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The Pitch

The Pitch Season 3

The Pitch is a global competition that provides funding to start or scale knowledge management (KM) initiatives in select countries in Africa and Asia. Season 3 of The Pitch will fund locally driven KM innovations for YOUTH-LED and/or YOUTH-FOCUSED family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) programs. We are particularly interested in programs that use positive youth development (PYD) and gender transformative approaches. For more information please see USAID’s Positive Youth Development and Gender Transformative Checklist and the Gender Integration Continuum User’s Guide.

For Season 3, we received more than 50 applications. We selected 6 semi-finalists to pitch their idea to a panel of judges. 

Find out who was awarded $50,000 to implement their idea! Watch the episode below.

Meet The Finalists

Our judges selected these three organizations to implement their winning ideas over a 5-month period from June – October 2023.

SERAC Bangladesh logo

Innovation: Contextualized SRHR Folk Songs in Bangla

Organization: SERAC

Country: Bangladesh

Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information in Bangla regional dialects is absent. This language barrier makes millions of young people out of reach for SRH programs. SERAC intends to leverage their past experience to fill this knowledge gap by creating 5 ballad songs and other types of Bangla folk songs like Puthi and Gambhira to present locally contextualized SRHR topics to young people through songs and accompanying visuals. The Ministry of Health has previously commended the work of SERAC in creating similar songs in Puthi. This innovation will directly contribute to the realization of the national adolescent health strategy and generate more demand among adolescents to access relevant health and SRH services in their communities. Presenting SRHR information through songs in their local language will help young people remember the information and impel stakeholders and policymakers to rethink future programs and strategies. The songs will be disseminated on the SERCA-Bangladesh webpage and social media platforms. 

SERAC-Bangladesh is a youth-led development organization that promotes the socio-economic, social status and living standards of vulnerable communities through capacity building, awareness-raising, strategic communication, and innovative programs.

The YP Foundation. Feminist, intersectional, rights-based

Innovation: Kaleidoscope: A Free Gender Transformative Chatbot

Organization: The YP Foundation

Country: India 

For many, knowledge around sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is either absent or information that is eurocentric and unrelatable, cisheteronormative and exclusionary of diverse gender identities and sexualities, and prevention-based rather than pleasure-affirmative.  To address this, The YP Foundation intends to develop Kaleidoscope, a free gender transformative WhatsApp-based chatbot in English and Hindi that collates resources, tools, and information and makes them accessible for young Indians. Users can ask questions on various SRHR topics, explore tools for advocacy, locate service providers, and access helpline numbers. Kaleidoscope will provide a safe and confidential space for young people to explore their choices on an encrypted platform. It will be developed in collaboration with tech experts and young people and analysis of the trends in the chatbot will help inform SRHR programs in India by identifying young people’s concerns. Post project implementation, The YP Foundation intends to sustain the chatbot. 

The YP Foundation (TYPF) is a youth-led organisation that facilitates young people’s feminist and rights-based leadership on issues of health equity, gender justice, sexuality rights, and social justice.

VSO kenya logo

Innovation: Data4Youth Accountability Hub (D4Y-AH)

Organization: VSO 

Country: Kenya

Social accountability, or the method of holding decision makers responsible for national and sub-national problems through civic engagement, has increasingly been used by practitioners in the health sector. Despite its growing popularity, key populations such as youth, LGBTQ+ communities, and people with disabilities tend to be excluded in this approach. Many youth non governmental organizations are beginning to advocate for family planning and reproductive health services using social accountability, but have been unsuccessful due to the lack of data-sharing platforms and complex digital solutions that cannot be scaled. The Data4Youth Accountability Hub (D4Y-AH) is a digital tool that aims to solve this issue through delivering youth-led social accountability for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The dashboard consists of: 1) a data tool youth can use to map out SRHR issues, and connect them to existing policy frameworks, 2) an Android app that collects SRHR data from local clinics in Kenya, and 3) a data tool that youth can use to analyze country-wide SRHR data. The hub will be powered by young people, in the hopes of connecting timely SRHR issues to primary actors, civil society organizations, and government institutions.

VSO is an organization working to improve access and delivery of FP/RH services, with a special focus on youth, people with disabilities, and women living in rural communities.

