UNDP South Sudan is looking for youth with disruptive ideas to reach food security (here pictured is a student of Go-Girls ICT Initiative, a winner of UNDP's Youth Innovation Challenge 2016)

Ideate. Connect. Solve.

UNDP is organizing a Youth Innovation Challenge “Ideate, Connect, Solve” to promote the (in connection with the SDGs) implementation of the best innovative ideas focused on agricultural development and food security in South Sudan.

This initiative of UNDP is in partnership with the forthcoming Accelerator Lab launching in South Sudan, as it will create a runway for incubation of creative solutions led by a network of young people. Their participation will cut across various fields at national and regional level and include an awareness session on food security issues.


For 48 hours, the innovation sprint will seek to engage young people to come up with cutting-edge and innovative solutions. The youth will comprise different profiles (digital enthusiasts/developers, creative designers, civic leaders, communicators, and more) and will work on concepts to address the challenges presented by the United Nations.

These young innovators will first receive a briefing on food security issues, according to both the SDGs and the context in South Sudan, followed by detailed facilitation of the “design sprint” innovation process for developing prototypes. Developed by GV (formerly Google Ventures), the design sprint is a flexible framework consisting of collaborative exercises which take participants through stages from research to prototyping and iteration.

The goal after the two-day design sprint is to prepare ideas, spanning a variety of formats (not limited to technology-based solutions) ready for incubation and further support. Youth will also walk away with the tools to facilitate similar design thinking and innovation practices in their own organizations and apply them to the topics and business models they choose. A jury will choose the best concepts and determine the winners of the competition.

Rules, registration and submission 

General information

Full competition rules will be developed according to UNDP standard corporate practices and local legal requirements. 

  • Eligibility: South Sudan citizen or permanent resident of South Sudan, a group of South Sudanese citizens, or a youth-led organization located in South Sudan; all participants must be between the ages of 18 and 34 years old. 
  • Team Structure: participants must work in teams of maximum four (4) people. Applicants may apply as individuals and form a team during the induction workshop.
  • Gender Balance: each team must include both males and females.
  • Location: Participants must be located in South Sudan. Participants must be available 6-8 June 2019 to attend the competition in person in Juba, South Sudan.
  • Those interested in participating must submit an application form (as a team or an individual) with supporting documents and a brief concept idea which addresses SDG 2: Objective 2: Eliminate hunger, ensure food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
  • Registration: Application forms can be downloaded here, below or via Facebook. Application forms in hard copy will be available at UNDP’s Juba Office Reception. Completed application forms with idea proposal can be sent by e-mail in Microsoft Word or PDF format to innovation.ss@undp.org, or submitted in person to UNDP’s office by May 28. 
  • Participants should understand the Official Rules of the competition are at the discretion of UNDP and can be modified at any time to suit the needs of the organization.

Potential objectives of the concepts

  • Promote the application of different technologies in agriculture and producer fields
  • Conceive of new ways of organizing farmers or public towards productive food-related activities
  • Energize youth and young people to take up the activities needed to achieve food security in South Sudan
  • Provide farmers with the information they need to make informed decisions about their production and marketing
  • Promote digital solutions to make agriculture a driving force for South Sudan
  • Provide a database of agricultural needs, production techniques, available products and market access, etc.
  • Other innovative ideas

Content of the concepts

The ideas and concepts developed as part of the competition should be informed by the current state of the agricultural sector and needs in South Sudan, actors who currently offer solutions, databases and existing connections with producers and businesses. UNDP will engage with experts in sister agencies and partner organizations to provide this information. A sample of the essential information that will guide the participants’ work:

  • Needs and Critical Situation Information (General information in the agropastoral field, Food security needs, The critical points on the national territory and the number of people, Possibility of interventions and possible partnerships)
  • Small Producers and Agricultural Production Information (Identification and location of producers, Producer organization, Available products and high value-added sectors, Labor requirements, Distribution channels)
  • Market Information (High value-added businesses, Market conditions and economic factors, Job applications, skills gaps, and future market needs)
  • Innovation and Creativity (Ideas to develop, Current and projected research, How to connect small producers with the market, Information systems, E-commerce)


  • Opening of registration: 22 May
  • Registration deadline: 28 May
  • Selection of 10 teams and sending invitations: 30 May
  • Training on SDGs (focus on food security): 6 June
  • Competition dates: Thursday 6 June to Saturday 8 June (until 11am)
  • Winners Announcement Ceremony: Saturday 8 June (3pm)
  • Incubation of the winners: June-September 2019

Essential documents


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