NextGen Circular Business Accelerator teams. From left to right: Joe Tighe of Solublue (UK); Francis Carroll, Lizzie Horvitz, and Brian Reilly of Muuse (Indonesia); Jeff Bassett of Footprint (USA); Safia Qureshi and Simon Millman of CupClub (UK); Henrik Björnberg of Colombier Group (Finland); Fabian Eckert and Alexandra Gurstmeier of RECUP (Germany).

UNFPA Young People's Sexual and Reproductive Health Challenge: Top Ideas Announced

Celebrating four innovative solutions that promote menstrual health around the world

In Parternship with
The Challenge

How might we radically improve access to, and quality of, sexual and reproductive health education and services for young people?

UNFPA Team Celebrates Top Ideas

After reviewing more than 270 submissions over the course of the past six months, we have selected four Top Ideas that we believe will help to create communities where every woman and girl has the ability to make informed decisions and manage their health, with access to high quality sexual and reproductive health information, products, and services.  

These Top Ideas reflect the collective momentum of this community, over 2,000 comments, and hundreds of Challenge participants who recognize that current solutions for women and girls are insufficient. We celebrated this announcement on May 28—International Menstrual Hygiene Day—and are honored to have the opportunity to work with these organizations that will be bringing innovative solutions to menstrual health challenges in their communities. 

Help keep up the momentum by clicking on the links below to learn more about each Top Idea and leave a comment to congratulate them!

Be Girl

SmartCycle is a physical tracking tool and educational app to address adolescents' limited access to age-appropriate menstruation and reproductive health information in Colombia and Mozambique. 

"At Be Girl, we believe access to design is critical to remove barriers to opportunities and break poverty traps. Products play a major role in leveling the playing-field for people, particularly youth and girls in limited-resource settings who too often are overlooked due to their limited purchasing power. Platforms like IDEO/UNFPA allow us to work collectively to democratize access to design and unlock the power that comes with it, transforming lives and providing everyone the opportunity to achieve their infinite potential."

— Diana Sierra, Founder & CEO, Be Girl

Inteco Kenya

ARI Dispensers enable distribution of single sanitary pads via a cashless, discrete system to in- and out-of-school adolescent girls in Nairobi slum areas. 

"We are super excited about this new chapter in our journey. Winning the Challenge has put a spring into our step. It has validated all the trials that we have faced. We honestly cannot wait to see what is in store for us."

— Munira Twahir, Founder and Strategy Director of Inteco Kenya, expressed excitement about the future of this solution.

Smart Girls Foundation Uganda

Bags4Girls are comprehensive menstrual hygiene kits and educational programming designed with and for girls in Uganda.

"Change is worth fighting for. We are so happy for winning this Challenge since it's going to enable us to empower vulnerable adolescent girls."

— Shamim Nantumbwe, Program Manager Smart Bags4Girls / Managing Director, Smart Girls Foundation Uganda.

"On behalf of the team, I want to extend our sincere gratitude on this Challenge win. We are so very excited about the support and mentorship we are to get and we promise to put it to good use for the betterment of adolescent girls in Uganda."

— Jacent Kabayaga, M&E Coordinator Smart Bags4Girls Program, Smart Girls Foundation Uganda 

Women's Global Health Innovations

Bfree Duo combines menstrual hygiene management and conceptive technology with knowledge support and training to address the personal health needs of South Sudanese adolescent girls living in northern Ugandan refugee settlements.

"ZanaAfrica is thrilled to partner with WGHI to help girls realize the promise of their further through integrated menstrual, sexual and reproductive rights. The BFree Duo, combined with our health magazine and OpenIDEO’s human-centered design support, will measurably and scalably help tens of thousands of adolescent girls safely navigate adolescents, unhindered and on their own terms. We are thrilled IDEO is taking a bold stand for menstrual rights."

— Megan White-Mukuria, Founder & CEO, ZanaAfrica

What’s Next?

Over the coming weeks, UNFPA will work with each of the Top Idea teams to tailor a support package based on unique project needs.

We are deeply inspired by the enthusiastic response from individuals, communities, and organizations around the world, creating new solutions to a complex, yet critical issues. Thank you for lending your inspiration, expertise and voices to our global collaboration.    

