YLabs receives Gates Foundation award for Men Stand Up

YLabs announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Dr Rebecca Hope, Director or Programs will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled “Men Stand Up: Engaging Young Men in Family Planning Decisions".

Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) supports innovative thinkers worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges.  Dr Hope’s project is one of more than 55 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 17 grants announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

To receive funding, Dr Hope and other Grand Challenges Explorations winners demonstrated in a two-page online application a bold idea in one of six critical global heath and development topic areas.  The foundation will be accepting applications for the next GCE round in February 2017.    

YLabs is dedicated to generating innovative strategies for improving adolescent health using human-centered design and rigorous evaluation. In collaboration with Voto Mobile and FSG, YLabs will pair user-centered design with mobile-powered research to design solutions that generate demand for family planning services through understanding the preferences and behaviors of young men (15-24) Mali, Nigeria, India, and Kenya.

Despite increasing recognition of the role of men in perpetuating poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes, policy makers often leave out this critical and influential demographic. We see an opportunity to design new technologies and service delivery approaches that are grounded in user insights from young men to increase men and women’s uptake of family planning. “Men Stand Up” will leverage deep expertise in adolescent health and youth-centered design, complemented by state-of-the art mobile engagement technology to generate insights from four countries.

Grand Challenges Explorations is a US$100 million initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Launched in 2008, over 1228 projects in more than 65 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.