Meet The Semi-Finalists

Education As A Vaccine logo

Innovation: Frisky App for Tailored Sexual Risk Assessment Information and Data

Organization: Education as a Vaccine

Country: Nigeria

 Many adolescents and youth in Nigeria are sexually active and need access to accurate sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services to avoid risky behaviors and protect their health and wellbeing. SRH stakeholders, in turn, need evidence-based information to ensure they design and implement relevant interventions that address the actual risk-taking behaviors of youth, but they currently lack this type of data. The Frisky app solves both problems. Currently downloaded by more than 3,000 youth aged 15-29, the Frisky app enables young people to assess their sexual health risks by receiving tailored information based on their answers to a series of questions and links them to trained youth counselors for additional information. Education as a Vaccine is seeking funding to increase awareness about the app at college campuses while also analyzing the sexual risk-taking data from the app and synthesizing it for program managers and decision makers to inform the development of program interventions. Through the scale up of Frisky, accurate information will be placed into the hands of young people to dispel SRH myths and misconceptions and programs can be designed based on the needs of youth.

 Education as a Vaccine is a women-led, youth-focused organization that works to advance the health and rights of adolescents and young people through technology.

Mic graphic

Innovation: Youth Alliance of Knowledge Champions to Share their FP/RH Stories

Organization: Artivism Academy

Country: Pakistan

Access to family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) information among youth is a challenge in Pakistan due to cultural taboos. These challenges became even more pronounced after the June 2022 floods, with an estimated 1.6 million girls and women of reproductive age needing immediate sexual and reproductive health services.  Artivism Academy is proposing to change the way FP/RH programs share knowledge for adolescents and youth affected by floods in Pakistan by establishing a National Youth Alliance of Knowledge Champions of diverse SRH youth activists who will develop appealing and creative resources, including comic books, animated videos, and an interactive game, to share stories of their challenges and solutions. The youth champions will also share their stories related to menstrual hygiene, youth-friendly health services, gender-based violence, and other FP/RH topics with other young people through interactive storytelling sessions. Through this youth-led knowledge sharing approach, Artivism Academy aims to empower young people to make well-informed decisions about their health and wellbeing and connect them to relevant resources.

Artivism Academy is a social enterprise in Pakistan that uses art to promote awareness, social change, strengthened environment and health systems, and meaningful youth engagement.

Talent Youth Association Ethiopia logo

Innovation: An Inclusive Knowledge Sharing Platform for the AYSRH Workforce

Organization: Talent Youth Association

Country: Ethiopia

Although Ethiopia has the second largest youth population in Africa, many of these young people are still experiencing barriers to health services, especially when it comes to contraceptive access. Much of this disparity is due to the reduction in funding for family planning programs in the country, and the absence of understandable adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) data for government officials. The Talent Youth Association seeks to combat this issue by developing fact sheets on AYSRH and FP in Amharic using data from the Ministry of Health and the Guttmacher Institute. Their innovation will also include organizing a high-level discussion forum with youth representatives, men, women, and youth with disabilities, from different organizations to discuss this data, and work to resolve AYSRH issues. The forum will demonstrate the importance of regular discussions between young people, program implementers, and decision makers, with the intention of establishing a quarterly roundtable discussion between government committee members, AYSRH/FP practitioners, and young people to share data, research, and learning from program implementation.

The Talent Youth Association is a youth-led organization that empowers and promotes access to sexual and reproductive health, family planning, advocacy, and meaningful youth participation in Ethiopia.

Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions

For additional information on this season’s theme and information on the competition selection and award process, please view the documents listed below.

View Past Seasons

The Pitch: Funding Knowledge Champions in Family Planning

The Pitch Season 2

Our Season 2 finalists included Projet Jeune Leader (Madagascar), Save the Children Kenya, Strong Enough Girls Empowerment Initiative (Nigeria and Niger), Blind Youth Association Nepal, and Population Foundation of India.

Want to read about their winning innovations? Visit the Season 2 landing page.

The Pitch: Funding Knowledge Champions in Family Planning

The Pitch Season 1

Our Season 1 finalists included Stand With A Girl Initiative (Nigeria), White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (Malawi), Safe Delivery Safe Mother (Pakistan) and Jhpiego India.

Want to read about their winning innovations? Visit the Season 1 landing page.