2021 Ingenuity Fund Winners Announced

Jan 5, 2022


With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, Bayer AG, and Pathfinder International, the 120 Under 40: The New Generation of Family Planning Leaders  formally announces the winners of the 2021 Ingenuity FundThe purpose of the 2021 120 Under 40 Ingenuity Fund is to encourage the winners of 120 Under 40 to think creatively and inventively about ways to advance family planning and reproductive health for women and men, communities, and countries around the world. The fund is designed to reward fresh, inventive thinking that will enable breakthroughs in family planning and reproductive health — the kind of thinking that can cause a “positive disruption” in some aspect of family planning, and in this unique circumstance also alleviate a much-needed gap in family planning and reproductive health.

The 2021 round of funding built on the 2020 fund to continue to foster creative, groundbreaking solutions to family planning’s biggest challenges, especially as we look at COVID-19 and beyond. We received a multitude of competitive applications but ultimately selected five winning projects. We are looking forward to the launch of these innovative ideas across the globe.

Discover more information about the 2021 awardees and their projects:


Joshua Dilawar

Country: Pakistan

Project Title: Meri Awaaz (My Voice) – Giving voice to voiceless people to be heard

This project is aiming to provide comprehensive SRHR and FP education to young deaf people, the first time in Pakistan. The projects aims for 3 pillars, 1) STRENGHTHENING the voices of voiceless people through giving them adequate knowledge of SRHR and FP, 2) ACCELERATING the movement through preparing Deaf community leaders/change agents to bring change in their society 3) ADVOCACY with the multi-stakeholders/decision makers to mainstream the inclusion of Deaf community. ISYD has decided to bridge the gap between the SRHR education and Deaf people by doing storytelling in sign language through a COMIC particularly on SRHR and FP for the first time in Pakistan as no such organization or Government has started work or ever worked on.


Sadia Rahman

Country: Bangladesh

Project Title: School of (Im)Possible

The project will initiate an online platform titled “School of (Im)Possible” where teaching artists will teach different art techniques connecting climate change and environment. To promote behavioral change efforts and awareness on SRHR issues within climate change, thinking that the best way to learn is by acting, the team will start a process in which it promotes inclusive SRHR and climate education through play-based learning and participatory experience. We will reach adolescents and youths aged between 13-30 years from all over Bangladesh. Utilizing the power of imagination, we will educate them about Comprehensive sexuality education and environmental education.


Nissily Mushani & Barwani Msiska

Country: Malawi

Project Title: Sex, Narratives, Choice: Where Do I Fit In?

The project aims at increasing knowledge, positive attitudes on reproductive health and contraceptive uptake by 4 % among pregnant and/ or adolescent girls and young women mothers aged 15-25 years in peri-urban Area 25 in Lilongwe, Malawi by December 2022. The project will test a tailored skills-based pleasure positive and safe sex comprehensive sexuality education and storytelling for impact intervention for vulnerable and high-risk adolescent girls and young women aged 15-25 years. This will be a multi-actor collaboration between Malawi 120  under 40 winners and New Beginnings, it will utilize and leverage evidence-informed pleasure positive CSE  curriculums and materials  and  adapt them  to  pregnant AGYW and mothers (informed by their  lived experiences and unique  SRHR  needs). This will be done using blended learning: AGYW narratives, role playing, and online via WhatsApp. The project supports linkages to service delivery points and enables integrated SRHR service provision including STI.


Maia Freudenberger

Country: Madagascar

Project Title: Harnessing Collaborative Filmmaking to Advance Projet Jeune Leader’s “Positive Disruptions” in Sexuality Education in Madagascar

Using an innovative, participatory research methodology called Collaborative Filmmaking, this project will shine a light on the “positive disruptions” of young adult Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) educators in Madagascar to address a global knowledge gap about influencing public support for comprehensive sexuality education. Lessons learned from this creative and inventive research about Projet Jeune Leader’s youth-led and youth-centered model can enable breakthroughs in CSE delivery – still a major challenge around the world due to recurrent misconceptions and backlash. Lessons learned from this creative and inventive research about Projet Jeune Leader’s youth-led and youth-centered model can enable breakthroughs in CSE delivery – still a major challenge around the world due to recurrent misconceptions and backlash.


Simon Manga

Country: Cameroon

Project Title: Use of Peer-Leaders to Overcome Barriers to Family Planning Access and Usage among Female Sex Workers

The overreaching goal of this project is to develop a model that will overcome FP usage and access barriers for Female Sex Workers (FSWs). We will collaborate with Horizons Femmes (HF), a non-governmental organization in Cameroon that has a robust infrastructure to promote and protect the health of FSWs. The major innovation in this project is 1) taking FP closer to FSWs, 2) training FSWs peer-leaders as agents of FP, and 3) developing a peer-leader led model to overcome barriers to access and usage of FP among FSWs. We will perform a baseline assessment for FP unmet needs, administer long and short acting methods, and perform interviews for FSWs who receive FP, the peer-leaders, and some HF staff on their perception about the model.

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