OpenIDEO Challenge: Win $500,000 in funding for improving educational state of IDPs in Pakistan

Avatar Written by Sarwat Fatima · 1 min read>
OpenIDEO Challenge Pakistan

“Knowledge always desires increase; it is like fire, which must first be kindled by some external agent, but which will afterwards propagate itself.” – Samuel Johnson

Education is a basic human right and a single most beautiful gift that can be given to a child. It can form a strong ground for a child to grow and become a promising future of the country. However, lately, we have not been able to provide this right to many children in Pakistan. This could be because of the political instability and the security situation in the country which forced many families to flee the safety of their homes and leave educational spaces behind to settle in new surroundings.

Most of the illiterate individuals in Pakistan belong to a background where they cannot even afford the basic necessities of life. We need to focus on this part of our community to remove illiteracy and create a brighter future for Pakistan. This is why is calling out all social entrepreneurs & innovators, startups, non-profits and NGOs in Pakistan to tackle the most important challenge of our country and around the world – How might we improve the state of education & learning for refugees and people displaced by conflict?

The answer to this question can be found if we follow a path of collaborative efforts to generate the ideas and solutions that can create long-term impact.


OpenIDEO is an online challenge for the wildest and creative ideas that can aid in creating learning environments for displaced children and adults. You can pick one of the following categories for education & learning innovation and build the solution around that category.


You can submit your ideas to the OpenIDEO platform after setting up a profile. You can get feedback from the best thinkers and designers from around the world, then refine your idea and take it to the next level of prototyping and testing. The few of the best ideas can win as much as up to $500,000 in funding to test the respective idea in real-life.

Here are the steps you should follow to get started:

  1. Open the link and review and read the challenge details.
  2. Create a profile on and scout the challenge.
  3. Attend a regional HCD workshop in Islamabad or Lahore (Optional)
  4. Submit your idea to the platform before May 26, 2015.

Saad Hamid, OpenIDEO Pakistan Community Manager, plans to conduct workshops on human-centered design in Islamabad & Lahore. These workshops can help you get a better sense of the whole process and how to design your idea around the needs of poor and displaced.

This challenge will not only help to acquire recognition and funding for your startup but assist you in learning human-centered design tools and techniques. It can develop a community of design thinkers in Pakistan who can come together to build all sorts of innovative solutions.

Even if you are not a social entrepreneur, you can still contribute to the cause through a Facebook share, a retweet or simply suggesting this challenge to someone you know.

Written by Sarwat Fatima
Sarwat is a journalist and DIY enthusiast. She loves writing about Startups and Businesses. She is heading Islamabad and surrounding areas for news coverage. Profile