OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Let’s design inclusive communities globally. Join us in celebrating hundreds of solutions to support people with disabilities!

Photo Caption: Image 1: a crowd of people with their hands in the air; Image 2: a team of basketball players in wheelchairs, Source: Michael Haig/DFID; Image 3: a medical professional speaking with a patient about her prosthetic, Source: Kanishka Afshari/FCO/DFID; Image 4: a photo of shoes and leg braces; Image 5: women sitting in a clinic; Image 6: a man walking with a cane.


Over one billion people have a disability around the world, and a disproportionate 80% live in poverty. Disabilities are diverse—some are visible, while others are not—and the experience of having a disability is different for everyone. Many may face challenges relating to accessibility and in some areas of the world, disability-related taboo and stigma often lead to socio-economic disempowerment, discrimination, and violence. 

Poverty and disability are often linked by a cycle of hardship. People with disabilities may have limited access to health, education, livelihood opportunities, fair wages, and community support, preventing their full participation in society. Effects from the stigma, discrimination, and costs for rehabilitation or care affect not only the individuals, but also their families and children. 

Some people with a disability experience multiple vulnerabilities that pose additional barriers. These populations include (but are not limited to) women and girls, people living in rural areas, and those living in areas of conflict or humanitarian crisis. Children with disabilities are almost four times as likely to experience violence than those without a disability.

While great progress has been made in some areas, there remains a lack of global commitment and investment to ensure that people with disabilities can live independently and with dignity. Their perspectives are often not heard by governments and other decision makers. Compounded by the lack of reliable disability-related data, the needs of people with disabilities are far too often overlooked. It’s critical that we accelerate towards the visions laid out in the The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, The UN Sustainable Development Goals, and other frameworks.

We’re running this challenge because we believe it critical to ensure that all voices are heard and that no one is left behind. In order for this to happen, there must be a global effort to increase understanding around disability and inclusion. Join us in this call to action: how might we reduce stigma and increase opportunities for people with disabilities.

We believe that diverse perspectives are key to solving problems, and invite organizations of varying experiences to join this challenge: those new to the space and eager to incorporate inclusive programming to their work; those with deep experience working in disabilities in one or more locations; and those with staff and leadership who are themselves have a disability.

Inclusion is critical—and we invite ideas addressing challenges surrounding any disability, including mobility and other physical impairments, cognitive disabilities, and psychosocial or psychological disorders. By working together to collaborate on and implement innovative solutions, we can build a more inclusive society for all people.

The Disability and Inclusion Challenge is now closed. Join us in congratulating the winners!


We’re looking for a wide range of solutions focused on: 


During our Ideas Phase, we're calling the global community to action. To participate, all you need to do is create an account, log in, and fill out basic information about your idea. Apply by April 23, 2017 at 11:59PM PDT!

Then, on May 8th we'll announce a set of shortlisted ideas that will move forward in the Challenge into a two-week Feedback Phase. During this phase, we will provide a set of resources and ask contributors to get offline and into their communities to ask for feedback on their idea. At the same time, a community of issue experts will review and provide feedback to each shortlisted idea. Contributors will not be able to edit their idea during this period of time.

After the Feedback Phase, we will open the Improve Phase, during which contributors of each shortlisted idea will have two weeks to apply learnings and make final refinements to their proposal. Final revisions will be accepted until June 4, 2017 at 11:59PM PDT.

After a period of review, we look forward to announcing Winning Ideas—a set of selected solutions with great potential to increase their impact through the human centered design process. Amplify will support the evolution of these collaborative concepts into tangible real-world solutions. Winning Ideas will be announced on July 10, 2017!

We hope this process will be a collaborative learning experience for all teams participating in any phase of the Challenge, accelerating innovative ideas into impactful solutions. All contributors will have access to resources and collaboration within the OpenIDEO community.


Some of you may be more familiar with IDEO's approach to human-centered design than others—and that’s ok—diversity of experience is important. A few of’s mindsets are listed below for you to consider as you participate in this Challenge and the creative problem solving process. Learn more about these mindsets here.

  • Empathy
  • Optimism
  • Embrace Ambiguity
  • Make It
  • Learn from Failure
  • Creative Confidence
  • Iterate, Iterate, Iterate

Evaluation CRITERIA

At a minimum, we are looking for ideas that:

  • Are new or in early stages but related to core competencies of your organization or group.
  • Will be implemented in one or more of the 27 eligible countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe).
  • Will be implemented by an organization or group that is registered in some way in at least one country.
  • Have at least one year of experience working in the country in which the idea is to be implemented.
  • Have at least one year of experience working in the sector within which the idea is focused (even if working to support people with disabilities is a new focus for your organization). 

For more detailed information, read our full Evaluation Criteria which outlines everything that we will take into consideration during shortlisting and final evaluation. Though we encourage and appreciate collaboration across contributors, the number of comments and applauds on your idea are not an evaluation consideration. 


At least five winners of this challenge will receive an invitation to a four day human-centered design bootcamp, 18 months of design support, and a grant typically between $50,000 and $150,000. Learn more about our previous winners on’s Amplify website.


Amplify is a series of innovation challenges bringing increased collaboration and a human-centered design approach to early stage solutions addressing some of the world’s toughest problems. Amplify is a joint initiative of OpenIDEO, and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). It is made possible through DFID funding. Learn more at's Amplify website.


If you have questions or feedback about accessibility, need assistance understanding the Challenge process, or posting your idea to the platform, feel free to get in touch with us at We encourage all participants to learn more about the accessibility considerations relating to this Challenge here.

If you would like to download a complete copy of this Challenge Brief, please use the following links: 

This challenge is now over.
478 ideas
478 final ideas
81 final ideas
81 final ideas
72 final ideas