821 million. That’s the number of people going to bed hungry every day. That’s also the number of people who could benefit from the #ZeroHunger solutions at the next World Food Programme (WFP) Innovation Bootcamp. Meet the ten teams 一handpicked from hundreds of applicants一 whose projects could finally help put an end to hunger.
At the bootcamp, which will be held on 11–15 February in Munich, Germany, teams will deep dive field-level challenges, ideate solutions and refine project plans with the support of mentors. Collaborating with Google Developers Launchpad, the WFP Innovation Accelerator introduces teams to innovation techniques such as human-centred design and lean startup methodologies, integrating WFP’s operational excellence.
Since the launch of the Accelerator in 2016, more than 30 teams have brought their concepts to life, with the funding, hands-on support and access to a global network that the programme offers.
On 15 February 2019, the teams will present their solutions to an audience of investors, partners and humanitarian and development experts at the WFP Innovation Pitch Night in Munich. Register for Pitch Night here and show your support! Registration is free but space is limited.
Can’t make it to Pitch Night? Don’t worry, keep scrolling to meet the next cohort:
ALIA: Automated Livelihoods Information Assistant
ALIA is an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered tool to generate narratives that WFP programme officers can use to come up with a plan of action in response to a disaster. This early action information helps to create resilience-building information pre- and post-emergencies. Affected populations would thus be more likely to receive appropriate, targeted support (rather than blanket aid), and staff would spend less time in planning. This innovation was a WFP submission by the Philippines Country Office.
Bolaven is a village-based lease-to-own model of hermetic storage containers for seeds, which utilizes private blockchain technology and the Internet of Things. This type of storage can improve rice seed germination rates, from less than 10% to approximately 85% after 9 months of storage. These containers can also prevent post-harvest losses due to infestation, pilferage, and contamination. The team already has the support of the WFP Laos Country Office.
Biometrics — Leave No One Behind
To ensure the right person receives the care they need, WFP’s SCOPE CODA team uses biometrics as the foundation for its system. Existing solutions for identity management, however, are often costly and reliant on additional hardware. This innovation seeks to find a non-invasive biometric solution that provides greater accuracy and flexibility and is software-based, helping to register, track and improve nutrition services in the world’s most challenging environments. The project is a joint submission by the Nutrition and Technology Divisions at WFP Headquarters in Rome, in collaboration with Element.
Circular Supply Chain
Circular Supply Chain connects producers directly to consumers, using biometrics and private blockchains. It offers full end-to-end visibility for the source of the product and the producers/growers story, and features an app for users to tip producers. If you had a great cup of coffee or bar of chocolate and wanted to tip the farmer directly, for example, you could use this tool. The innovation was submitted by the consulting company Accenture. Hello Tractor Hello Tractor is a tractor-sharing service. It enables farmers to request affordable tractors, while providing enhanced security to owners through remote asset tracking and virtual monitoring. They have already made good “traction” in Nigeria, and are currently exploring a new business model seeking to help smallholder farmers to become tractor owners themselves, in addition to other ways to increase efficiencies and allow them to grow access to mechanization. The team is also focused on identifying the right partnerships that, once in place, would help them get there.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has reported that 25% of global fish stocks are either overexploited or depleted. With 1.5 billion people dependent on fisheries for livelihood, this is an alarming number. Numer8 uses images from space, analyzes them and makes collected intelligence easily accessible to fishing communities, helping fishermen predict the nature of catch, time and seasonality. The tool also provides access to a simplified weather forecast, highlighting potential dangers and zones to avoid. Numer8 will enhance fishing communities, saving lives while supporting livelihoods.
SIIPE: Satellite Index Insurance for Pastoralists in Ethiopia
In the Somali Region of Ethiopia, recurring climate shocks, specifically droughts, have a negative impact on the livelihoods of pastoral communities. To protect them, SIIPE integrates mobile and satellite technology into microfinance solutions for vulnerable communities. Unlike existing livestock insurance covers, SIIPE moves from asset replacement to asset protection. In other words, when a risk to insured cattle is detected, companies can then distribute payouts directly to the mobile bank accounts of participating pastoralists, ensuring they survive a drought, for example. This innovation was submitted by the WFP Ethiopia Country Office.
About a quarter of the global population depends on wood as their main energy source for cooking. This creates not only global environmental issues, but also massive local health problems due to indoor air pollution. The ECOCA is a compact, self-contained solar cooker. The unit is small, light-weight, simple and intuitive in daily use, and may have multiple applications in places where WFP works. Pesitho, a Danish socio-economic enterprise, is collaborating with Caritas, Denmark on the ECOCA.
Nepal Crop Monitor
Traditionally, data about crop types and yields is reported and compiled manually. As a result, data is expensive to collect, inaccurate and is often delayed by months, resulting in challenges to food security, shortages of essential commodities and unanticipated price hikes. This collaboration between Nepal WFP team and SurveyAuto will develop a platform which uses high-resolution multi-spectral imagery and deep machine learning to automatically classify crops and provide weekly yield predictions for Nepal.
School meals provide children with nutrition that fuels their learning. School cooks, however, do not always meet and adhere to WFP food quality and safety standards, often due to inefficient training. So far, with offline training, WFP has worked with cooks who prepare meals for over 127,000 children. Nutrifami is developing an e-learning app to coach cooks through gamification, to further scale the training. As illiteracy is common among the target audience, Nutrifami presents an ideal learning platform.
Follow each project’s progress at the WFP Innovation Accelerator’s bootcamp, 11–15 February, on Twitter (@WFPInnovation).