Examples of good and bad answers for your application

By OEC team Comments

As you proceed to refine your application, we want to help you present the best case possible for your idea. We just published a blog post explaining the selection process and each of the four evaluation criteria. Today, we go even further: Yishay Mor, member of the evaluation team, provides examples of some good and bad responses for each question according to the evaluation criteria.

Question 1: What is the education problem you want to solve?

Relevance of the problem you want to solve (12 points)

Convince us that you’re fighting for a worthy cause.

  • Bad answer: “Most young Slovakians don’t know how to rig a sail”
  • Good answer: “80% of schools in Uttar Pradesh do not have latrine facilities, making them inaccessible for girls”
Good understanding of the education context (12 points)

Your innovation will have a noticeable impact in the real world. Are you from the real world? Do you know who you will be dealing with? What are the constraints, barriers and opportunities you will face?

  • Bad answer: “As we all know, boys will be boys.”
  • Good answer: “Amina is 10 years old, she comes from a poor family in Alexandria. To help her family, she works as a domestic hand in a rich family’s house. Although she has no formal education, she can do basic arithmetic as her job requires”
Users/Beneficiaries well identified (6 points)

Who stands to benefit from your innovation? How will it impact their lives? What will be the measurable outcomes they will experience?

Question 2: What is the role of technology in your project?

Good understanding of the role of technology (7 points)
Right degree of innovation (7 points)

Note! We’re not looking for the most spectacular technology. We’re looking for the best fit for purpose. If you can show us how you’ll solve adult numeracy with a piece of wire and two strings - you’re in!

Feasibility of the proposed technological solution (6 points)

Question 3: What is your business and market approach?

Clear understanding of your market – 10 points

This is not the same as your users and beneficiaries. Your market is the income base that ensures the sustainability of your innovation. It may be the people who benefit from it directly, but it can also be foundations, NGOs, governments or international bodies who’s agenda you support.

Good analysis of your competitive advantage – 10 points

Ok, you have a good idea, its worthy of investment, it has a business case - but what makes you the right team to pull it through? What edge do you have over anyone else who might attempt the same project?

  • Bad answer: “For the last four years, we have been sitting in the pub every friday and discussing this idea”
  • Good answer: “As a daughter to a poor family myself, and a head teacher in rural school, I have unique first-hand knowledge of both the challenges such girls face and the potential they posses.”

Question 4: Why are you and your team the right people to do it?

Credentials of the team – 10 points

The best ideas will fail if you lack resilience, resourcefulness, determination, and team spirit. Do you have what it takes, as a team, to make this happen? How do you know? What have you achieved as a team in the past?

  • Bad answer: “I can really do this on my own, but since you wanted a team - I put an ad on craigslist and found a couple of yobs to join me.”
  • Good answer: “Our team was forged in a bicycle ride across the Kalahari desert”
Complementarity of the team – 10 points
Convincing leadership skills – 10 points


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