Funding brief: All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD), established in 2011 as a partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), World Vision and the Australian Government, is an ongoing series of competitions that leverages science and technology to source, test, and disseminate scalable solutions to improve literacy skills of early grade learners in developing countries. The global initiative focuses on sourcing, accelerating, and measuring the impact of technology-based innovations with the potential to transform the learning process and classroom experience at an individual, community, and national level. For the Sign On For Literacy Prize, ACR GCD is collaborating with the World Federation of the Deaf, the Nyle DiMarco Foundation and Deaf Child Worldwide.
The Challenge Exposure to natural and accessible language at an early age is paramount for early childhood development and promotes cognitive and literacy development. The Sign On For Literacy Prize seeks technology-based innovations to increase access to sign languages and literacy interventions for children who are Deaf in low-resource contexts. These innovations will assist parents, educators, communities, and governments in enhancing early childhood development outcomes, improving access to local sign languages, and increasing literacy outcomes of children who are Deaf. For this prize, a technology-based innovation includes a broad range of information and communication technologies and video media. These can include: hardware, software, Internet and mobile applications among other technologies and platforms.
In some countries, the local sign language may not be documented. This does not mean that a sign language is not used, but rather that there is no dictionary or catalog of signs and/or documentation that enables sign language resources to be created, curated, and distributed to those who want to learn the language.As a supplement to the knowledge transferred by Deaf adults fluent in the local sign language, documentation is a critical first step to enable the creation of resources to provide greater access to sign language for children who are Deaf. In contexts where there is no documented sign language, innovations are sought that, through technology, involve the local Deaf Community as an integral part of efforts to document their language including all signs and sign variations. Solutions must document the local language and not import other widely-used sign languages such as American Sign Language. Solutions that operate in such a context and provide both the capability to document sign language and create resources for learning in that language are encouraged. Solutions should also link sign language learning to the early grade reading resources. Ideally, these resources will be used in the classroom and at home.
Even in countries with a robust and well-documented sign language, many communities still have limited access to sign language resources. Family awareness, educational resources, community engagement, and learning tools are limited or lacking. There is also a challenge in ensuring parents identify their children’s hearing levels at the earliest possible age and a gap in medical practitioners’ knowledge on the importance of sign language learning. To optimize first language and written literacy outcomes for children who are Deaf, they must have access—the earlier the better—to the local sign language, a supportive community with adult Deaf role models, and skilled educators fluent in the local sign language. The more of the aforementioned elements a solution involves (e.g. sign language, adult role models, skilled and fluent educators), the more effective the solution will be in providing an inclusive, holistic, and successful approach to sign language and literacy for children in the community.
Competition Phases There are three phases to the Sign On For Literacy Prize. The first phase is targeted at identifying novel innovations with the capacity for increasing language and literacy outcomes with significant impact; Phase 1 is the focus of this document. The second phase is aimed at prototyping the innovations, whereas the third phase is focused on refining the prototypes, demonstrating their utility in the field, and ensuring that the appropriate mechanisms, partnerships, and plans are in place for the effective implementation of these solutions. Requirements for Phases 2 and 3 of the competition will be described further after the judging and selection of Phase 1 finalists.
Phase 1 requires a written description in English of the proposed innovation and project plan explaining the methods, resources, potential technology platform(s), personnel, existing partnerships (if any), evidence of collaboration with the local Deaf Community in product design and implementation, and preliminary schedule to implement the proposed innovation. Entrants are encouraged to submit a supplementary five-minute video describing their concept and vision for the proposed innovation. Videos can also be submitted in any national signed or spoken languages (including International Sign), but must also include English translation either in the video as captions or as a written transcript.
Entrants awarded in Phase 1 will be given seed funding to develop their innovation and execute their implementation and sustainability plans. Phases 2 and 3 will be judged separately and additional funding will be awarded. During Phase 1, Solvers are not expected to possess the expertise, experience, or partnerships necessary for successful implementation of their proposed innovation, but they are required to describe any potential limitations and identify the type of partners needed.
The ACR GCD partners are open to a range of solutions, including existing technologies, new technologies, or combinations of both. The focus of the competition is on finding technologies that enable the creation of resources to improve access to, and education in, local sign language for children who are Deaf in low-resource settings. Innovations should increase language and reading skills, be cost effective for developing country contexts and have the potential for scale. ACR GCD recognizes that in some settings there is no documented sign language, and to create such resources, language documentation is necessary. As such, solutions that use technology for this crucial first step of documentation will also be considered for awards.
1. The innovation must provide a novel, yet robust approach for the creation of sign language resources as a path to literacy. To facilitate early sign language acquisition, the innovation must allow for the development of learning resources, while promoting access to these newly-developed resources.
2. The innovation must be usable by children who are Deaf, their family members, educators and/or other community members who engage with children in learning. A clear plan for engaging families, teachers, the Deaf Community, and hearing community should be demonstrated. Strategies for engaging the medical community, in collaboration with the local Deaf Community, to ensure providers are both aware of and trained to educate parents on sign language resources are encouraged.
3. The innovation must be gender inclusive and responsive to the gender-differentiated needs of beneficiaries.
4. The innovation must be a technology-based innovation. This includes a broad range of information and communication technologies and video media. These can include: hardware, software, Internet and mobile applications among other platforms.
