2014 FII Open Data Analysis Challenge
Rules & Guidelines

Please read these Rules and Guidlines before registering for the 2014 FII Open Data Analysis Challenge


The 2014 FII Open Data Analysis Challenge (“the Challenge”) is managed by InterMedia Survey Institute (“InterMedia” or “the Challenge Managers”) and sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (“Gates Foundation”).


The 2014 FII Open Data Analysis Challenge is open to any individual, group of individuals or entity - preferably, those with knowledge of data analysis and/or data visualization principles - provided the laws of the applicable jurisdiction permit participation. All entrants must be at least eighteen (18) years of age at the time of entry. Current directors, officers, employees, contractors and volunteers of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and InterMedia Survey Institute, and members of their immediate families, are not eligible to participate.

Challenge Schedule:

 Registration deadline

 Wednesday, June 11, 2014

 Requested datasets sent to participants

 By June 15, 2014

 Data analysis projects due

 Aug. 15, 2014

 Announcement of grand prize winner and runners-up

 Sept. 30, 2014

 Distribution of prizes

 October, 2014

Application Process:

Participants must fill out the Challenge Participation Form with the following information by Wednesday June 11, 2014:
-Full Name or Names of Applicants (either individuals or entity)
-Surface Mailing Address
-Primary Email Address
-Secondary Email Address (optional)
-Phone Number (include country codes)
-Affiliation (Place of Work, School, etc.), if any
-List of Country Dataset(s) Requested
-Anticipated Format of Project Output (i.e. paper, slide deck, infographic, video presentation, etc.)

Format of Challenge Project Submissions:

 The 2014 FII Open Data Analysis Challenge will accept analytical project submissions in any or all of the following formats:

  • Analytical Paper – We recommend a maximum 12 pages, including charts/graphs/images as needed (but no photos), which very succinctly describes the following:
    -The key question investigated in the analysis
    -One-to-two paragraph summary of findings
    -Description of analytical approach
    -Discussion of results – this is the body of the paper
    -Summary/Conclusion highlighting significance for financial inclusion work and recommendations of follow-up research
  • Presentation Format – This could be in PowerPoint, Prezi or another format.  The Challenge participant should strike a useful balance between visuals and text in the presentation.
  • Data Visualization – Formats for data visualizations are flexible, depending on the particular approach proposed. All visualizations should include sufficient text to explain the analytical results of the project.
  • Something Else – Do you have an idea for a novel way to present data beyond the three options above? Tell us about it!

Project Themes:

The FII Open Data Analysis Challenge does not restrict participants to specific themes. We encourage applicants to be creative and think ‘outside the box’ for ways to extract compelling insights from the FII data that would deepen our understanding of the state of financial inclusion.

Show us where opportunities lie for new products and services that could address the demand and need for digital savings, payments, insurance and/or borrowing. Tell us what actions the data suggests policymakers and regulators need to take in order to boost financial inclusion. Or demonstrate how the data could be used to create a better understanding of client needs and market segmentation.

We are interested in all of the stories that these datasets can tell: winning entries will use the FII data rigorously and creatively to demonstrate market opportunities and/or support clear policy recommendations.

To get a better idea of the content of the surveys, visit the FII Country Pages for links to the survey questionnaires and other information about the research programs.

Visit the FII Data Center to browse through responses from some of the country surveys.

In brief, the FII country datasets contain nationally representative data covering the following areas:


  • Age
  • Gender
  • Marital Status
  • Education
  • Employment/Occupation
  • Literacy/Numeracy
  • Rural/Urban Location
  • Geographical Location (Region/Province/District)
  • Poverty Measure (Grameen Progress Out of Poverty Index)

Core Survey Module:

  • Mobile Phone Access
  • Bank Account Access and Use
  • Mobile Money Access and Use
  • Product Awareness
  • Triggers/Barriers to Use
  • Mobile Money Activities (Transfers, Payments, Savings, etc.)
  • Mobile Money B2B Activities
  • Consumer Experience with Mobile Money Agents
  • Consumer Segmentation – Active/Lapsed/Non-Users
  • Prevalence and Potential for Digital G2P and D2P Payments

Additional Modules in the surveys for Bangladesh, Nigeria and Pakistan:

  • Use of Digital/Prepaid Cards
  • Payments Habits
  • Use of Savings Instruments
  • Use of Insurance Instruments
  • Borrowing and Lending Habits

Other Additional Modules – Country Surveys Specified:

  • Influencers Driving Mobile Money Adoption – Tanzania and Uganda
  • Assessing Potential Demand for Interoperability of Mobile Money Services – Tanzania and Uganda
  • Technical Skills Assessment Relating to Mobile Money Use – Tanzania
  • Opinions/Attitudes About MNO Fraud - Uganda
  • Use of Over-the-Counter Mobile Money Services – Pakistan, Uganda
  • Use of New Digital Financial Services – Kenya
  • Use of G2P Programs and Digitization Potential – India
  • Financial Behaviors – India

Assessment of Project Submissions:  

Project submissions will be assessed by a panel of experts selected by the Challenge Managers, with project submission assessments based on the following criteria (note: percentages are notional):

  • Originality and relevance of the chosen topic (20%)
  • Creativity and rigor in the data analysis (40%)
  • Clarity and insightfulness of findings (20%)
  • Relevance to advancing work in digital financial inclusion specifically and financial inclusion more generally, or in a related area of study. (20%)

Selection of Challenge winners will be made on a consensus basis by the panel of experts. Unfortunately, given time constraints, the panel of experts will not be able to provide feedback on every submission.

Entrants may only win one such prize. The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Decisions of the panel of experts will be final and binding. Please do not contact the Challenge Managers or the Gates Foundation about the status of entries.

