The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today unveiled a consortium led by Nutrition International was one of the highest-scoring proposals, designated as the Top 100, in its 100&Change competition for a single US $100M grant to help solve one of the world’s most critical social challenges.
The consortium, comprised of Nutrition International, Center for Spina Bifida Prevention, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, the Food Fortification Initiative, the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and ReachAnother Foundation, proposes to support countries with the highest burden of anaemia and birth defects to implement large-scale food fortification. If funded, the project is expected to reach 700 million people, preventing over 150,000 cases of spina bifida and over 50 million cases of anaemia.
The Top 100 represent the top 21 percent of competition submissions. The proposals were rigorously vetted, undergoing MacArthur’s initial administrative review, a Peer-to-Peer review, an evaluation by an external panel of judges, and a technical review by specialists whose expertise was matched to the project.
Each proposal was evaluated using four criteria: impactful, evidence-based, feasible, and durable. MacArthur’s Board of Directors will select up to 10 finalists from these high-scoring proposals this spring.
“We are excited that our proposal has been selected for the Top 100 in this prestigious competition,” said Joel Spicer, President and CEO of Nutrition International. “We believe that large-scale food fortification has the potential to transform the lives of millions of vulnerable people. By bringing together the global expertise, determination, and experience of our strong consortium partners, this project aims to reduce the global incidence of two of the most widespread and devastating micronutrient deficiencies: iron deficiency anaemia and folic acid deficiency. The potential for creating good with this idea is massive.”
“MacArthur seeks to generate increased recognition, exposure, and support for the high-impact ideas designated as the Top 100,” said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change and MacArthur Managing Director, 100&Change. “Based on our experience in the first round of 100&Change, we know the competition will produce multiple compelling and fundable ideas. We are committed to matching philanthropists with powerful solutions and problem solvers to accelerate social change.”
Since the inaugural competition, other funders and philanthropists have committed an additional US $419M to date to support bold solutions by 100&Change applicants. Building on the success of 100&Change, MacArthur created Lever for Change to unlock significant philanthropic capital by helping donors find and fund vetted, high-impact opportunities through the design and management of customized competitions. In addition to 100&Change, Lever for Change is managing the Chicago Prize, the Economic Opportunity Challenge, and the Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award.
100&Change finalists will be announced in spring 2020, and the winners will be announced in fall 2020.