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Zero to Five Challenge: Tips for Refinement

Photo of Chioma Ume
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After 5 weeks of ideating, 441 ideas have been contributed to our Zero To Five Challenge Ideas phase. As we turn towards refinement, we’re excited to share our Shortlist of ideas moving forward. Check out all 31 ideas and read a little about them here. As the OpenIDEO community turns our attention to making these ideas the best that they can be, we wanted to offer some insights into how we chose the Refinement ideas, what we’re looking for going forward – and some resources to help you get there! 

Remember, even if your idea wasn’t chosen for Refinement, in the spirit of collaboration you can lend your skills and feedback to one of the ideas that was. We also encourage you to use these tools to continue developing all ideas in the challenge.


We had a lot of inspiring contributions in the Ideas phase and choosing our Refinement list wasn’t easy. To narrow the list, our team asked the following questions:

  • Does this idea answer the challenge question in a clear way?
  • Does the idea specify a clear target audience?
  • Has the ideator given thought to how this idea could be implemented in the world? 
  • Is this an idea that will be implemented in a DFID priority country?
    (To see these, visit Amplify FAQs and click on What funding is available?)

We then looked for ideas that were the best examples among similar ones, original in the challenge or new to us, and that took into account the local community where the idea was to be implemented.


As we move through the Refinement phase, we’ll be sharing feedback from the Amplify Team and experts in early childhood development. From the Refinement Shortlist, a group of 10-15 Top Ideas will be selected. We will evaluate ideas against a defined set of criteria. Broadly, we’ll be considering the following:

Potential: Will the idea improve the lives of children from 0-5 in low-income communities?

How you can demonstrate this: 

  • Clearly and briefly describe what your idea is about at the beginning of your submission. Check out these tips and consider asking members of the OpenIDEO community to help you edit.
  • Help us understand who will benefit from your idea by completing a User Experience Map.
  • Show us how your idea could work by prototyping some part of your idea and getting user feedback. Prototype experiments are a great way to test assumptions and gather quick insights. Check out some tips for prototyping.
  • Describe the aspects of your idea as clearly and concisely as possible. Let us know when and where you’ve updated your idea. Check out this post, which breaks down all of the ways you can do this.


Originality: Does the idea present an innovative solution to the challenge question?

How you can demonstrate this: 

  • Make your idea human centered – prototype your idea with potential end users, seek user feedback and refine your idea based on it.
  • Show us you’ve done your research – tell us how your idea different from what your organization is currently doing or what already exists in the world.


Responsive Engagement: Did the idea improve during the Amplify Challenge based upon the feedback and support it received from the OpenIDEO community? 

How you can demonstrate this: 

  • Answer the questions posed by the Amplify Team and OpenIDEO community. Help us find these easily by uploading a PDF of your answers. You can find a template here under 'Downloads'.
  • Clearly show us where you’ve updated your idea.
  • Respond to feedback from our team, experts and the OpenIDEO community via the comments section. If these trigger significant updates to your idea, mention them in your post


A handful of Top Ideas will ultimately be selected to receive funding and design support from the Amplify Program. We will select ideas that will most benefit from the scope and scale of support we can provide.

During Refinement, as we look ahead to Top Ideas, we’ll be asking:

  • Does this idea hit the intersection of viability, relevance and feasibility? 
  • Is the scale of the project such that the amount of funding and design support available ($50,000-100,000) would have a substantial impact on the development of the idea?
  • Does our design support have the potential to propel this idea forward? 
  • What is the capacity of the implementor? (e.g. What networks are they connected to that will help support the idea? How much experience do they have in their field? What is their connection to the community where this will be implemented? If the idea is submitted by an organization, what is its operational capacity?) 

Interested to learn more? Take a look at the Amplify FAQ page.

We can’t wait to see how your ideas will grow and evolve over the course of the next four weeks! Jump into the Refinement phase and let’s collaborate to make these great ideas even better.

The Amplify Team 

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Zero To Five Challenge


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Photo of Monica Wirawan

Thank's for the clear transparency Chioma :D

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