The DFAT Technology Against Poverty Prize is a $500,000 grant provided by innovationXchange as part of the 2016 Google Impact Challenge. The prize encouraged non-profits registered in Australia to explore new ways of delivering social impact internationally, using technology. innovationXchange is particularly focused on how technology can make lives better in the Asia-Pacific region.

We are delighted to announce the four teams that we will support to deliver cheaper, faster and more effective international development solutions:

Oxfam Australia – Inclusive and Affordable Financial Services in the Philippines

With seven out of ten Filipinos not having access to banks and other formal financial institutions, Oxfam’s I AFFORD Project put forward a novel partnership – developed with the Philippines Central Bank and other financial service providers – to pilot a new electronic payment system. This will enable poor Filipinos to bank savings, transfer cash safely and cheaply, and make cashless payments for goods and services to build livelihoods. This collaboration is the first of its kind in the Philippines and will help transform access to financial services for up to 50,000 women and men in five provinces. If successful, this pilot will increase people’s resilience to financial shocks and help break the cycle of poverty.

Independent Evaluation of the Inclusive and Affordable Financial Facilities for Resilient and Developed Filipinos (IAFFORD) Project

Engineers Without Borders Australia – Micro water businesses to improve community health and livelihoods in Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste aims to ensure all its citizens have access to clean water by 2030. The Lafaek Water project is using a new water treatment technology developed by Water Source Australia to help make this happen. Combined with a scalable micro-business model, Lafaek water will support 20 young people to treat, sell and distribute drinking water for communities and businesses. By the end of the project, 25,000 people, including 15,000 children, will have access to safe and reliable drinking water. It will also help determine whether this model can viably expand across Timor-Leste and into other countries, including in the Pacific. Lafaek Water is an initiative of EWB Australia and The Wise Foundation.

40K– Enhanced education in India and Cambodia

Obtaining a quality education is fundamental to improving people’s lives. 40K PLUS helps to improve access to quality education in schools with minimal resources, with an innovative approach combining quality education materials on tablets, delivered by local facilitators who are passionate about helping children to learn. Its potential is in its scalability. Over the next two years, 40K PLUS will assist thousands of children in India and Cambodia, aiming to reach 1.1 million children in 10 years. 40K’s goal is to enhance children’s education, their income-earning potential, and help to lift communities out of poverty.

University of Technology Sydney – Removing arsenic from polluted groundwater

Globally, over 137 million people are exposed to drinking water contaminated with arsenic, posing a significant threat to public health. The University of Technology Sydney has created a new filtration system that is low-cost, easy to operate, built using locally sourced materials and operates using renewable energy. To date, it is the only sustainable system available that is able to provide arsenic-free water and manage the arsenic residues produced during the filtration process. The program will be piloted in the Red River Delta, in the Vietnamese districts of Kim Bang and Dan Phuong. With the filtrations systems in place, residents will be able to filter groundwater for clean, safe drinking water. The project aims to provide a model for millions of people worldwide who consume contaminated water