The Global Tech Challenge 2020 by CES/World Bank Group

World Bank Global Tech Challenge 2020 - Solutions for women

We are calling on the tech community to help bridge the gender digital divide. Innovate. Engage. Empower.

Through a joint global challenge, CES, owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, and the World Bank Group aim to mobilize the tech community to create solutions focused on key development challenges.

Challenge Focus Areas

The Global Tech Challenge will focus on three areas:

  • Digital health.
  • Gender divide.
  • Climate change.

About the Challenge

The World Bank Group, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries, has partnered with CES, the world’s largest and most influential technology event — to reward scalable, innovative solutions that seek to empower women in four areas:

A. Platforms: Solutions in this focus area will focus on digital platforms that uniquely serve the needs of women and girls in emerging markets. Some examples under this focus area may include:

  • E-commerce platforms focused on reaching women and girls in emerging markets through their products and marketing strategies
  • Platforms that build communities for women entrepreneurs to discuss and network online
  • Women’s safety helpline platforms that enable reporting of sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, and gender-based cyber violence in a secure and safe way

B. Digital Skills: Solutions in this focus area will focus on the development of digital skills products and programs with a focus to closing the gender digital divide. Examples of such programs may include:

  • Applications that use personalized and adaptive learning to teach learners basic, intermediate, or advanced digital skills, or any combination thereof, using digital technologies.
  • Coding bootcamps delivered online and blended programs that target and recruit women and girls to prepare them for a changing labor market. These may be either integrable within education curricula or provisioned as standalone services for on-the-job learning.
  • Products that impart education in advanced digital skills with complementary investments in and measurement of hard-to-measure socio-emotional skills such as collaboration, creativity, innovation and learning.

C. Online content: Solutions in this focus area will focus on applications and technology solutions that provide relevant online content that is tailored towards women and girls. Some examples may include:

  • Applications that impart technology-enabled early-grade reading content, focused on addressing regressive gender norms
  • Content solutions in local languages that address issues around sexual and
    reproductive health
  • Locally relevant content on educational and career opportunities for women and girls in various stages of their career, including alternative and non-traditional careers in the country context

D. Innovative business models: Solutions under this focus area will focus on relaxing supply-side barriers to accessing digital technologies. These may include:

  • Innovative subscription models that may subsidize or alleviate the financial burden on women to own and use mobile devices (such as pay as you go) or other business models that target or include women in meaningful ways to sustainably access the Internet
  • Mobile subscription models that favor women-ownership and use of mobile internet on an ongoing basis

Successful applicants will show clear links between their proposed solution that leverages the potential of digital technologies, and development outcomes for women and girls in World Bank Group client countries. They will have validated their solution in a context (either as a pilot, or at scale), and will detail evidence of its impact and potential for scale (if pilot) and replicability (if already scaled in some contexts).

Successful applicants will be specific in identifying target populations, providing targeted yet customizable solutions, and show a clear path to long-term sustainability of the solution within their contexts.

Benefits for Innovators

The Global Tech Challenge: Solutions for Women provides a platform for innovators to

  • Deploy solutions at scale.
  • Replicate tested ideas in new environments.
  • Engage with World Bank clients.
  • Build long-term, sustainable solutions to achieve digital equality.

Opportunities for Winners

  • Recognition at CES 2021.
  • Mentorship from technology companies and World Bank leaders.
  • Share stories at regional and international events.
  • Build professional networks.
  • Raise international profile and brand.

Eligibility Requirements

The challenge is open to all eligible for-profit and public interest organizations that are currently in the process of scaling solutions to bridge the gender digital divide.

  • Individuals and governments are not eligible to apply.
  • UN Agencies are not eligible to apply.
  • Recently registered organizations (both for-profit and not-for-profit) are eligible to apply.

There are no eligibility restrictions based on the size of the organization, be it a start-up, privately traded, or publicly traded organization. There are no restrictions on the size of public interest organizations either. There are no restrictions based on the organization’s focus area or current business lines. Organizations that are exploring gendered effects of existent solutions are eligible to apply.

Challenge Timeline

Global Tech Challenge - Solutions for Women - CES 2020
Timeline: Global Tech Challenge – Solutions for Women – CES 2020
  • Applications open February 28, 2020
  • Applications will be accepted through 15 April 2020, 23:59 (everywhere on earth time)
  • Innovators will have the opportunity to meet World Bank teams in June-July 2020
  • Finalists announced in October 2020 at the World Bank Annual Meetings
  • Winners announced at CES 2021

Further details and application

Read more on organizer’s site

Read detailed application document

Enquiries: Please send an email to:

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