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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

Intelligent Forecasting: A Competition to Model Future Contraceptive Use

With this competition, we seek to identify and test more accurate methods of predicting future contraceptive use at health service delivery sites

U.S. Agency for International Development

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $225,000
Type of Challenge: Analytics, visualizations, algorithms, Business plans, Technology demonstration and hardware
Submission Start: 07/14/2020 11:00 AM ET
Submission End: 09/08/2020 11:00 AM ET


USAID works with local health care authorities and partners to support voluntary family planning and reproductive health programs in nearly 40 countries across the globe, which includes ensuring that contraceptives are available and accessible to people who need them.

With this competition, we seek to identify and test more accurate methods of predicting future contraceptive use at health service delivery sites.

First, we will award up to 25,000 USD in prizes to innovators who develop an intelligent forecasting model—using the data we provide and methods such as artificial intelligence (AI)—to predict the consumption of contraceptives over three months. If implemented, the model should improve the availability of contraceptives and family planning supplies at health service delivery sites throughout a nationwide healthcare system. Second, we will award a Field Implementation Grant of approximately 100,000 to 200,000 USD to customize and test a high-performing intelligent forecasting model in Côte d’Ivoire.

Key dates:

  • 14 July 2020:  Competition begins
  • 4 August 2020:  Question deadline
  • 12 August 2020:  Webinar for questions and answers
  • 8 September 2020 (11:00 AM ET):  Entry deadline
  • October 2020:  Prize awards announced
  • October-November 2020:  Co-creation
  • December 2020:  Concept notes due
  • February 2021:  Grant award winners announced

challenge timeline as described above in the key dates


Total Cash Prize Pool: Up to $225,000

Prize Breakdown:

  • $20,000 first place prize award
  • $5,000 runner-up prize award
  • $100,000 - 200,000 for the field implementation grant

Non-monetary Prizes: Winners will be announced and celebrated in an international public health event. The winners of the field implementation grant will have one funded trip to Cote d’Ivoire for in-person grant negotiations or kick-off.


Detailed Rules

  • The maximum number of model submissions for the Forecasting Prize is three.
  • The maximum number of model submissions for the Field Implementation Grant is one.
  • The competition will allow use of publicly available external datasets, including, but not limited to, the Recommended Supplementary Data Sources listed below. Models using external datasets that are not publicly available will not be reviewed.
  • Competitors must create their model(s) as Jupyter Notebooks and upload them to the online entry platform (file extension .ipynb). See Annex II of the Competition Call for additional guidance on Jupyter Notebooks.
  • All EOIs must be submitted in English.
  • EOIs must be submitted via the online entry platform linked from this website. EOIs submitted via regular mail, facsimile, or email will not be accepted.
  • Complete EOIs must be submitted by the deadline at 11:00 a.m. Eastern USA Time on September 8, 2020 using the online entry platform. No additions or modifications to the expressions of interest will be accepted after the submission deadline.
  • Questions about the competition may be submitted via email to by 11:00 a.m. Eastern USA Time on August 4, 2020. Answers will be published on this Frequently Asked Questions page of this website after the webinar on August 12, 2020 to ensure transparent communication. USAID bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes associated with electronic submissions.
  • If no qualifying EOI is verified during the assessment stage, the competition may reopen, at the sole discretion of USAID and partners.
  • USAID will not be responsible for any costs associated with the development of EOIs or the forecasting model.
  • Information collected for demographic, research, learning, and outward-facing purposes will be labeled as such and will have no bearing on the evaluation of the entry.

Terms and Conditions

The Intelligent Forecasting Competition is being implemented by the Catalyst Project. Please read the following terms and conditions carefully before submitting an entry. By submitting an entry, you accept these terms and conditions and agree to comply with them.

Participating in the Intelligent Forecasting Competition

Entries received by the relevant deadline that are compliant with this call will be assessed against the entry criteria for the competition set out in this document. USAID is not responsible for lost, late, stolen, misdirected, illegible, erroneous, or incomplete entries or other documentation due to computer, network or telecommunications failure.

Employees of USAID, USAID personnel service contractors, other individuals working on the Catalyst project, Catalyst consortia members, and their immediate families, are not eligible to enter.

Unless otherwise stated, up to three entries to the Forecasting Prize and one entry for the Field Implementation Grant are allowed. Parties that enter the competition must bear all costs associated with entry and participation unless otherwise stated in the supported materials.

Eligible entries will be assessed against the publicized judging criteria. Entries may be shortlisted and asked to complete further activities as described in the promotional materials, and performance will then be assessed against the relevant judging criteria. For the field implementation competitors, a willingness to participate in co-creation activities and other events is required.

USAID will use the contact details provided to contact you about the competition. If USAID does not receive a response within seven days, your entry may be removed from consideration for the competition. If an entry is removed or otherwise withdrawn from the competition for any reason, USAID may select another entry in its place, however USAID is not obliged to do so.

The judges’ decisions about the shortlist selection, including the methodology used to assess entries, validity of any claims, and data submitted, is final. By choosing to participate in the competition, participants waive the right to challenge the outcome and agree to be bound by the determinations of the judges, review board, and USAID. USAID has no obligation to provide further information or to engage in conversation or correspondence about such decisions.

