Bringing Youth-Led Innovation to Our Villages

15 Nov 2017

Centre for Sustainable Development Goals (CSDGs) in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Centre for Innovation & Futures Studies (CIFS) and Transformation & Development Department will be organizing a two-day event on 2nd and 3rd November 2017, titled ‘Ideathon: Youth Innovations for a Brighter Assam’ at Assam Administrative Staff College in Guwahati.

The two-day event has been designed towards creating small scale solutions through IT platforms, social science application and creating ideas. This platform will be a space to create open-source hacking, designing scaleable ideas and projects which lead to ‘developing solutions’, with the help of mentors.

The Government of Assam has adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of its Vision 2030 and recognizes that the ambitious level of the goals requires a new way of thinking in the entire government. To achieve these goals, the Government has announced “Mega Mission-Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana (CMSGUY).

The aim of CMSGUY is to double farm income in Assam, boosting our rural economy and taking it towards global sustainable levels to provide quality of life for all. To be implemented over a period of 5 years from 2016-17 to 2021-22, it is a firm step towards reaching the SDGs in Assam.

Keeping this in mind, the Ideathon will be aligned to the missions stated under CMSGUY and SDGs, towards achieving the basic goal of ‘leaving no-one behind’. Based on preliminary work already done by the State Government on bringing innovations in implementation of CMSGUY, the findings make a strong case for setting up an innovation lab in Assam. Furthermore, the findings suggest that Assam has the potential to become a regional leader in government innovation.

Navigating 21st century challenges requires agility in governance, with need for innovation in the design and implementation of policies. The Government’s target set in CMSGUY and its commitment to meeting the SDGs are ambitious and hence a systemic rethinking of the existing institutional processes and frameworks are necessary. The biggest challenge – involving citizens in the development and implementation of policies as well as in cross-sector work, across different government units as well as engaging with citizens groups, thought leaders entrepreneurs and corporations. The aim is to significantly change existing trajectory of farm income growth and take swift measures to integrate innovation across government departments.

Ideathon: Form & Features

Participants will form groups comprising of 2 to 5 members (students and one mentor from the institution) and will be asked to create solutions based on their research, skills, design ideas, maps, analysis and create solutions through their understanding of SDGs and Assam.

Teams will design scaleable solutions on solving socio-economic problems through innovative approaches using IT based platforms and social science based designs.

Participating teams will make presentations of prototypes. The jury will select four such prototypes and those will be taken forward for development which will be applied in the villages through an implementation team.

The four qualifying teams will be given a seed fund, based on their concept note. A period of 10 days will be given to the teams to come out with a first applicable prototype and subsequently the application of the prototypes will lead to teams getting further funding.

The prototype will be applied in at least one model village, to be developed for IT based solutions or social science based ideas/innovations which have been chosen by the Centre for SDGs.

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