World Vision Challenge: Leveraging Funds to Increase Investment in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

  • Award:

    $20,000, $10,000, and $5,000

  • Challenge under evaluation

Challenge overview


There is a tremendous need for investment in clean water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) throughout the world. Lack of access to adequate WASH facilities leads to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of deaths each year and disproportionately affects rural areas of low and middle-income countries. A recent United Nations report indicates a majority of countries with national WASH plans lack sufficient financing to implement the plans and almost 90% don’t have enough for rural drinking water and rural sanitation plans. World Vision, supported by SeaFreight Labs, is interested in exploring opportunities to close the financing gap by leveraging its planned investments into WASH to attract additional funding for the most remote and vulnerable communities. The aim of this Challenge is to gather well-formulated plans to accomplish this and maximize the impact of World Vision’s WASH investments.

This Challenge has a special award structure with awards of $20,000, $10,000, and $5,000 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, respectively, for granting the Seeker a non-exclusive license to practice the solutions. 

This Theoretical Challenge requires only a written proposal.



Access to adequate water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services has a major impact on the health and well-being of a population. Unfortunately, many people around the world lack such access with a lack of financing for WASH development a primary reason. The 2019 UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water Report indicates most countries with costed national WASH plans lack sufficient finance to implement.  Almost 90% do not have sufficient financing for rural drinking water and rural sanitation plans.  The financing needed to fill this gap will not be met by a single entity in the sector.  Governments, the private sector, nonprofits and civil society all need to influence additional financing for WASH.

Over the next 5 years, World Vision is committed to raising $1 billion for investment into WASH services for low- and middle-income countries to help close the financing gap. World Vision is interested in exploring opportunities to increase investment in the sector by leveraging its planned investments into WASH to attract additional funding for the most remote and vulnerable communities. World Vision has the opportunity to utilize tens of millions of dollars in creative ways without many of the restrictions faced by government-backed institutions. There are a number of resources detailing the financing gap in WASH and there are already a variety of thoughtful ways to reduce this gap. The aim of this Challenge is to gather thoughtful and appropriate detailed plans to help explore these opportunities and/or develop completely new ideas for increasing investment in WASH.

This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. The Challenge award will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation of the proposal by the Seeker.

To receive an award, the Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker. Instead, Solvers will grant to the Seeker a non-exclusive license to practice their solutions. 

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on 14-Sep-2021.
Late submissions will not be considered.



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 (WASH) to the most vulnerable children around the world. Our 2021-25 Business Plan aims to leverage $1 billion of investments into over 600 sub-national districts spread across 41 priority countries, bringing transformative WASH services to 15 million people. Our programming includes water supply, sanitation and hygiene, governance and finance and water security and resilience.  World Vision WASH has a local staff base of over 1,200 individuals and a long-term presence of 12 – 15 years of working with a network of communities in each sub-national district.  

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 a Theoretical-Licensing Challenge?

An InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge builds upon an idea but is not yet a proof of concept. A solution to a Theoretical Challenge will solidify the Solver’s concept with detailed descriptions, specifications and requirements necessary to bringing a good idea closer to becoming an actual product or service.

This Challenge is a Theoretical-Licensing Challenge, meaning that the Seeker is requesting non-exclusive rights to use the winning solution. Solvers that do not win retain the rights to their solution after the evaluation period is complete. The Seeker retains no rights to any IP not awarded.