Ideas for Action Youth Competition 2015 by World Bank Group and the Wharton School

Ideas for Action Youth Competition 2015 by World Bank Group and the Wharton School

Deadline: January 31, 2015

The Zicklin Center is now accepting entries for the Idea to Action, a youth competition on finance for development sponsored by the World Bank Group and the Wharton School. They invite young leaders to propose innovative ideas about financing the Post-2015 development agenda.

About the Competition

Today’s youth will be responsible for delivering the post-2015 development agenda, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when they expire at the end of 2015. The SDGs will be more ambitious than the MDGs, covering a broad range of interconnected issues, from sustainable economic growth, to social issues, to global public goods. To realize this vision, a just-as-ambitious plan for financing and implementation is needed.

Youth engagement throughout the design and implementation process is critical for success. The Ideas for Action (I4A) competition engages young people around the world to encourage them to develop and share their ideas for financing solutions to deliver the post-2015 development agenda.

Solution Areas

The expectation for teams is to focus on one of the issues below and develop a creative yet realistic and implementable solution that will increase the financing available and/or improve the efficiency and effectiveness of existing funds. Another possibility is to select more than one issue, and develop a solution that is based on blended sources of finance.

  1. Domestic Resource Mobilization
  2. Better and Smarter Aid
  3. International Private Finance
  4. Domestic Private Sector
  5. Business and Development Innovations

For more information about the first four options, see the World Bank Paper on Finance for Development Post-2015. For more information about the fifth option, see the Wharton Zicklin Center Business Development & Innovation site.


Winners of the competition will be given an opportunity to influence the post-2015 financing discussions and its implementation, including:

  • Present winning proposal at the IMF/World Bank Spring and/or Annual Meetings in April and October 2015, respectively.
  • Engagement with experts from development organizations, academia, and business on finance for development post-2015.
  • Participation in a boot camp, where the winners will visit a company, organization or university to take part in specific project implementation and get hands on experience.
  • Participation in the Wharton School of Business Executive Development Program and Knowledge Exchange.


  • Youth between the ages 18 and 35 from around the world can participate.
  • This is a team competition. Teams must be 2 to 5 people and may consist of multiple nationalities and individuals from different schools, institutions, companies, etc.


  • Proposals should be between 1,500 and 3,000 words, with proper citations and references. The word
  • count does not include the appendix, footnotes/citations, or any charts/graphs.
  • Teams should use the template in appendix 1 and include a 200-word abstract summarizing the key
  • points of the proposal.
  • The submission must be in Times New Roman, 12 pt font. All appropriate information must be cited. It
  • should be sent in PDF or Microsoft Word format (in English, Arabic, French, Russian, Portuguese or Spanish).

Evaluation Criteria

The first round of submissions will be evaluated according to how well teams demonstrate:

  • Significance: teams should be specific enough that they can go into some level of depth, but significant enough that it impacts a large number of people and/or businesses and nations.
  • Originality and creativity: teams should present a solution that is original and creative; submissions should present ideas that are either undeveloped or severely underdeveloped in international development research and literature.
  • Feasibility: teams should include a brief ‘roadmap to adoption’ that argues for the feasibility of the solution, and addresses any obvious roadblocks; all submissions should be actionable and measurable; based in practicality rather than just theory. Teams are encouraged to tie their submissions to a particular country or region of the world.
  • Clarity: teams should present their idea in a clear and concise manner.


  • Create a team, submit a proposal, share your ideas.
  • Please register your teams at this link before submitting your proposal to the I4A competition. To receive updates and information on the competition and post-2015 agenda you may also want to register all team members on the wider distribution list.

Submission: Proposals should be submitted to the Ideas for Action email account ([email protected]) no later than 11:59 PM EST on January 31, 2015.

For more information, visit Ideas for Action Competition.