Coxswain Social Investment Plus (CSI+) and its partner Matchboxology announced today that they have been awarded a Grand Challenges Explorations grant, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. A pan-African consultancy firm dedicated to getting development right, CSI+ will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, entitled “Aid Quest” – an open-source digital platform that encourages youth around the world to uncover creative solutions to development challenges.

Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) funds individuals worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. Coxswain Social Investment Plus’ project is one of the Grand Challenges Explorations Round 10 grants announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

matchboxology            CSIplus-Logo

To receive funding, CSI+ and Matchboxology and other Grand Challenges Explorations Round 10 winners demonstrated in a two-page online application a bold idea in one of four critical global heath and development topic areas that included agriculture development, neglected tropical diseases and communications. Applications for the next Round will be accepted starting September 2013.

Through crowd-sourcing  Aid Quest aims to give 7th graders (13-year-olds) worldwide the chance to become effective social entrepreneurs – by empowering them to work together to tackle global development challenges. The first of these “Aid-Hackers” will be drawn from selected schools in six countries – South Africa, Nigeria, USA, UK, Sweden and India. Aid-Quest will provide them with a unique space to interact across borders and collectively find solutions to pressing problems facing 13-year-olds in their own communities and around the world.

“Aid Quest is not just about transforming 7th graders into social entrepreneurs, it’s also about showing that aid can work and make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Charlotte Obidairo, CSI+ Managing Director based in Lagos, Nigeria. She continues, “Aid Quest is about experiencing the emotional and tangible rewards of international development aid; starting with finding small solutions to big problems.  The programme will give kids from Lagos to Delhi to Seattle the opportunity to work together to work out pragmatic solutions to real problems”.



About Grand Challenges Explorations
Grand Challenges Explorations is a US$100 million initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Launched in 2008, over 800 people in more than 50 countries have received Grand Challenges Explorations grants.  The grant program is open to anyone from any discipline and from any organization.  The initiative uses an agile, accelerated grant-making process with short two-page online applications and no preliminary data required.  Initial grants of US$100,000 are awarded two times a year. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to US$1 million.

About Coxswain Social Investment Plus (CSI+)
CSI+ is a pan-African consultancy firm dedicated to getting development right. It works with a diverse range of clients, including government and non-government actors, international organisations and businesses. CSI+ provides strategic advice and technical support to these actors with the aim of changing behaviour, lives and bottom lines. It is particularly committed to capitalizing on the potential of the private sector to contribute to sustainable development. Created in 2005 in South Africa, CSI+ currently has regional offices in Johannesburg, Lagos and Tunis. For more information, visit: www.coxsi.com

About Matchboxology
Matchboxology designs bespoke incubators that amplify the ability of business, government and development funders to fuel social advancement. By applying Human Centered Design principals, Matchboxology’s innovation and behaviour change outcomes have measurably benefited a diverse array of clients in Southern Africa, including the UN, Levi Strauss & Co, PEPFAR, MTN, Swaziland and the South African Office of the Presidency. (www.matchboxology.com)


For more information:
Charlotte Obidairo, Managing Director, CSI+; charlotte@coxsi.com+2348159590594 
Kingsley Iweka, Communications Officer; kingsley@coxsi.com+2347038146134

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