Note: This is a different type of competition on Zindi. You can use the Zindi leaderboard to validate your models. But to win a prize you need to submit directly to the USAID platform at https://competitions4dev.org/forecastingprize.
Greater access to contraceptives enables couples and individuals to determine whether, when, and how often to have children. Contraceptive access is vital to safe motherhood, healthy families, and prosperous communities.
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.
When too few supplies are ordered, service delivery sites may run out, limiting access to contraceptives and family planning. When too much product is ordered, it leads to unused contraceptives that are wasted if they are left to expire.
Accurate forecasting of contraceptive consumption can save lives, money, and time by ensuring health service delivery sites have what they need when they need it and by reducing waste in the supply chain.
USAID works with local health care authorities and partners to support voluntary family planning and reproductive health programs in nearly 40 countries across the globe, which includes ensuring that contraceptives are available and accessible to people who need them.
With this competition, USAID seeks to identify and test more accurate methods of predicting future contraceptive use at health service delivery sites.
About USAID’s Intelligent Forecasting Challenge (https://competitions4dev.org/forecastingprize)
Zindi will not validate any solutions or pay any prizes. Rather we are hosting this competition as an easy way for the Zindi community to work on USAID’s challenge and get feedback on their models. We have split the dataset that is available by USAID into a training and test set for the purposes of setting up the leaderboard on Zindi.
This is the open call made by USAID where you can access the full dataset and also make your final submission: https://competitions4dev.org/forecastingprize
USAID will award up to $25,000 USD in prizes to innovators who develop an intelligent forecasting model—using the data USAID provides and methods such as artificial intelligence (AI)—to predict the consumption of contraceptives over three months. If implemented, the model should improve the availability of contraceptives and family planning supplies at health service delivery sites throughout a nationwide healthcare system. Second, USAID will award a Field Implementation Grant of approximately $100,000 to $200,000 USD to customize and test a high-performing intelligent forecasting model in Côte d’Ivoire.