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Introduction

WFP/Christian Krinninger

Dear friends
and supporters,

In this unprecedented year, we are humbled to share the ways in which we have continued to achieve impact in the WFP Innovation Accelerator’s 2020 Annual Report. In the following pages, you will read about some of the ways we’ve adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic and scaled innovations around the world to disrupt hunger.

In 2020, as we celebrated our fifth anniversary and the exponential growth of our organization and impact, we were one of ten organizations recognized by FastCompany with dual awards: Best Workplaces for Innovators, and Innovative Team of the Year 2020. These are milestones we only dreamed of when we first launched the Accelerator in 2015.

Thanks to the dedicated support of our global community of innovation champions, last year, we:

  • Sourced and supported 19 new cutting-edge innovations to disrupt hunger, growing our portfolio to more than 80 projects spanning 46 countries, with 3.7 million people directly impacted by our work.
  • Hosted nine Innovation Bootcamps, of which eight were fully virtual, fully maximizing the value of virtual innovation programmes.
  • Launched our first regional hub — WFP Innovation Hub for Eastern Africa — hosted in WFP Regional Bureau in Nairobi, Kenya. This new hub helps build a global innovation network within WFP, along with Innovation Hubs in Jordan, South Sudan and Tanzania that we launched in the last two years.
  • Further strengthened our role as a convener in the innovation ecosystem, continuing to bring together stakeholders through the United Nations Innovation Network (UNIN), the United Nations Digital Solutions Center (UNDSC), and the Atrium.
  • Hosted a virtual visit of the European Council Working Party on Humanitarian Aid and Food Aid (COHAFA) under the German Presidency.
  • Celebrated new and renewed partnerships, including another five years of partnership with the Government of Germany, supporting us with a generous EUR 21 million.

We are inspired daily by a drive to reach our shared goal of Zero Hunger, and by the dedication of our colleagues both here in Munich and globally throughout WFP.

With gratitude,
Bernhard Kowatsch and the WFP Innovation Accelerator Management Team

BERNHARD KOWATSCH
Head of the WFP Innovation Accelerator
HILA COHEN
Chief of Staff and Head of Business Development
JOSE ALCOCER
Head of Innovation Services
ANJA CARRETERO
Executive Assistant to Head of WFP Innovation Accelerator
JORGE FERNANDES
Strategic Projects and Organizational Design Advisor
KYRIACOS KOUPPARIS
Head of Frontier Innovations
JOANNA PURCELL
Donor Relations and Partnerships Lead
REGINA SCHMIDT
Head of Innovation Projects
NINA SCHRÖDER
Head of Scale-up Enablement
KENNETH TONG
Communications and Knowledge Management Lead
ANGELA WYAN
Head of Field Innovation

Thank you
to our key partners

Thank you to our core donors, the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the German Federal Foreign Office, and the Bavarian State Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry for their continued support as we enter the next five years of partnership.

Thank you to our partners from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance — going above and beyond to enable our COVID-19 response and Knowledge Management activities. A huge thanks to the Netherlands for their commitment to enabling scaling, and to Luxembourg for their dedication to harnessing bold new ideas through our Frontier Innovations work.

In 2020, we worked closely with foundations such as BASF Stiftung, expanded our relationship with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and worked with a number of other organizations that have helped the Innovation Accelerator grow and thrive, including Google, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Sealed Air, and Salesforce. We were thrilled to begin collaborations with new organizations, including neighbours in our headquarters of Munich like BSH Home Appliances.

We strengthened partnerships to drive progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), running acceleration programmes for external partners including the United Nations Innovation Network, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge.

We are humbled to have a strong and growing community of supporters who have helped us reach this point in our journey: our Innovation Advisory Council, global leaders who continuously amplify our message, and the WFP Advisory Group whose diverse expertise helps distinguish WFP’s work.

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