Contraceptive forecasting competition

Here’s an interesting new forecasting competition that came via my inbox this week.

Contraceptive access is vital to safe motherhood, healthy families, and prosperous communities. Greater access to contraceptives enables couples and individuals to determine whether, when, and how often to have children. In low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) around the world, health systems are often unable to accurately predict the quantity of contraceptives necessary for each health service delivery site, in part due to insufficient data, limited staff capacity, and inadequate systems.

With this competition, USAID seeks to identify and test more accurate methods of predicting future contraceptive use at health service delivery sites. Our goal is to ensure appropriate stocking of contraceptives and family planning supplies and to better understand the benefits of intelligent forecasting models for improving contraceptive availability and supply chain efficiency.

There are two overlapping phases. First, a Forecasting Prize Competition to develop an intelligent forecasting model to predict the consumption of contraceptives over three months. Second, a Field Implementation Grant to customize and test a high-performing intelligent forecasting model in Côte d’Ivoire. Competitors can apply for the prize, or for both the prize and the grant. To read the full evaluation criteria and learn more about aspects that apply to the Forecasting Prize and aspects that apply to the Field Implementation Grant, please visit https://competitions4dev.org/forecastingprize/.

The prizes are significant: US$20K for the winning model and up to US$200K for the in-country implementation. So everyone who missed out on the M5 competition prize, here’s your chance to try again and do some good in the process!

I was supposed to be attending the Forecasting for Social Good workshop last month, but it has now been postponed until July 2021. It would be great if the organizers and winners of this competition could present the results there.

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