Call for Youth Ideas on COVID-19 Self-Testing
The problem: The burden of COVID-19 among Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities is high.
Under-represented racial and ethnic minorities (UREM), defined as those who identify as Black, Indigenous, or Latinx, are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 [1,2]. Nearly three quarters of COVID-19 deaths among young people in the United States were among Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities with young adults aged 18-20 years accounting for nearly half of all deaths in this population . They also have lower rates of COVID-19 testing compared to White youth, resulting in COVID-19 acquisition and transmission [3,4]. This is partly explained by barriers that are individual (fear, trust and low perceived risk) [5-8], social (insufficient social support) [4,9,10], and structural (poor access to testing sites) [11-14].
Why now? Current approaches and opportunities for COVID-19 testing for Black, Indigenous, and Latinx youth are limited.
Conventional COVID-19 interventions are often top-down, expert-driven, (i.e. one-size-fits all) processes, with few opportunities for input from UREM youth themselves [15,16]. Inclusion of Black, Indigenous, and Latinx youth in the process and governance of COVID-19 research can result in more effective, engaging, and equitable research [16,17].
The solution: You can develop COVID-19 self-testing campaigns and strategies.
We want to leverage the creativity, strengths, and great ideas of youth and community-based organizations that work with youth to develop an effective youth-led response!
We seek to engage United States (U.S.) youth ages 15 to 24 and community-based organizations that work with youth ages 15-24 in the development of creative, digital campaigns and strategies to better promote COVID-19 self-testing for Black, Indigenous, and Latinx youth. By digital campaigns, we mean image(s), text, audio, or video(s) that can reach youth on smartphones. Note that we are not interested in designing mobile phone applications but rather, creative messaging and delivery strategies that will encourage youth to self-test for COVID-19. It’s your turn to be creative!
Those who submit exceptional ideas will be invited to participate in a virtual 72-hour designathon from October 14-16, 2022. The 72-hour designathon will be a three-day event where teams are invited to ideate, design, and present their self-devised solutions on how to promote COVID-19 self-testing among Black, Indigenous, and Latinx youth in the U.S. During the designathon, teams will work with mentors and experts to develop their ideas; prototype their solutions through diagrams, user journey maps, and mock-ups; and pitch their digital campaigns and strategies to a panel of judges.
The extended deadline for contributions is October 7, 2022, 11:59pm CT. Saint Louis University and 4YBY are the main organizers of this call, with support from SESH (Social Entrepreneurship to Spur Health) Global and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC). Guidelines for contributions are described below.
Who can participate, and what are we looking for?
Eligibility: All youth aged 15 to 24 years old living in the U.S. and community-based organizations that work with youth aged 15-24 in the U.S are eligible to submit to this open call in teams of 3 to 5 people. You can have no less than 3 team members total but no more than 5 team members total (This includes yourself).
Language for the entries: Submissions in English or Spanish will be accepted.
How to submit: We welcome you to submit your idea through Google Form. Refer to the submit buttons at the top of this webpage. A 500-word (maximum length) submission that describes your innovation or idea will be accepted. Links to images, audio files, and video files can be embedded as hyperlinks in the text or you can send attachments to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For enhanced accessibility to participate in this open call, we also accept audio-only or video-only submissions that are no longer than 3 minutes in length.
- You would be expected to describe your innovation or solution within a 3-minute timeframe.
- You may submit the audio/video description either via the online submission form or by emailing attachments that cannot be hyperlinked to email@example.com.
Format of your submission: There is no required structure for your submission, regardless of whether you choose a 500-word submission or a 3-minute video/audio description. However, here are some questions that your submission could address:
- What are creative ways to promote COIVD-19 self-testing among UREM youth?
- What problem is this innovation addressing? Has anyone else tried to address this problem?
- Is there any evidence on the impact of this innovation so far? Has this innovation been implemented before?
- What are some outcomes that you hope to achieve with your innovation?
After screening for eligibility, all the eligible entries will be assessed by independent judges. Each submission will be reviewed by at least three independent individuals, and final decisions will be made by the steering committee.