During the evaluation process, the panel of experts will not see the identity(ies) of the entrant(s). No personally identifiable information, such as the author’s name  or email address, will be visible to the panel of experts.

Challenge Prizes:

Announcement of the Grand Prize winner and up to the three Runners-Up will be made on Sept. 30, 2014.  The number of runners-up depends on the judges’ assessment of the quality of the submissions and the relative merit of each submission. Each winner will receive an individual notification, while non-winning entrants will be notified by a form email. Once the Challenge Managers receive each winner’s acknowledgement of receipt of the notification, and once each winner confirms they choose to accept their designated prize, the Challenge Managers will then make a public announcement about the prize winners, to be disseminated broadly through relevant web and social media channels.

The FII Open Data Analysis Challenge staff will make arrangements with the winners to distribute the cash prizes during October 2014.

Winners will be responsible for reporting any prize winnings to authorities as required by law and paying any taxes or other obligations they may owe on any prize received. No prize transfer, assignment or substitution by winners is permitted.

Recipients will be responsible for any tax or other obligations that may apply to prize winnings in the recipients’ countries of residence.

Conference Presentation:

The Grand Prize winner will be eligible to receive a travel stipend to present his or her work at a conference or other gathering which targets the financial inclusion stakeholder community. The FII Open Data Analysis Challenge staff will work with their partners and the Grand Prize winner to identify an appropriate event and facilitate entry.

The Challenge will cover reasonable costs of attending the event, including travel, lodging, meals and visa applications (if needed), with costs reimbursable based on valid, itemized invoices or receipts.

Uses of FII Data:

All FII data is the sole property of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Participants are provided access to requested datasets for use to conduct analysis for Challenge submissions. Any other uses of FII data are neither covered nor permitted under the Challenge Rules & Regulations. Other uses neither covered nor permitted include, inter alia: the transfer of FII data to another person or organization; the sale of  FII data to another person or organization; the use of FII data in a product intended for commercial sale; the use of FII data in marketing or publicity materials; the use of FII data in a project conducted for the benefit of a paying third party.

Intellectual Property:

All Challenge submissions remain the property of the author. By entering the Challenge, all entrants grant the Challenge Managers and the Gates Foundation a royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive license to use, reproduce distribute, display and create derivative works of the entries (with an acknowledgment of the name(s) of the author(s) and identification as one of the winners of the 2014 FII Open Data Analysis Challenge), in whole or in part, for any educational, promotional, publicity, archival, exhibition or other non-commercial purpose, in connection with the Challenge and promotion of the Challenge or otherwise, in any media now or hereafter known, including, but not limited to, in published form, in presentations or in other public dissemination.

Neither the Challenge Managers nor the Gates Foundation shall be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with these authorized uses.  Entrants consent to the Challenge Managers doing or omitting to do any act that would otherwise infringe the entrant’s “moral rights” in their entries.  In addition, by entering the Challenge, each entrant grants to the Challenge Managers and to the Gates Foundation the unrestricted right, without any additional approval or consideration, to use the entrant’s name and/or any statements made in submissions to, or otherwise in connection with, the Challenge, for any purpose, or to choose not to do so, at the Challenge Managers’ sole discretion.

Winning submissions (the Grand Prize winner and the three Runners-Up) will be identified as products of the FII Open Data Analysis Challenge in published form, in presentations or in other public dissemination, and the Challenge operators reserve the right to disseminate winning submissions.

Any usage of the FII Open Data Analysis Challenge name is subject to approval by the Challenge Managers and the Gates Foundation. All participants in the Challenge must agree to these terms.

Limitation of Liability

By entering the Challenge, all entrants agree to release, discharge, and hold harmless the Challenge Managers and the Gates Foundation and their partners, affiliates, parents, subsidiaries, agents and all of their employees, officers, directors, and representatives from any and all claims, losses, and damages arising out of their participation in this Challenge or any Challenge-related activities, and the acceptance and use, misuse, or possession of any prize awarded here-under.

Neither the Challenge Managers nor the Gates Foundation assumes any responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, or delay in operation or transmission; communications line failure; theft or destruction or unauthorized access to Challenge entries or entry forms; or alteration of entries or entry forms.  Neither the Challenge Managers nor the Gates Foundation is responsible for any problems with or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email entry to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, human errors of any kind, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrants’ or any other persons’ computers  related to or resulting from participation, uploading or downloading of any materials related to this Challenge.


Entrants agree that this Challenge shall be subject to and governed by the laws of the District of Columbia, USA, and the forum for any dispute shall be in the District of Columbia, USA.  To the extent permitted by law, the right to litigate, to seek injunctive relief or to make any other recourse to judicial or any other procedure in case of disputes or claims resulting from or in connection with this Challenge are hereby excluded and any entrant expressly waives any and all such rights.

Conditions for Participation

The Challenge Managers reserve the right to verify the validity and originality of any submission to the Challenge and/or entrant (including an entrant’s identity and address) and to disqualify any entrant for any reason deemed applicable by the Challenge Managers in their sole discretion.  Failure by the Challenge Managers or by the Gates Foundation to enforce any of their rights at any stage of the Challenge does not constitute a waiver of those rights.  The Challenge Managers reserve the right to suspend or cancel the Challenge or modify the FII Challenge Rules in their sole discretion.

In the event that the selected winner(s) of any prize is/are ineligible under the FII Challenge Rules, cannot be traced or does/do not respond within five (5) days to a winner notification communication, or refuses the prize, the prize will be forfeited and the Challenge Managers, in their sole discretion, may choose whether to award the prize to another entrant.

By submitting an entry to the Challenge, each participant affirms that he or she has read these FII Challenge Rules, understands the FII Challenge Rules, and agrees to abide by them.



Direct all questions to: FIIchallenge@intermedia.org