva, GIC winner Mozambique

It's actually quite reassuring that, at a tech4gov competition final, teams have one clear message:  innovation is not only about tech, it’s about new ways of thinking – and often using ‘old’ or existing tech in new ways

And it shows in the final proposals: last year, 2 out of our 5 gold winners relied on radio. This year, seen a shift towards using existing tech to support partnerships, services and institutions that are already up and running, but could be so much better with innovative support.

What's most heartening to note is that it seems that the lessons of past projects and programmes are being learned - slowly, perhaps, but it is happening.

Read more about the GIC, and find out more about our finalists here >