Inclusive Growth and Recovery Challenge

In early 2020, we launched the $10 million Inclusive Growth and Recovery Challenge as part of our commitment to building the field of data for social impact.


With support from the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and The Rockefeller Foundation, the Challenge called for breakthrough ideas that harness the power of data to help people and communities thrive, especially in the wake of COVID-19’s health and economic impact. In early 2021, we awarded $10 million in funding and technical assistance to eight exemplary awardees from a pool of over 1,200 applications. The Paul Ramsay Foundation, focused on philanthropy in Australia, funded a ninth award.

Areas of Focus

The Challenge invited proposals in the focus areas named below, but also welcomed submissions for using data to advance shared prosperity, and help ensure inclusive recovery.

Leave no worker behind

Low wage workers are among the most vulnerable in today’s economy. In times of economic stress, current trends toward automation and job displacement could accelerate. How can we use data to help workers remain secure in precarious times? Can data insights predict trends in the labor market and connect and prepare workers for the jobs of tomorrow?

Challenge Impact Report

Harnessing the Power of Data

Inclusive Growth and Recovery Challenge Impact Report

These awardees show the range of opportunities that exist to use data to drive social impact for workers, entrepreneurs, and communities.

Download the report


Learnings from the Inclusive Growth and Recovery Challenge

Ginger Zielinksie, former Chief Strategy Officer at, led a discussion on key findings & learnings that came out of the Inclusive Growth and Recovery Challenge Report and features perspectives of both Challenge creation and participation.

Learn more

Challenge Judges

To garner critical feedback on recommended awardees for the Challenge, we gathered 12 prominent leaders in the fields of data and social impact to serve as Expert Judges.

Raj Chetty

William A. Ackman Professor of Economics/ Director of Opportunity Insights

Harvard University

Raj Chetty is the William A. Ackman Professor of Economics at Harvard University. He is also the Director of Opportunity Insights (formerly the Equality of Opportunity Project), which uses “big data” to understand how we can give children from disadvantaged backgrounds better chances of succeeding.

Read more

Panthea Lee is the co-founder and Executive Director of Reboot. She is a pioneer in designing and guiding multi-stakeholder processes to address complex social challenges, with experience doing so in 30+ countries, with partners including CIVICUS, Wikimedia Foundation, Open Government Partnership, MacArthur Foundation, and governments at the national, state, and…

Read more

Himanshu Nagpal

Deputy Director, Digital Health

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Himanshu Nagpal leads The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation‘s efforts towards utilizing digital infrastructure and digital tools to eradicate malaria. Prior to joining the global health team in 2020, Himanshu was the deputy director, Financial Services for the Poor (FSP), manages the financial inclusion work in India, and leads the team…

Read more

Enrica Porcari

Head Of Information Technology Department


Enrica Porcari is the Head Of Information Technology Department at CERN. Prior to this, she was the UN World Food Programme’s Chief Information Officer and Director of Technology. She was also instrumental in creating WFP’s Fast IT and Telecommunications Emergency and Support Team (FITTEST) to support global humanitarian operations. Enrica…

Read more

Cassie is Associate Director at Paul Hamlyn Foundation. She served as the senior head of the UK Portfolio for the National Lottery Community Fund, co-founded the Point People, and was a Fellow at The Institute of Innovation and Public Purpose at UCL. Previously she was Strategic Design Director at Doteveryone, has worked in the Cabinet…

Read more

David Sangokoya

Head of Civil Society Impact

World Economic Forum

David Sangokoya is Head of Civil Society Impact at the World Economic Forum in Geneva. Previously, he was the Project Lead, Society and Innovation. He is responsible for the Forum’s engagement and inclusion of nonprofits, marginalized communities, labour unions, activists, religious and faith-based organizations, indigenous leaders, social movements and others…

Read more

Dr. Shah serves as President of The Rockefeller Foundation, a global institution with a mission to promote the well-being of humanity around the world.  The Foundation applies data, science, and innovation to improve health for women and children, create nutritious and sustainable food systems, end energy poverty for more than a billion people worldwide, and enable meaningful economic mobility in the United States and around the world.

Read more

Vera Songwe

Nonresident Senior Fellow

The Brookings Institution

Vera Songwe is a nonresident senior fellow in the Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution. She is currently Chair of the Board of the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility. Before that, she was an Under-Secretary-General at the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa,…

Read more

Drew Zachary

Deputy Chief Data Officer for Innovation

U.S. Department of Commerce

Drew Zachary is Deputy Chief Data Officer for Innovation at the U.S. Department of Commerce. She was Managing Director of Census Open Innovation Labs and Director/Co-founder of The Opportunity Project at the US Census Bureau.  Previously, Drew was a Policy Advisor at the White House Domestic Policy Council and senior…

Read more

Stay Connected

Receive latest news, upcoming events, and opportunities across the data for social impact community.

By submitting your information and clicking “Submit”, you agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions, and to receive email communications from