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Open Call 2021

We need your creative ideas to prevent dengue in Sri Lanka and Worldwide


We are looking for individuals, businesses, community organisations, NGOs, start-ups and others to contribute ideas to help prevent mosquito-borne disease. We have two contests that can be entered:

Mozzie box

Contest 1: Community-led distribution strategy for Mozzie boxes

WMP releases Wolbachia mosquitoes using a branded “Mozzie box” which contains mosquito eggs and food in a capsule. This is given to people in the community who add water and put it somewhere shady around their house. The mosquitoes develop over 7-10 days and fly from the box. In each residential area, Mozzie boxes are distributed weekly for up to 5 months. We need 1 in 5 households to participate each week.

The challenge is to find ways to distribute Mozzie boxes to the community. This is ideally using ways that people will adopt easily and in large numbers. Here are some examples:

  • Mozzie boxes could be handed out to players and spectators attending sports matches each weekend
  • People who attend regular meetings such women’s groups, craft groups or music classes could bring mozzie boxes and talk about their uses to other members
  • Delivery drivers could hand out Mozzie boxes with their deliveries

There are many different ways to distribute Mozzie boxes. Entries are welcome from people who just have an idea, or you could be part of a community group or business that wants to participate in releases. For a description of how community members will have to distribute their Mozzie boxes, please watch this video.


Contribution Format Options

Proposals can include text, images, and videos. The text/image is limited to no more than two A4 single pages. Videos are optional and must be no more than two minutes long.

  • Text documents can be typed or written texts. The document can include images and graphics and should be in PDF format and no more than two A4 pages with 1inch margins.
  • Image files need to be in JPEG format, a maximum of two A4 Pages with 1inch margins.
  • Video files need to be in MP4 format with a maximum of two minutes duration.


English, Sinhala or Tamil


Anyone is eligible to participate.

Judging criteria
Innovation The strategy maximises the use of local community participation, local skills and resources in an innovative way
Feasibility The strategy can be used for at least 5 rounds of mosquito releases lasting about 10 weeks, is low cost to implement and can be self-managed by the community with low involvement from the World Mosquito Program
Scalability The strategy is scalable from small to medium to large and very large communities and can work across Colombo and beyond
Girl holding Mozzie box

Contest 2: Design of Mozzie box instructions

In our first mosquito release in Colombo, we had instructions in printed text on the Mozzie box to explain how to set it up.  We want to create a universal design that can be used in different countries. It needs to:

  • explain each step
  • use no words or as few words as possible
  • use simple images
  • use no more than 4 colours

For a description of how community members will have to distribute their Mozzie boxes, please watch this video.


Contribution Format Options 

Designs should be in Adobe Illustrator formats or high-resolution JPEG files in CMYK. Hand-drawn design can also be submitted in JPEG format.

Colours: Can use a maximum of four colours on white background. 

Mosquito box instructions, given below, should be included in graphic format. Here are those instructions:

  • fill up the container with water to the marked level.
  • drop the tablet containing mosquito eggs into the container and close the lid.
  • Leave the container at an outside location that is not exposed to direct sunlight or animals.


  • No words or few words in English


Anyone is eligible to participate. For the Mozzie boxes design, the contest targets global audiences.

Judging criteria
Acceptability The design is using suitable images, typography, space, layout and colour ("textless" is the key component)
Clarity Instruction is self-explanatory, easy to follow and accessible to a wide variety of literacy levels
Adaptability The design can be adapted for use in different languages/alphabets and imagery is not overly context-specific

Methods of Submission

Use one of the following methods to submit your entry:


Judging Process

The two categories for submissions will be judged separately. 

After screening for eligibility, each submission will be judged by a panel of independent judges. The decisions will be final and no discussion will be entered into in relation to the deliberations of the judging panel or steering committee. Final decisions about using ideas in WMP programs will be made by WMP.

Winning entries may be used for the next releases in Sri Lanka and in WMP projects in other countries.



Open Call                           : 20th October

Close Call                           : 12th December

Judging Process                : 13th-18th December

Winner announcement    : 20th December



The total cash prize fund for the two contests is USD $4000. Winners will be selected as follows.

Cash Prizes 

  1. Community-led distribution strategy for mosquito boxes

  • Two winners will be chosen in this category. The total prize fund in this contest is USD $3000
  • The most popular proposal will be chosen through crowd judging and will receive a certificate. 
  1. Design of Mosquito box instructions

  • One winner will receive a total cash prize of 1,000 USD.
  • The most popular proposal will be chosen through crowd judging and will receive a certificate.

The World Mosquito Program is keen to receive many entries. All submitted ideas will be considered for implementation, though no guarantee is given that any idea submitted will be implemented.  All participants who receive a score of 7/10 or greater will receive a commendation.


