About IDEAS   Past Projects
Timeline Visit the IDEAS Blog
Get Connected Resources
Submit an Entry Sponsors









The MIT International Development Initiative (IDI) is pleased to announce the fourth annual MIT Muhammad Yunus Innovation Challenge to Alleviate Poverty, "Promoting Clean Hands for Health and Prosperity."

Each year, the Yunus Challenge highlights a pressing and often overlooked need of the world's poor and enables MIT students to develop solutions to address it through a variety of mechanisms, including the IDEAS competition, D-Lab, and Public Service fellowships, internships and grants.

The Challenge, named in honor of 2006 Nobel Prize winner Dr. Muhammad Yunus, was initiated and is supported by MIT alumnus Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel, supporter of the IDI, and benefactor of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL).

The 2010 Yunus Challenge: Clean Hands

Millions of children die every year of diarrheal diseases and acute respiratory infections, which remain leading causes of preventable death, especially among the young in developing countries. Hands are a common vector for disease transmission, and the number of deaths could be cut dramatically if a simple method of cleaning hands, such as regular washing with soap, were widely promoted and practiced. In addition to the obvious health benefits, associated economic benefits, such as reducing the amount of school and work days missed, would accrue as well.

This year's Yunus Challenge calls for innovative sanitation solutions to encourage clean hands among those living in poverty. Solutions should be designed for implementation in communities living at or below the poverty level.

For complete information and background on the 2008-2009 Yunus Innovation Challenge to Alleviate Poverty, please visit the Yunus Challenge website.