Ashoka Changemakers has teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to stage a competition, “How to Provide Affordable Housing”. Judges from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, and the International Housing Coalition, will review entries and select finalists. A public online vote will determine the winners, and Changemakers will convene a Change Summit in 2007 where winners and finalists will present their projects in person to foundation representatives and other potential investors.
Ashoka is sometimes criticised for being more concerned with individual innovators than with groups and communities. But they’ve been doing this kind of work for 20 years, and this experience shows in the intelligent design of the competition. It’s not only about the design of cheap but clever buildings: To complete the entry form you have to answer questions about your project’s “delivery model”, “operational partnerships” and “scale-up strategy.”
(Nomenclature note: Changemakers is not to be confused with the website (and forthcoming book) Worldchanging; and correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m fairly sure Habitat for Humanity is different from Architecture for Humanity).