Steering Committee of the contest

Dr Preshila Samaraweera (National Consultant at WHO Sri Lanka); Nimalka Pannila Hetti (NDCU - Sri Lanka); Dr Indika Weerasinghe (NDCU - Sri Lanka); Dr Iroshani Abeysekara (NDCU-Sri Lanka); Dr D.A. Guruge (MoH, CMC); Mr Bruno Col (WMP); Mr Alan Mee (WMP); Dr Weiming Tang (SESH); Dr Joseph Tucker (SESH); Prof. May (NTU-Singapore); Dr Prasad Wimalaratne (University of Colombo, Sri Lanka); Dr Sanooz Raheem (Eastern University Sri Lanka); Dr Asha Wijegunawardana (Rajarata University of Sri Lanka); Dr Saranga Vithanage (NDMC-Sri Lanka); Mr Shan Pathirana (NDMC-Sri Lanka); Ms Kecia Bertermann (Luminate, UK); Mr J.M. Niswi (Sarvodaya); Mr W.G.U.G. Chathuranga (1990-Suwasariya); Mrs Kumari Welagedara (SARD); Ms Dinu Kadihetti (Lions Club); Mr Chathuranga Ediriweera (Community Member); Ms Sindu Siva (Community Member); Mr Pillai (Community Member)Eshani Diluka (Study Coordinator - SESH Global)


More details about open contests for health are available here, or you can contact:


Email   :  opencallcontest@gmail

Phone :  +94 70 314 0118 (Eshani), +94 76 762 2392 (Heshani) | 

Frequently Asked Questions

About crowdsourcing and organisers

1What is Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing is the process of having a group solve a problem and then sharing that solution widely with the public. Crowdsourcing taps into the vast wealth of public creativity to develop ideas, shifting individual tasks to a large group through the use of open contests and partnerships. Wikipedia is, perhaps, the most famous, frequently modified and utilized example of crowdsourcing in action. See this video for more details on crowdsourcing. 

2Why should I share my solutions?

We believe by sharing our thoughts and ideas we can improve our health and also learning from others. 

3Who is World Mosquito Program?

The World Mosquito Program is a not-for-profit initiative that works to protect the global community from mosquito-borne diseases. We use safe and natural bacteria called Wolbachia to reduce the ability of mosquitoes to transmit viruses such as dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever.

We are committed to strengthening the capacity of local communities around the world to reduce the threat of mosquito-borne diseases. We are expanding our method for low-cost, large-scale applications across urban areas in countries affected by mosquito-borne diseases. We are collaborating with local communities, governments and health agencies to implement our self-sustaining Wolbachia method.

4Who is SESH Global?

The SESH (Social Entrepreneurship to Spur Health) project is a partnership joining individuals from the Southern Medical University Dermatology Hospital and the University of North Carolina Project China. The main goal of this project is to create more creative, equitable, and effective health services using crowdsourcing contests and other social entrepreneurship tools. 

About Wolbachia

1What are Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes?

Wolbachia is an extremely common bacteria that occur naturally in 60 per cent of insect species, including some mosquitoes, fruit flies, moths, dragonflies and butterflies. Wolbachia is safe for humans and the environment.

2Is this method safe?

Three independent risk assessments have been conducted on our Wolbachia method. The results concluded that there is negligible risk associated with the release of Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes. This is the lowest possible rating. The risk assessments found that Wolbachia is safe for people, animals and the environment.

3How does it work?

Mosquitoes pick up viruses by biting infected people. When they bite again, they can transmit the virus to the next person. This is how mosquito-borne diseases spread. When mosquitoes carry Wolbachia, the bacteria compete with viruses like dengue, chikungunya, Zika and yellow fever. This makes it harder for viruses to reproduce inside the mosquitoes and the mosquitoes are much less likely to spread viruses from person to person. Thus, by breeding mosquitoes that carry safe and natural Wolbachia bacteria, we can effectively prevent diseases from spreading in whole cities and even regions. Our evidence shows that in areas where Wolbachia is self-sustaining at a high level, there have been no dengue outbreaks.

4How are the mosquitoes released? 

We breed large numbers of Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes and release them from “Mozzie boxes” that contain mosquito eggs and water and are placed around the community. Lots of volunteers get involved in mosquito releases by taking an MRC and setting it up around their home for breeding and releasing. Individuals, community groups, schools, universities and businesses participate in releases.

Because mosquitoes do not fly very far, we release a handful of mosquitoes every 50 metres across the target area. The release period lasts for 12 to 20 weeks.

5Why is community involvement important for this method? 

We release mosquitoes in communities in order to protect them from disease. For the short time of releases, mosquitoes can be a bit annoying so it is important that the community is well informed and that we have their support. Importantly, having the community involved in releasing mosquitoes makes everybody a participant in lowering the risk of dengue for themselves, their families and neighbours.

6Why use a challenge contest?

Open contests have been widely used by governments, private foundations, and other organizations to spur creativity. Our experiences have demonstrated that challenge contests are a useful tool for soliciting innovative ideas for solving different problems.

7Is there a limit to the number of contributions?

There is no limit on the number of contributions.