If 2020 has proven anything, it is the transformative power of communications technology in a world suddenly upended.

By Enrica Porcari, Chair of the ETC / Chief Information Officer and Director of Technology, WFP.

Members of the Emergency Telecommunications Sector (ETS) team walk through Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, in August 2020. Photo: WFP/ETS.

The need to communicate transcends borders. For affected communities who are faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, a mobile phone becomes a lifeline. I was often asked in 2020 how the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) was responding to the crisis.

“Which one?” I would ask.

While the COVID-19 pandemic shook our way of life, it was not the only crisis the cluster had to deal with — it was just an additional layer to the seven humanitarian emergencies we supported last year. …

By Olga Katzelnik | Innovation Insights Series

Photo: WFP/Emanuel Feruzi

I have had the great opportunity to mentor different social businesses and healthcare start-ups that have been selected to participate in innovation bootcamps at the World Food Programme (WFP) Innovation Accelerator. Start-ups supported by the Accelerator focus on driving and bringing innovation to WFP’s humanitarian operations in different corners of the world. One example is an innovative Maziwa breastfeed pump developed and adapted to working mothers’ needs in Kenya, contributing to their health and well-being. Another interesting example is Pragmatic Innovation Inc., …

Emergency Telecommunications Sector (ETS), led by the World Food Programme, draws on sustainable energy to keep humanitarians connected

By Elizabeth Millership

A double row of reflective squares sit atop a corrugated roof painted the same deep blue as the sky overhead. From the ground below, the upturned face of an ETS technician shields his eyes from the afternoon sun as he inspects the newly installed solar panels. His expression shows it’s a job well done.

The ETS and contractors inspect the newly installed solar-powered hybrid system in Bama.

The ETS and installation team is in the town of Bama, one of eight locations in North-East Nigeria where humanitarian hubs have been fitted with an innovative hybrid solar-based power system. …

Innovations addressing gender inequality while targeting food security are our best chance to achieve Zero Hunger

By Vida Gabe

The world has a gender problem, and that also applies to the 690 million people facing food insecurity in the world right now; 60 percent are women and girls. In 10 out of 17 countries women are more likely than men to experience food insecurity. This means that if we want to achieve a world with Zero Hunger, we also need to achieve gender equality and we have to involve women in the process.

“A world with Zero Hunger can be…

By Gulia Rakhimova and Dhani Spiller

How long does it take to get to your nearest grocery store? For some residents of Masquil Alto, a rural village in Mozambique, buying basic groceries required two hours of tedious walking over unpaved roads. When the World Food Programme (WFP) innovation project Retail in a Box set up new stores in the village, 9,000 people were finally able to shop for locally-sourced groceries closer to home. Using WFP food vouchers, the villagers can choose which food to buy. …

Past participant at an in-person WFP innovation bootcamp in Munich. Photo: WFP/Paul Guenther

Unintentionally, but providing a programme twist, the WFP Innovation Accelerator is hosting its 34th bootcamp in March, a month dedicated to women. Selected from the WFP Innovation Challenge 2020, eight teams will join on a virtual journey of ideation, and project design and be given insight into how to design with a gender equality lens.

In addition to sourcing solutions that address the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger (SDG 2), this WFP Innovation Challenge priority area was expanded to include startups that tackle solutions that are relevant in the current COVID-19 context as well as enabling poor and vulnerable…

Women in tech keep humanitarians and communities connected in the Central African Republic

Part of WFP CAR’s ICT team, which spares no effort to provide connectivity to humanitarians. Photo: WFP/Bruno Djoyo

By Bruno Djoyo

For most people, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in the Central African Republic (CAR) conjures up images of a truck on its way to deliver food assistance to the country’s most vulnerable. Yet, the UN agency is also a leader in providing telecommunications during humanitarian emergencies.

In 2020, WFP personnel implemented an innovative project, which helped make Internet connectivity four times faster while improving cost-effectiveness for half of the UN agencies operating in CAR. …

The WFP Innovation Accelerator adds 2021’s Most Innovative Companies (#2 Not-For-Profit) to its list of distinguished awards

Read more here! 👆

By Jonathan Simms

It all started with six people, listening to analog pitches, squeezing into a couple of black leather couches in a rented office in Munich. If it wasn’t for the World Food Programme (WFP) banner taped to the wall in front of them, it may as well have been a college dorm room, or a bootstrapped startup in Silicon Valley, Lagos or anywhere else in the world…and in a way, it was.

On International Women’s Day, eight women working with the World Food Programme share their innovation journeys

By Vida Gabe

International Women’s day 2021: Women in Innovation lead change in WFP operations
International Women’s day 2021: Women in Innovation lead change in WFP operations

Women comprise half of the world’s population and yet, in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), less than 30 percent of women researchers worldwide are women, and an even smaller percentage (5 percent) is reportedly filled by women in positions of leadership.

At the World Food Programme (WFP) Innovation Accelerator, the unit is working hard to buck these trends with a team that’s 65 percent female, has four out of seven women managers, and a roster of innovation projects that’s focused on empowering women. …

Why now is the era of impact stories

By Jane Aslanidis | Innovation Insights Series

Photo: WFP/Joerg Koch

In this global pandemic, what was already a challenging and risky endeavour for innovators, can feel even more so than ever before. The pandemic has created huge challenges on how to work, how to live, and how we connect with others. Now is the era of impact stories — the ability for an innovator to be bold, real and principled in their storytelling.

In recent mentoring sessions at the World Food Programme (WFP) Innovation Accelerator, innovators have asked the question, ‘How do I tell the…

WFP Innovation Accelerator

Sourcing, supporting and scaling high-impact innovations to disrupt hunger.

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