5. Innovations must: a. Be low-cost and affordable for uptake b. Function fully in low resource settings, specifically addressing:
● Limited or intermittent electricity
● Limited or intermittent internet access
● Limited personnel for software/hardware support
6. Solvers must:
a. Be able to work with ACR GCD partners and other collaborative organizations (e.g. the national member, or Ordinary Member of WFD, if available) for prototype development in Phase 2 and implementation of the innovation in Phase 3
b. Provide a clear plan for sign language documentation that captures various sign language dialects or sign language-enabled learning resource creation and sustainability
Additionally, solutions should, but are not required to:
1. Be adaptable to multilingual countries with multiple written and/or sign languages.
2. Be open source and made publicly available under the Creative Commons CCO Universal (CCO 1.0) Public Domain Dedication.
3. Integrate sign language documentation with resource creation in settings where there is no or limited documented sign language.
4. Allow for integration with early hearing detection and intervention programs, in collaboration with the local Deaf Community.
5. Be adaptable and scalable to other countries and languages.
6. Have Solver(s) with the experience and expertise to pilot the proposed innovation, and/or partnerships in place to implement the innovation.
Donor Name: The World Federation of the Deaf, the Nyle DiMarco Foundation and Deaf Child Worldwide
Funding name: All Children Reading -A Grand Challenge for Development (ACRGCD) (Sign On For Literacy Prize)
Deadline: Entries will be accepted from November, 8th, 2017 to February, 16th, 2018 at 11:59 PM EDT.
Funding details link: https://allchildrenreading.org/challenge/sign-literacy-prize/
Funding limit: Competition and Phases ACR GCD has a competition purse of at least $500,000 USD that will be distributed in three phases. Detailed information regarding Phases 2 and 3 will be released following the completion of Phase 1.
Phase 1: Written Proposal and Project Plan
● The first phase requires a written description in English of the proposed innovation and project plan explaining the methods, resources, potential technology platform(s), personnel, existing partnerships (if any), evidence of collaboration with the local Deaf Community in product design and implementation, and preliminary schedule to implement the proposed innovation. In this phase, Solvers are not expected to possess the expertise, experience, or partnerships necessary for successful implementation of their proposed innovation, but they are required to describe any potential limitations and identify the type of partners needed. Solvers are encouraged to supplement their submission with a video describing their concept and vision for the proposed innovation (see details in Submission Question 10).
● There is a pool of $125,000 USD to reward up to the five most promising innovations with $25,000 USD each.
● Submissions will be evaluated by a team of expert reviewers, using the Judging Criteria below.
● Solvers may be required to provide additional information on their submission to the judging panel after the deadline.
● By submitting, you are providing ACR GCD with a non-exclusive license to use any information contained in your submission (excluding personal identifying information), irrespective of whether your submission receives an award. Notwithstanding this license, the Solver will retain ownership of any innovation. Please see the Terms and Conditions for further information.
Phase 2: Prototype Development of the Innovation
● Phase 1 awardees will be given approximately three months to adapt their innovations for demonstration to the ACR GCD partners. During this time period, Solvers must be willing to work with the ACR GCD partners and other collaborative organizations (e.g. the national member, or Ordinary Member of WFD, if available). Mentors will work closely with Solvers to incorporate language and literacy outcomes assessments within the innovation. The development period will be determined following review of the proposals and in-depth discussions with the semi-finalists to identify a reasonable timeline.
● The demonstration will be conducted virtually through a video web conference. If this is not possible or sufficient, alternative avenues will be considered. The demonstration must show how the innovation will address potential technology challenges when used in a lowresource context.
● Up to the top three prototypes will each receive an award of no less than $75,000 USD and will be advanced to Phase 3.
Phase 3: Prototype Refinement and Field Test Demonstration of the Innovation
● The anticipated duration of Phase 3 is three months. Finalists will refine their winning Phase 2 prototype and field test their innovations in a low-resource setting. ACR GCD partners are committed to researching the impact upon language and literacy outcomes, thus studies will be conducted during the piloting of the prototype and followed more extensively upon the anticipated roll-out of the innovation.
● The highest scoring innovation in this phase will be awarded no less than $75,000 USD and up to a maximum of $150,000 USD, unless no submission meets all of the criteria.
Special Notes: Please contact with the donor directly for further clarification and understanding.
Project start date: Not found
Project duration: Not found
Eligible organization: As below
Eligibility: The individual, team or organization that has submitted an entry into the competition.
Eligible Country: They are unable to award cash prizes to suppliers of goods and services that do not meet the nationality and source definitions as referenced in 22 CFR 228.11 and 12, specifically geographic code 937. Geographic code 937 currently excludes Cuba, Iran, Libya, and North Korea. 2. Submission Period.
Submission mail: Not found
Other important link:
● Apply: https://www.omnicompete.com/acrgcd.html,competition-154
● Guideline: https://www.omnicompete.com/files/ACRGCD/acrgcd_sign_on_for_literacy_prize_document.pdf
How to apply: Interested applicant may apply through the website (https://www.omnicompete.com/acrgcd.html,competition-154).
Visit all Funding opportunities: https://fundforbangladesh.wordpress.com/site-map/
Facebook page-Fund for Bangladesh