The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today unveiled Heifer International, in partnership with Columbia University, as one of the highest-scoring proposals, designated as the Top 100, in its 100&Change competition for a single $100 million grant to help solve one of the world's most critical social challenges.
Heifer International and Columbia University’s proposal, “Soil to Space: Leveraging Water to Bridge the Food Gap,” will use satellite imaging to identify appropriate water interventions and market integrations, supporting small-scale farmers in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe to grow crops best suited to local resources, maximize yields, and increase sales and incomes.
The Top 100 represent the top 21 percent of competition submissions. The proposals were rigorously vetted, undergoing MacArthur’s initial administrative review, a Peer-to- Peer review, an evaluation by an external panel of judges, and a technical review by specialists whose expertise was matched to the project.
Each proposal was evaluated using four criteria: impactful, evidence-based, feasible, and durable. MacArthur’s Board of Directors will select up to 10 finalists from these high-scoring proposals this spring.
“Local, nutritious food is key to feeding the world, but knowing which crops will grow and sell best is a major challenge facing farmers. We’re excited to put forward this innovative proposal to 100&Change and know this work will have a significant impact on the food security and incomes of farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and Central America,” said Pierre Ferrari, President and CEO of Heifer International.
“MacArthur seeks to generate increased recognition, exposure, and support for the high-impact ideas designated as the Top 100,” said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change and MacArthur Managing Director, 100&Change. “Based on our experience in the first round of 100&Change, we know the competition will produce multiple compelling and fundable ideas. We are committed to matching philanthropists with powerful solutions and problem solvers to accelerate social change.”
Since the inaugural competition, other funders and philanthropists have committed an additional $419 million to date to support bold solutions by 100&Change applicants. Building on the success of 100&Change, MacArthur created Lever for Change to unlock significant philanthropic capital by helping donors find and fund vetted, high-impact opportunities through the design and management of customized competitions. In addition to 100&Change, Lever for Change is managing the Chicago Prize, the Economic Opportunity Challenge, and the Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award.
Bold Solutions Network Launches
The Bold Solutions Network launched on February 19, featuring Heifer International as one of the Top 100 from 100&Change. The searchable online collection of submissions contains a project overview, 90-second video, and two-page factsheet for each proposal. Visitors can sort by subject, location, Sustainable Development Goal, or beneficiary population to view proposals based on area of interest. The Bold Solutions Network will showcase the highest-rated proposals that emerge from the competitions Lever for Change manages. The Bold Solutions Network was designed to provide an innovative approach to identifying the most effective, enduring solutions aligned with donors’ philanthropic goals and to help top applicants gain visibility and funding from a wide array of funders. Organizations that are part of the network will have continued access to a variety of technical support and learning opportunities focused on strengthening their proposals and increasing the impact of their work.
More About 100&Change
100&Change is a distinctive competition that is open to organizations and collaborations working in any field, anywhere in the world. Proposals must identify a problem and offer a solution that promises significant and durable change.
The second round of the competition had a promising start: 3,690 competition registrants submitted 755 proposals. Of those, 475 passed an initial administrative review. 100&Change was designed to be fair, open, and transparent. The identity of the judges and the methodology used to assess initial proposals are public.
Applicants received comments and feedback from the peers, judges, and technical reviewers. Key issues in the competition are discussed in a blog on MacArthur's website. In the inaugural round of 100&Change, Sesame Workshop and International Rescue Committee were awarded $100 million to educate young children displaced by conflict and persecution in the Syrian response region and to challenge the global system of humanitarian aid to focus more on building a foundation for future success for millions of young children. ###
Media contact: Kimberly Barbano, Kimberly.Barbano@heifer.org, 202-316-7928