World Vision Challenge: Affordable Rural Single Family Sanitation Solutions

$15,000 USD

Challenge overview


The lack of adequate sanitation facilities is a global problem with an estimated 2.3 billion people using unimproved toilets or no toilets at all when eliminating waste. This problem leads to significant public health issues with an estimated 280,000 diarrheal deaths per year attributable to inadequate sanitation. Poor sanitation is also a major factor in several neglected tropical diseases, including intestinal worms, schistosomiasis, and trachoma as well as contributing to malnutrition. World Vision, supported by SeaFreight Labs, is seeking novel new ideas, concepts, and approaches to attack the lack of adequate toilets and latrines in some of the poorest areas of the world.

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.



Properly designed and constructed toilets are a key feature of adequate sanitation facilities. Toilets consist of three primary components (1) containment – the mechanism by which waste is stored for treatment or removal, (2) interface – the point of contact between the user and containment, and (3) superstructure – the structure above the ground that serves to separate the user from the environment and provide privacy and safety. Unfortunately the cost of a proper toilet makes them unaffordable to the vast majority of the rural poor in many parts of the world and an estimated 2.3 billion people use unimproved toilets or no toilet at all. World Vision is seeking to address this problem by soliciting novel ideas, concepts, and technologies to significantly lower the cost of safe, sanitary, and effective toilets. While solutions presenting integrated designs that address all three primary components are ideal, Solvers may also receive awards for solutions that only lower the cost of one or two components. Solutions to this Challenge will have a major positive impact on the lives of countless children and adults worldwide and potentially reduce significantly the number of deaths due to poor sanitation conditions around the globe.

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The award(s) will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $15,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000.
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solver grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal, including for promotional purposes.

PLEASE NOTE: In addition to monetary awards, winning Solvers, with their consent, will receive recognition in a public announcement made by World Vision and will have the opportunity for engagement and collaboration with World Vision and other stakeholders to discuss application of their solutions.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on 12-Jan-2021. Late submissions will not be considered.

After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.



Employees of World Vision and their immediate families, as well as any individuals involved in the judging of this Challenge and their immediate families, are ineligible to receive an award for this Challenge.




World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more than 35 years, World Vision has been bringing water, sanitation, and hygiene services to the most vulnerable children around the world. Our 2021-25 Business Plan aims to leverage $1 billion of investments into 41 priority countries, bringing sanitation to more than 13 million people. Our strategy includes market-based approaches, developing viable business models with tiered product offerings to leave no one behind, as well as increasing consumer demand.

Committed to making a positive and lasting difference in the world, and driven by our desire to serve God, World Vision has become a global leader in improving and transforming the lives of children, their families, and their communities.

World Vision is supported in this project by SeaFreight Labs (, an open-innovation consultancy using global challenges to cost-effectively deliver breakthrough innovation. Participation in this project is a direct result of the recent SeaFreight Labs decision to join the Pledge 1% movement.


What is InnoCentive?

InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?

An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.

In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.

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