Submissions will be judged on a 1-10 scale according to the following five criteria:
*See frequently asked questions for more details on judging criteria
This open call will provide unique opportunities to enhance COVID-19 self-testing. Specifically:
- All strategies that have a mean score of 8.5/10 or greater will receive tailored feedback from individuals on the judging panel and steering committee.
- Selected finalists (number determined by the steering committee) will be invited to a 72-hour participatory designathon to further refine and develop actionable digital strategies.
- Designathon finalists will receive 1) seed funding that will be used to assist finalists to put their strategies into action (1st place: $5,000; 2nd place: $3,000; 3rd place: $2,000) and 2) mentorship related to COVID-19 self-testing.
- All youth who submit eligible submissions will receive collated feedback about strengths and weaknesses of the applications overall, in addition to a report summarizing the process and outcomes of the open call.
Chisom Obiezu-Umeh, Alexis Engelhart, Juliet Iwelunmor, Joe Tucker, Lina Rosengren-Hovee, & the Youth Action Group – Zack Finacchio, Brady Hanshaw, Patrick Murphy, Renee Olateru, & Thomas Shen
Steering committee members for this open call have no declared or potential conflicts of interests.
Frequently Asked Questions
Open calls provide a structured mechanism to solicit diverse feedback over a period of time. Open calls have been widely used by governments, private foundations, and others to spur innovation and develop solutions to a variety of global and national issues. More details about open contests for health are available here.
All youth 15 to 24 years old living in the U.S. and community-based organizations that work with youth aged 15-24 in the U.S. are eligible to submit to this open call in teams of 3 to 5 people. Submissions in English or Spanish will be accepted.
You can submit your idea as an individual, but you will need a team of 3 to 5 people to compete in the designathon. You can have no less than 3 team members total but no more than 5 team members total (This includes yourself).
No, there is no limit. However, in the interest of fairness to all other participants, only 1 of your ideas may be selected to qualify as a finalist.
Registration for and participation in the open call is free, with no purchase or payment obligation.
Judges will review the submissions and provide scores ranging from 1-10 on each of the following criteria:
- Clear and concise description: How clearly is your strategy for COVID-19 self-testing described?
- Relevance: Will your strategy be relevant to under-represented ethnic minority youth in the U.S.?
- Novelty: How novel or innovative is your strategy?
- Feasibility, scalability/replicability and sustainability: How practical or realistic is your innovation? Is the strategy easily piloted? Are there means to assess the effectiveness of this solution? Are there preliminary data or prototypes available?
- Promotion of equity and fairness: How does your proposed innovation address issues of equity and fairness (in health outcomes, in representation), as well as the participating team’s methods of developing their ideas? Do solutions involve empowering youth and community members through co-creation or participatory processes? Are gender and other intersection inequalities acknowledged or addressed in the approach to innovation, or as an outcome of the innovation itself?
All strategies that have a mean score of 8.5/10 or greater will receive tailored feedback from individuals on the judging panel and steering committee. All who submit eligible submissions will receive collated feedback about strengths and weaknesses of the applications overall, in addition to a report summarizing the process and outcomes of the open call. Selected finalists (number determined by the steering committee) will be invited to a 72-hour participatory designathon to further refine and develop actionable digital strategies. Finalists of the designathon will receive seed funding to assist with implementation of their strategies (1st place: $5,000; 2nd place: $3,000; 3rd place: $2,000).
You can submit your idea via the Google form through the submit buttons at the top of the page. Please send attachments via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The extended deadline for submissions is October 7, 2022, at 11:59pm CT.
Submissions must be the original work of the submitter. The submitter must not knowingly infringe, misappropriate, or otherwise violate any intellectual property rights, privacy rights, or any other rights of any person or entity in the performance of work. Please note that the 4YBY team may request further information from you about your idea or innovation as part of the open call vetting process.
4 Youth By Youth is a Nigerian-based team of young people, health professionals, activists, researchers, and entrepreneurs who are inspired and committed to advancing youth participation in creating innovative, sustainable HIV prevention services.
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