3rd ILO Skills Challenge Innovation Call

Preventing forced labour in Africa through skills and lifelong learning

Web page | 10 June 2021
The Alliance 8.7 - a multi-stakeholder and inclusive global partnership committed to achieving SDG Target 8.7 - is launching a competition calling for all innovators who are passionate about bringing new ideas with social impact to develop innovative solutions that can support pathfinder countries to accelerate action for the achievement of SDG Target 8.7.

As part of this global initiative, the ILO Skills Innovation Facility, in collaboration with the Alliance 8.7, is calling on entities or legally recognized non-profit organizations to share innovative ideas and solutions that can contribute to the prevention of forced labour in Africa through skills and lifelong learning.

These solutions can include proposals to:
  • create new skills training programmes or improve existing ones in order to upgrade skills in a vulnerable sector or occupation and facilitate better working conditions, or to generate alternatives in terms of job opportunities in areas affected by forced labour;
  • improve the promotion and the accessibility of skills training programmes for vulnerable groups and put in place inclusive policies to decrease the chances of dropouts;
  • integrate complementary courses into TVET curricula and programmes to raise awareness of the risks and effects of forced labour and strengthen trainees’ resilience to it;
  • support skills trainers and training providers in becoming agents of change to prevent and combat forced labour within their communities;
  • strengthen career and vocational guidance and counselling services and establish partnerships to facilitate the referral of victims of forced labour to appropriate skills training programs and other support services;
  • set up mechanisms for the formal skills recognition of vulnerable persons and victims of forced labour who have acquired skills and competencies to provide them with recognized qualifications on the labour market;
  • integrate new ways of skills development and delivery for young people at risk or victims of forced labour.

How to apply?

To submit a proposal:
  1. Check eligibility criteria and conditions for participation in the call available in the Participants Guideline, as well as the Grant Agreement with the ILO;
  2. Submit your solution on the ILO Innovation Platform by 15 September 2021 (midnight Geneva time). To submit an idea the entity or organization will have to sign up to create a user account: https://bit.ly/3a9kxwX. You can also send the completed application form and supporting documents to skills@ilo.org.
Proposals can be submitted in English and French. No fee is required to participate in the Call for Proposals. Applicants will receive an email confirmation that their application has been received. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Who can apply?

Any entity or legally recognized non-profit organization with contractual and registered capacity that has been in existence for at least two calendar years prior to the call deadline. The applicant may be registered outside Africa.

By entity or non-profit organization, we mean government agencies, employers’ and workers’ organizations, cooperatives, education and training institutions (including schools, public and private training providers, and universities), NGOs and civil society organizations, universities and other research and educational institutions.

We accept all types of innovations, i.e. innovative approaches, projects, tools, technologies and partnerships that offer solutions that contribute to the prevention of forced labour through skills and lifelong learning.

We accept ideas and solutions at any stage of development. They can be early stage innovations or at a more advanced stage. They can be ideas to improve, expand and/or promote a solution that is already being implemented.

They can be the idea of a single organization or involve a joint collaborative effort of different actors, such as governments, employers' and workers' organisations. In case of a team work, a project leader should be identified to coordinate the activities and to report to the ILO.

What will the winners be awarded?

The winning idea will receive:
  • Financial Support: The winning entry will receive a grant of 30,000 USD (paid in local currency and into a bank account in the name of the entrant/entity) to implement the proposed solution.
  • Access to an Innovation Lab: Through boot camps and remote mentoring, the winning proposal will receive technical support to transform their ideas into prototypes ready for implementation. Once the prototype has been developed, the innovator and partners will test the solution through a pilot test.
  • Global visibility: The winning proposal will receive visibility for its ideas and solutions, including an invitation to a global event to present the innovative idea to potential partners and sponsors, press articles in the media, videos, among others.
  • Access to a wide network of experts in the area of formalization and skills development: The winning idea and shortlisted applications will be invited to join the ILO Skills Innovation Network. Through the network, members will have the opportunity to exchange with other innovators and to share their solutions with ILO partners.

Key dates and deadlines:

  • Call launch: 10 June 2021;
  • Deadline for submission: 15 September 2021 (midnight Geneva time);
  • Announcement of the winner: 15 November 2021;
  • Start of the Skills Innovation Lab: November 2021;
  • End of pilot test of solution: November 2022.
Should you have any questions regarding the call in general or the application process, please contact us at: skills@ilo.org.