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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Healthy Public Challenge

Deadline: September 16, 2016

With the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Civic Hall Labs has launched the Healthy Public Project to catalyze innovation in addressing the civic roots of health. The 2016 Healthy Public Challenge is: How might technology be leveraged to promote community cohesion across divisions, civic agency, and access to public assets?

Solutions to the Healthy Public Challenge shall be broad in scope, diverse in the application of new or existing tech, and innovative in approach. Applicants should speak to how their civic innovation aligns with one or more of these categories:

  • Civic cohesion: to increase communal interactions, community discourse, and engagement within and across groups
  • Civic agency: to support underrepresented groups to participate in governing our public at the local, state, and/or national levels, improve decision-making through data equity, open sourced tools, or access to information
  • Public assets: to protect and increase access to public goods and social safety nets

Applicants should illustrate how the solution proposed is a systems intervention. From nutrition to vaccinations, conventional health interventions tackle problems on an individual level or apply individual level approaches to a community location, calling it a systems approach. A systems approach is defined as an approach that enhances broad social processes and structures throughout the community in three categories: cohesion, agency, and assets. Applications are accepted that diagnose determinants of poor health at a systemic level through developing civic innovations that respond to deep problems threatening the health of the public. Some examples of system interventions include:

  • Enhancing support networks between groups that face similar economic challenges
  • Connecting neighborhoods across social divisions
  • Creating community structures that link underserved community members with social, economic, or health resources
  • Enhancing processes that encourage participation in public life
  • Helping groups identify resources they can marshal for solutions they deem necessary
  • Enabling better access to information and data which enhance community decision-making

Ideas in all stages of development are accepted. Civic Hall Labs will work with the winning teams to develop a solution and report the impacts. Civic Halls Labs envisions this as a collaborative process between teams and its Experts-in-Residence that lasts the entire 6-month advising period, rather than a single point-in-time competition or contest.

Award: Ten $10,000 microgrants will be awarded. Grantees will also be enrolled in a monthly advisory program at Civic Hall Labs.

Eligibility: Community groups, teams of students, entrepreneurs, for-profits, non-profits, organizations, and individuals can apply to the Healthy Public Challenge. Applicants must be committed to the development of their proposed solution and have the capacity to make it happen. It is highly recommended that applicants apply as teams. The core team can be comprised of no more than six members. The majority of each winning team must commit to attending monthly advising sessions at Civic Hall Lab’s offices in New York City.

Link: http://www.civichalllabs.org/healthy-public-challenge/

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