Skip to main content

Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs) for Public Health Challenge 

Unlocking Data, Advancing Impact

A global competition to create privacy-enhancing technologies to accelerate data-driven decision making in epidemiology.
The Challenge will award up to five winners $50,000 USD each.

About the Challenge is partnering with a global financial institution, Harvard OpenDP, researchers from the Pontifical Javeriana University, and a scientific research philanthropic non-profit organization, to run a Privacy-Enhancing Technologies (PETs) for Public Health Challenge to create innovative differential privacy (DP) solutions to unlock privately held commercial sensitive data and enable optimal data-driven decision making in epidemiology.

This challenge is conceived as a global, two-phase competition with a clear focus: to empower epidemiologists by providing them with advanced analytical tools developed within the OpenDP framework (we will consider similar/other frameworks in future years). These resulting tools will be designed to enable access to new financial transaction data to support epidemiological policy decision-making. Differential privacy empowers practitioners to drive progress by drawing meaningful statistical information from sensitive data while offering strong privacy guarantees to individuals.

Learn more about the application process

Challenge Timeline  

Phase 1: 

  • Challenge Launch: January 17, 2024
  • Mandatory virtual Q&A and onboarding session for all interested participants: Please send an email with “Registration” in the subject line to to receive information about the event.
  • Application submission ends: April 2024
    Information about office hours will be provided during the virtual Q&A.
  • Finalist announcement: June 2024

Phase 2: 

  • Tool Development: June – September 2024 
    Participants will work remotely to implement their proposals and develop a suite of OpenDP-based tools ready for application on data. 
  • Tools Verified and Applied to Data: October 2024 
    Apply tools on data under expert guidance during a one-week interactive session. 
  • Awardee announcement: October 2024 
    Three awardees will be selected based on technical rigor, efficiency, usability, and value.