data for life
The 2014 Data For Life Prize, a continuation of the 2013 Children’s Prize, is a worldwide competition that aims to find the best resources that prevent child mortality around the world. The idea is to search for effective but under-utilized interventions to decrease the number of deaths of children under the age of five.

According to the World Health Organization, 6.6 million children under age five died in 2012. This averages out to 18,000 children dying per day. Eighty-three percent of these deaths are caused by infectious, neonatal or nutritional conditions. These are problems that can be fixed, but money and resources are needed to implement programs that will effectively make an impact.

Founded by Dr. Ted Caplow, the Data For Life competition asks individuals and organizations from all countries to research lesser-known solutions to these massive problems. The competition ends with two winners who each receive $50,000 to carry out their research, therefore up-scaling the interventions to make them more effective worldwide.

The idea for this competition came about because many of the humanitarian organizations attempting to reduce global child mortality lack the ability to perform research to determine the success of their interventions. The Data For Life Prize allows these organizations to have a chance at evaluating their programs.

Applicants are asked to create a scientific study with a budget of $50,000 that will validate a previously untested solution to child mortality. The studies are then evaluated by the greatest number of children they have the potential to save as well as the ability for the program to be up-scaled.

In the end, the interventions chosen must have the ability to become global players in the fight against child mortality. The company operates as an engineer by focusing on efficiency and ensuring that the models chosen will make the biggest impact while still being cost-effective.

The Data For Life Prize (as the Children’s Prize) gave $1 million to winner Dr. Anita Zaidi in Pakistan in 2013. The 2014 competition is already underway. The winner will be announced in December of this year.

– Hannah Cleveland

Sources: Children’s Prize, WHO
Photo: Inhabitots