Understanding Cybersecurity

  1. Cybersecurity and Crime: Google Security Princess Parisa Tabriz and Jenny Martin from Symantec introduce the most common types of cybercrime in this video.
  2. Cybersecurity: How it Works: A 5 min IBM video on how cybersecurity works.
  3. Cybersecurity in Under 3 Minutes: Learning about CyberSimplicity in under 3 min. 
  4. DEFCON Hacking Challenge: A 6 min hacking experiment at Defcon.
  5. Cybersecurity Crash Course: This video gives a crash course on the basics of cybersecurity.

  1. Can news coverage of cyber issues get past hacks and attacks?: Hewlett Foundation commissioned a study from George Washington University Professor Sean Aday to analyze news coverage from 2014 to 2017 in major news media outlets. Sean Aday, discusses the report’s key findings and their implications.
  2. Comics with a Serious Message: The Rise of Cartoons for Teaching Cybersecurity: Article investigating the use of comics for serious topics on cybersecurity.
  3. Shall I Compare Thee to a Cyber Attack?: A U.S. Army cybersecurity analyst offers a lesson in explaining the impact of a cyber attack: use better metaphors.
  4. Delete Yourself: Television’s conflicted, heroic hackers: An article talking about Hollywood’s reductive portrayal of Hackers.
  5. Can news coverage of cyber issues get past hacks and attacks?: An article on news coverage of cybersecurity, and an invitation to dive into policy.
  6. Covering Cyber: Media coverage of cyber issues since 2014: Media coverage of cybersecurity since 2014.
  7. Tech Privacy: The Funniest Hacker Stock Photos 4.0: The Future of Hacking: An overview in pictures of hacker pictures, all looking very similar.
  8. War on the Rocks: Cyber Officials Need Help But Are Experts Up to the Task: Article on cybersecurity policy and the gap between academics government.
  9. Why the U.S. Needs More Cyber Translators: A case study at the intersection between government and tech experts known as “cyber translation.”
  10. Musicians May be the Key to the CyberSecurity Shortage: A read on finding creative talent for the cybersecurity industry.
  11. Art Show at Chicago’s THOTCON 0x9 Hacker Conference: When Art intersects with Cybersecurity.
  12. Innovation of Diversity in CyberSecurity: An article highlighting the diversity problem in Cybersecurity: Women are always minorities.
  13. How Design Thinking Can Change Cybersecurity: Design Thinking solving the Cybersecurity challenges.
  14. Foreign Policy: In Cyber War, There are No Rules: An article outlining the need for conventions and rules in the cybersecurity world.
  15. The Role of Instructional Design in Persuasion:A Comics Approach for Improving Cyber Security: This article highlights comics’ role in persuading users to practice good computer security.
  16. Hackers Are the Real Obstacle for Self-Driving Vehicles: Case study studying the effect of hackers on self-driving cars.
  1. Juan Andrés Guerrero-Saade, Principal Security Researcher, Recorded Future: Podcast featuring CyberSecurity Conversations.
  2. Ivan Arce on Hacking in Culture in Argentina: Podcast episode about the concentration of hacking talent in Argentina, and Ivan's focus on security problems in the Android ecosystem.
  3. Aanchal Gupta on Societal Change: Aanchal shares her story and provides guidance for young women struggling to overcome societal obstacles.
  4. How we know Russia did it, the FBI using Best Buy, an IBM study on ransomware, and more: A podcast on political hacking from Daniel Miessler, a cybersecurity expert and author of The Real Internet of Things.
  5. The IoT You Got for Christmas: A podcast discussing the finer points of the internet of things.
  6. Targeted Threats from Facts to Fiction: A discussion on advanced threats in cybersecurity.
  7. Security Awareness Deep Dive: Podcast on why you shouldn’t train employees for security awareness.
  8. Prove to me you are Human: Discussions on authentication issues, network security, airplane security, AI, and Minecraft.

The promise of the Food System Vision Prize is to light the way–to be the North Star–for populations across the globe to realize a more promising, nourishing, and healthy future.


We ran the UNFPA Young People's Sexual and Reproductive Health Challenge because we believe young people have the fundamental right to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health, as well as have access to relevant care. By providing access and education, and reducing the stigma around sexual and reproductive health, young people can live without fear, make smart decisions for themselves, and work toward their dreams.