IDRN Development Challenge



Do you want to make an impact in the field of international development?

Do you want to bridge gaps between disciplines, and between research and practice?

Do you want to make your research relevant and applicable?

Enter the Liu Institute for Global Issues’ inaugural IDRN Development Challenge, vie for a pot of $3500 in prize money, and make it happen!


Click here for a video introduction to the IDRN Development Challenge!

What is it?

The IDRN Development Challenge is a UBC-based competition–run by theInternational Development Research Network–aimed at boosting collaboration and innovation in the field of international development.
Teams, consisting of at least one UBC graduate student each, compete to write and present documents called ‘Development Action Proposals.’
A ‘Development Action Proposal’ is a thoughtful document, much like a business plan or consultants’ recommendation, that details a team’s plan or suggestions to solve a specific development challenge in a less-developed country or region.
These Proposals can range from, for instance, a document aimed at local government ministry communicating the implications of your research, to a suggestion for a specific intervention to solve a crisis in a particular community. Diversity is encouraged.
The top three winning proposals will be awarded with cash prizes (totalling $3500) after a final presentation event, on May 22, 2012.

How does it work?

There are two stages to the competition. The first, is from February 1 to March 15. During this time individuals form teams and decide on the general theme they wish to address in their action proposals.
Teams then submit a short document (‘Team and Challenge Statement‘) outlining who is on the team and why, and what challenge they aim to address, and why. This first document is due March 31, 2012. The Statements are then judged. Those teams that pass this stage receive $200 in operating budget to work on their Development Action Proposals.
The second stage of the competition is from March 15 to May 15. During this time, teams that have passed the first stage write their Development Action Proposal. Hard copies of the Proposals are submitted by May 15, 2012.
The competition culminates in a final event on May 22, 2012, at the Liu Institute for Global Issues, in which all teams present their proposals to a panel of judges, composed largely of Liu Institute executives.
At the end of the final event, the top three winning teams are awarded cash prizes, totaling $3500.
Teams with successful proposals also have the chance to receive logistical support from the Liu Institute for Global Issues to pursue funding from other agencies (e.g. CIDA), and/or realize their actual proposals in the field.

How do I join?

The most important step is to form a team and then decide on a challenge you collectively wish to address.

To do this, you can (but do not have to) sign up on this website and create a short profile listing your background and interests. You can then review the list of current challenges or post your own challenge. Members can comment and discuss the current challenges on the site. If you become interested in a particular challenge, you can ask the challenge sender and/or other participants to become a team. If you have posted a new challenge yourself, then take the lead and invite others to form a team.
Once you have formed a team, remember to submit a document (Team and Challenge Statement) explaining who you are, and what challenge you aim to address, by March 31, 2012.
You can learn more about the specific requirements of the document here. You can submit the document here.

Click here for the 2012 IDRN Development Challenge Proposals

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