June 4, 2020

vocatinest - deans challenge.jpg

VocatiNest aims to empower 5 million Indonesian vocational students and 1.7 million graduates.
VocatiNest aims to empower 5 million Indonesian vocational students and 1.7 million graduates.
Each year the
SIPA Dean’s Public Policy Challenge invites students to form teams to propose original projects that use ICT and/or data analytics to address global policy problems. First conducted in 2014, the now annual competition has become a signature event for SIPA, beginning each fall and concluding late in the spring semester.

 

Dean Merit E. Janow announced the results of this year’s competition on May 8.

The six finalists… really impressed our panel of judges with their innovative ventures and the extent to which the teams traveled the world, tested their ideas, developed prototypes, and found global partners,” Janow said.

“It's been amazing under any circumstances, and particularly at this moment [during the COVID-19 pandemic] to see their enthusiasm, their creativity, and their ongoing momentum,” she added. “It has been uplifting and impressive.”

Two teams were named first-place winners, earning $20,000 apiece to continue pursuing their projects:

  • tinh tam deans challenge.jpg

    Tịnh Tâm wants to provide mental health resources to Vietnamese youth.
    Tịnh Tâm wants to provide mental health resources to Vietnamese youth.
    Tịnh Tâm (Pure Mind) is a comprehensive mobile application aiming to empower Vietnamese youth with mental health resources at their fingertips. It provides real-time assessment gauging the needs of each user, flags critical mental health scenarios, and connects individuals to appropriate mental-health resources (hotline, in-person therapy, “friend” counseling chatbot, and more). Tịnh Tâm seeks to support and build local Vietnamese healthcare capacity, overcome the burdens of cultural mental health stigma in Vietnam, and address the current need-gap for youth-focused mental healthcare. Through a comprehensive, youth-centered digital platform, Tịnh Tâm provides a quality, personal, and cost-effective solution for a stronger and healthier Vietnam.

    Team members: Loan Kim Chu MIA ’21, Khanh Vu MPA-DP ’21, Taylor Light MPA-DP ’20, Dan Poniachik MPA-DP ’20, Martin Jose de Aubeyzon MPA-DP ’20

     
  • VocatiNest is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) based online job platform that provides end-to-end services from integrated personality & cognitive tests, tailored digital resume, to skill & personality job matching features. The objectives are to empower 5 million Indonesian vocational students and 1.7 million graduates annually to consolidate their competencies or take necessary actions to improve themselves to get fit in targeted jobs. At the same time, VocatiNest will deliver values to the employers through AI-based job matching feature to increase the qualified candidate pool and increasing the recruitment process’s effectivity & efficiency. VocatiNest aims to create societal impacts on unemployment rate reduction, with the spill-over effect on the poverty rate alleviation.

    Team members: Edi Saputra MIA ’21, Lindi Anggraini MPA ’20, Rendy Dwi Novalianto MPA ’19, and Daniel Oscar Baskoro (a 2019 MSc graduate of the School of Professional Studies)

Earning honorable mention and $5,000 apiece in support of their projects were Art for Africa and GreenItUp. Two remaining finalists, Ciclico and E-Maharat, received $1,000 recognition awards.

Watch Dean Janows announcement:

SIPA Dean's Challenge Grant 2020

Correction: An earlier version of this piece misidentified the prizes awarded to the first-place teams. The correct figure is $20,000 apiece.