What was new about the Challenge this year:
Principles-based evaluation. For the 2018 Challenge, GHR Foundation deployed a principles-based evaluation of idea submissions that increased transparency. To improve and evolve the Challenge, GHR worked with the 2017 Top Ideas to identify and develop principles that would inform the evaluation they used in the 2018 cycle. Rather than focus on metrics and outcomes, a principles-based approach focuses on how an innovation addresses a problem.
“Using principles-based evaluation allowed us to focus on the question of ‘How do you work?’ more than the question of ‘What do you do?’ said Mark Guy, GHR Foundation senior program officer. “It’s the difference between cooking with a ‘season-to-taste’ approach and following a recipe. It allows for adaptability, which is important for projects that are operating in complex, dynamic environments.”
Increased global engagement. Building on its first year, the 2018 Challenge saw more than 675 ideas and participants from 195 countries and territories engage in the open innovation process, with a total of more than 6,000 comments on the platform, increased from 2,500 in 2017.
Translated materials and diverse experts. In 2018, the BridgeBuilder Challenge enhanced inclusion and accessibility by translating materials into seven languages and adding diverse experts to the process—nine volunteer OpenIDEO coaches from around the world were assigned to work with the group of 55 Shortlisted ideas as they advanced to the Refinement phase, helping them improve their concepts.
“The broad response to BridgeBuilder in just its first year was truly inspiring, but we recognize a need for resources to reach even deeper into communities around the world,” said Chris Berger, GHR Foundation director of communications. “Guided by the engagement principles we developed with the BridgeBuilder community, we’re striving to ‘meet people where they are,’ so that every individual feels included and supported. That’s why we translated our social posts, brief and criteria into seven languages and expanded our global support team.”
Not winning doesn’t mean losing. While one 2018 Top Idea is a returning challenge participant, teams who weren’t selected describe value in the process itself. Several participants who ultimately did not win the Challenge said the open innovation process attracted them to BridgeBuilder, where they’ve made new connections, received feedback from experts and beneficiaries and improved their idea for consideration by other funders.
The 2018 BridgeBuilder Challenge Top Ideas will be announced on Oct. 1, 2018. Learn more about the Challenge here.