While USAID encourages the Forecasting Prize winners to use the prize award monies in ways that will continue to benefit the public health sector, you are under no obligation to do so. The prizes will be paid in USD and the winners are responsible for payment of tax and other charges in relation to the award of the prize.

USAID reserves the right and has the sole discretion to refuse to accept any entry; to suspend or withdraw the competition at any time; to vary the form and substance of the competition including dates for deadlines, activities, and events; to reduce or increase the number of entries selected, including the final awards; to not award the funds available; and to reject or withdraw a place in the competition for any reason whatsoever, including if you are in breach of these terms and conditions, fail to participate fully, or do anything to damage the reputation of USAID or its partners.

USAID reserves the right to vary these terms and conditions at any time. Variations will take effect from the date they are posted on the competition website. Please check the website regularly for the most current version.

By submitting an entry into the competition, you confirm that: Your entry satisfies the relevant criteria and all information submitted is true, accurate, and complete. USAID reserves the right to request additional evidence to validate claims made by any means deemed fit and to reject claims at USAID’s sole discretion.

Your entry must represent original ideas that have not been copied from anyone else, and to the best of your knowledge, does not infringe any intellectual property or other third party rights. USAID may withdraw any entry that infringes any third party rights.

You have, or will obtain, all consents and permissions necessary to submit your entry, participate in the competition, and comply with these terms and conditions.

You must be willing to share learning to be eligible for the contest. All entrants need to be willing to share their models, experiences, and learning to help establish a body of knowledge that can bring about a greater awareness and sustained change in intelligent forecasting for global health supply chains and the use of open innovation competitions. USAID intends to publish and share the models in aggregate to further learning in intelligent forecasting for global health supply chains. However, USAID will not publish specific model details or models in their entirety without the expressed permission of the party entering the contest.

You will act lawfully, ethically and in good faith, comply with the rules of the competition and any relevant laws, regulations, policies, guidelines, and codes of practice. You will comply with USAID instructions while participating in the competition, including in relation to health, safety, and security. Your organization and proposed approach must:

  • Adhere to existing protocols for environmental protection and sustainability.
  • Have adequate plans to handle medical waste in line with recommended WHO guidelines, if your organization provides support for direct health service delivery.
  • Identify and mitigate potential unintended consequences that may cause direct or indirect harm to marginalized groups.
  • Not exacerbate or cause direct or indirect harm to marginalized groups including, but not limited to, women, girls, low income persons, ethnic minorities, and landless groups.

USAID reserves the right to remove entries from the competition that do not comply with these rules or if a competing party cheats or behaves in a way which is disruptive, inappropriate, or potentially dangerous. If you are entering the competition as part of a group or team, the person completing the entry form is responsible for compliance with these terms and conditions for all team members.

Use of Personal Information

USAID is committed to protect the privacy of parties that enter the competition and has established processes and policies to adequately safeguard any personal information you provide.

For all entries, USAID will ask for personal information such as your contact information, including name, email address, and phone number. The personal information collected will be used to process and evaluate your entry, to contact you about the competition, and to make awards.

Please make sure that all details are accurate and up to date, and provide notification if this information changes. If during the competition, the entry includes aggregate information regarding any other individuals, please provide information concerning the informed consent of all individuals signed, and applicable Institutional Review Board (IRB) materials. Do not include any personally identifiable information concerning other individuals in your submissions.

Your information will be shared within USAID and with its implementing partners as is necessary to process and fully assess your entry, award the funds, and celebrate competitors (sections 3, 4, and 5). USAID will follow applicable law, regulation, and policy concerning the collection, maintenance, and use of your data. For more information about the USAID privacy policy, including safeguards and controls around PII, please see here.

USAID will share your information with the judges evaluating the entries.

To receive updates on other USAID opportunities, events, and activities, email USAID will share your information with third parties where USAID uses their platforms, such as the Global Innovation Exchange to simplify entering the competition, receive entries, process entries, and Constant Contact, to deliver e-newsletters.

When this competition process has ended, USAID will retain your information for six years beyond the termination of the funding agreement supporting this competition for the purpose of fulfilling any obligations under that agreement, for program evaluation and process management purposes, and to provide information on future opportunities for similar competitions in the future. To opt out, email

USAID may keep your information for up to six years for USAID to conduct statistical analysis of the data, to review, develop and improve business activities, consistent with applicable law, rule, and regulation.

For questions about this privacy notice, please email

By submitting an entry, you also consents to the collection, retention, usage, and distribution of personal information for the purposes (Sections 4 and 5).


USAID will not publicly publish full details of your entry. However, by submitting an entry, you give us permission to use and publicly publish your name, a summary of your entry, and photographs and recordings of your participation in the competition, which may include events, in any media and online. If you have any concerns about the publication of information about your entry, please contact us before submitting an entry. Any public statements made in relation to the competition must acknowledge USAID and be approved by USAID in advance.

USAID intends to celebrate the shortlisted and winning approaches online, in public health forums, and as case studies about exemplary global health supply chain management.

While competitors and winners of the prize awards are under no obligation to engage in further correspondence with USAID after the award of funds, USAID hopes they will continue to respond to requests for updates on the approach’s evolution, success, or learning.

Limitation of Liability

USAID is not liable for any direct or indirect loss or liability, costs, claims, taxes, charges or expenses resulting from your participation in the competition or your reliance on statements made or advice given by USAID, its partners, or contractors.

How to Enter

To enter, visit the challenge website at