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Access Innovation Prize 2012

Access Innovation Prize 2012
RIO DE JANEIRO, May 31 — Access ( today will announce the Access Innovation Prize 2012 (, a new initiative that will award $100,000 across five categories to individuals, organizations or networks that have the best actionable ideas of how to use information technology to promote and enable human rights or deliver a social good outcome. One of the Prizes will be jointly awarded by Access in partnership with Facebook: the Access Facebook Award.
Access Innovation, Facebook Awards, technology Awards 2012, Human Rights Contest 2012“This Access Innovation Prize is a designed to catalyze new technologies for human rights,” said Brett Solomon, Access Executive Director. “We are looking for information technology initiatives from across the world, in all languages that respond to community need. We encourage technologists, NGOS and activists to experiment, innovate, and explore new ideas.”
“The social web is a powerful tool for helping to promote human development around the world,” said Marne Levine, Facebook vice president of Global Public Policy. “The Access Facebook Award will help to spur new ideas for leveraging Facebook to improve the world we live in, from creating tools that enhance the free flow of information to developing apps that expand educational access in rural areas, and we look forward to seeing the creative ideas that are submitted.”
The contest is looking for communication technology initiatives from across the world. The Access Innovation Prize is designed to discover and reward ideas that demonstrate unique promise, opportunity and possibility. Applicants can submit a near to complete project, improve an existing tool or create something totally new.
The five categories for the contest are:
  • Access Facebook Award – US$20,000 will go to the best actionable idea of how to use the Facebook platform to deliver a human rights, human development or social good outcome. We’re looking for initiatives across the spectrum – from enhancing freedom of speech and expression to improving the economic well-being of a disadvantaged group.
  • Blackout Resilience – US$20,000 will go to the best actionable idea to help build an open-sourced, blackout resilient technology for use by activists and human rights workers in conditions where there is a need for alternate communications infrastructure to the one put in place and/or controlled by the authorities. For example, where there has been a communication network shutdown.
  • Making Crypto Easy – US$20,000 will go to the best actionable idea to properly integrate encryption into an existing product/system, educate users as to how to use encryption and/or build a community who use encryption by default.
  • The Bounty – A US$20,000 bounty will be granted for the best patch for a disclosed or as yet undisclosed vulnerability in a program/platform or software used by human rights defenders and activists.
  • Golden Jellybean – This is an unthemed category. US$20,000 will go to the best actionable idea of how communication technologies can be used to promote and enable human rights. This could include a funding a researcher for $20,000; the development of a training guide for activists;  a new censorship circumvention program; or an initiative to detect surveillance equipment on the network.


The application process will close on August 15. For more information on the timeline and the application process, go to Applications or questions should be sent to by August 15. is a global movement premised on the belief that political participation and the realization of human rights in the 21st century is increasingly dependent on access to the internet and other forms of technology.

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