UNV Regional Websites

UNV works in 150 countries and territories, deploying UN Volunteers to advance sustainable development at grassroots level. Explore our work in the different regions of the world.

East and Southern Africa
East and Southern Africa
West and Central Africa
West and Central Africa
Arab States
Arab States
Europe and the CIS
Europe and the CIS
Latin America
Latin America and the Caribbean
Asia and the Pacific
Asia and the Pacific
Innovation Challenge logo

Youth Volunteering Innovation Challenge in ASEAN

The Youth Volunteering Innovation Challenge (YVIC) supports young volunteers throughout the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in their journey to catalyze youth-led innovation for social impact and sustainable development.


The Youth Volunteering Innovation Challenge (YVIC), under the theme “Impact ASEAN,” supports young volunteers throughout the ASEAN region in their journey to catalyze youth-led innovation for social impact and sustainable development by providing access to mentors and capital they need to start or scale up their projects. We are looking for innovative projects that focus on:

These innovative projects are called “Impact Projects” and will be used as a tool to support volunteer initiatives and to promote the idea of ‘leaving no-one behind’ and social innovation. The YVIC will facilitate a 2-step approach to incubate and accelerate these projects:

Start Up “Ideation and Prototype”

In this stage, youth from different backgrounds who have brilliant ideas will be given an opportunity and the space to formulate and prototype their ideas. The participant has an “idea on paper” without a working prototype or has a working “minimum viable” model of their product or service, but no revenue yet.

Scale Up “Growth and Maturity”

Focus of this stage is to select and support a team whose project is already in the implementation and growth stage. The participating team has customers or beneficiaries and a functioning revenue model, but their business model is neither at scale nor cash-flow positive yet. Or the participant has its operating business model at scale, is cash-flow positive and/or has raised or is in the process of raising significant external funding.



The 2-step process helps to accelerate the development of the innovative youth-led projects from being merely an idea to prototype and to scale up. Therefore, YVIC consists of:

  • 3 National Innovation Workshops in Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand to start up youth ideas into tangible actions in their home country.
  • 1 Regional Innovation Workshop open to all ASEAN country applicants to scale up their innovation prototypes.


Aside from funding, the winning teams from the National and Regional Workshops are eligible for our Mentorship Program to guide them in their projects development both online and in-person. The YVIC Mentorship Program connects the national and regional winners with strong mentors within their communities and from UN Volunteers’ partner organizations in the ASEAN region.

The mentors provide guidance and support to aid the youth with their vision, direction and purpose, as well as technical support for their Impact Project development. The national mentors help develop and test the winner's’ Impact Project ideas and prepare their pitch to make the case at the Regional Workshop. The winners from the Regional Workshop receive further mentorship for longer period to refine and scale up their Impact Projects.

An online space is available for the YVIC winners to receive support from Online UN Volunteers who can remotely provide expert guidance in an efficient and timely manner. This model will be particularly appropriate to fully realize the projects by providing a complete support system.

Impact Projects

“A social innovation is a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than current solutions. The value created accrues primarily to society rather than to private individuals.” Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Evaluation Criteria

Needs Analysis: An analysis of the social issue and its affected population.

Does the proposed idea address a significant and critical social problem?

Well-defined Target Group: Characteristics of the market and targeted population.

Who will benefit from this idea? What is the value to the end customers/beneficiaries?

Management: An assessment of the teams.

Can they demonstrate the passion, commitment, and perseverance required to overcome inevitable obstacles?

Creativity and Feasibility: A demonstration that the idea is unique and can be successfully implemented.

  • Does the proposal approach the social problem in an innovative, exciting, and dynamic way?
  • Can it be implemented effectively?

Sustainability: Long-term prospects for viability and success.

  • Does it consider the different dimensions of financial and social sustainability in a conscientious manner?
  • What resources (people, funds, permissions) would they need to try the idea out?
  • What partnerships are in place for sustainability?

Social Impact: The value that the new venture will bring to society.

  • How will the implementation of this social venture benefit the community and the multiple stakeholders to become more inclusive?
  • Does this idea foster and promote volunteerism?
  • How young people are engaged or involved in this social venture?

Scalability: Potential to scale up to the regional level

Is there a potential for significant social impact and engagement of the broader community?

Presentation: Overall effectiveness of the actual presentation.

  • Did the presenter(s) engage the audience and hold their attention?
  • Was the pitch exciting and compelling?


Start Up stage (National Workshops)

  • Up to 3 winning teams from each country will be awarded with Start Up Micro-Grants and provided with mentorship for the duration of 1 month after the workshop to prototype their ideas.
  • At the end of the mentorship period, the most qualified team out of the 3 teams is selected to attend and pitch their Impact Projects at the Regional Workshop.

Scale Up stage (Regional Workshop)

  • The 3 winning teams from the National Workshops alongside 7 selected teams from ASEAN countries will be invited to compete in a Regional Workshop.
  • 3 winners will win a Scale Up Grant worth up to 10,000 USD and mentorship on growth and expansion for the following 3 months.


  • A team of 2-3 people.
  • All team members should be aged 18-30.
  • All team members must be currently residing in their own home country listed below: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore.
  • Projects should demonstrate collaborative approaches of working with various partners from government, grassroots organizations, communities, networks.
  • If selected, the winning teams must be able to work with their mentor right after the workshop
  • If selected, the winning teams must be able to start implementing their project right after the workshop.

How to apply

  • All proposals for the Regional YVIC should be submitted through this online application.
  • Incomplete proposals will not be considered.
  • Supplementary documents can be made in the format of photos, videos and any other creative media and sent to yvic.asean@unv.org. It will contribute only to the Presentation category of the scoring process.



Regional Workshop co-organized by: