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WFP Innovation Challenge 2021

Deadline extended: Applications can be submitted until 7 June 2021 at 11:59 pm (CEST).

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Innovation Accelerator sources, supports and scales bold new solutions to disrupt global hunger and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

With the Food Systems Summit coming up in 2021, the WFP has launched the WFP Innovation Challenge 2021 in search of game-changing ideas to build stronger, more sustainable food systems, addressing hunger at the root.

The fact that 690 million people still go to bed hungry each night suggests that food systems — the path that food travels from field to our plates — are not meeting the needs of all people. We have seen that some food systems can easily be disrupted by climate shocks, COVID-19 and violent conflict. Even in stable environments, people have limited access to nutritious food because of geographic isolation, socioeconomic inequalities, or weak commercial markets.

This year’s campaign challenges us to innovatively rethink our food systems. WFP is looking for disruptive innovations for fighting hunger in areas such as resilience to shocks and stress; access to safe and nutritious food; and advancing equitable livelihoods for all.

What WFP Offers

Selected teams will be invited to participate in a fully virtual WFP Innovation Bootcamp on 30 August – 3 September 2021.

What WFP is looking for

WFP’s current innovation priorities are listed here. They also encourage strong “wildcard ideas” to apply. Together with the brightest and best minds globally, we will be able to end hunger.

Application Process

  1.  To submit your application, please fill in this Application Form before 7 June 2021 11:59 pm (CEST).
  2. If you know a relevant project for us to consider, please let us know by filling out this Referral Submission Form.
  3. WFP will review and match successful applications with one of our WFP Innovation Bootcamps in the next six months. The next Innovation Bootcamp is scheduled for 30 August – 3 September 2021 and is held virtually amid COVID-19 travel restrictions. We value all applications, however, we are only able to contact shortlisted applicants. 
  4. Interested, but don’t feel your idea is ready yet? Don’t let this stop you! We accept applications on a rolling basis throughout the year, and applications received past this deadline will be considered for future programs in 2021. If you work at WFP, we will organize an internal WFP Call for Applications in Autumn 2021.
  5. For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions.


SPIA call for eoils on cgiar digital tools

Deadline to submit papers: 17 May 2021, 00:00 PST

The CGIAR Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) is calling for Expressions of Interest (EoIs) for rigorous impact evaluations of digital support tools for smallholder farmers. SPIA invites researchers to submit EoIs for projects that carefully measure the impacts of tools such as mobile applications, tools for climate information, push message services, ICT-based agricultural extension, or hotlines for agriculture advice.

Background and scope of the call

A lack of adequate information offers one explanation for the low uptake of agricultural innovations. The traditional approach to spreading information involves government extension workers providing trainings, demonstrations, and visits to farmers. These model farmers are encouraged to disseminate information to their social contacts. Despite its popularity, this approach is limited in the number of farmers that can be reached. Digital tools that either push information, or customize advice based on inputs from users provide one alternative to deliver high-quality information to more farmers.

Emerging evidence shows that digital support tools can improve certain outcomes for smallholders. But, there is still room to strengthen the evidence base, particularly for the CGIAR-developed tools and for some of the outcomes where the current evidence is limited. SPIA is especially interested in projects that can measure impacts on a broader set of outcomes beyond just technology adoption. Successful studies will answer questions about impact in addition to other issues such as complementary interventions, heterogeneity, etc. Research that sheds light on some of the following questions is of particular interest.

  • Given the heterogeneous returns of many technologies and practices, the optimal recommendation to farmers may vary depending on circumstances. How can digital tools be adapted to be more effective in heterogeneous environments? What complementary interventions increase efficacy in these areas?
  • Can sharing agricultural information widely have unintended consequences? For instance, does it change the structure of information sharing networks in rural villages? Does the widespread provision of information from digital tools lead to responses on the supply side by input sellers?
  • Who benefits from digital support tools? Are there certain types of farmers that don’t gain access? If so, how can the information be delivered in a way that ensures broader access and behavioural changes for a larger number of farmers?
  • Do decision tools lead to persistent change over time? Or do some farmers revert to their original practices? Are there complementary interventions that can lead to more persistent behavioral change?

SPIA will not fund tool development with this call. Tools must be ready for use by farmers to be considered for this call.


Studies will only be considered if they have a compelling method for causally identifying the impacts of interest. While RCTs will often be feasible, quasi-experimental designs that credibly identify impacts are also encouraged. SPIA will not consider funding for methods that lack rigor.

Each study should carefully document the impact pathways from uptake of the tool to final outcomes. The expected outcomes must be clearly documented. It is also important to measure baseline knowledge and beliefs to assess for whom the tools modify beliefs.

Each research team will need to have demonstrated experience in conducting the types of evaluations that are being proposed. SPIA welcomes collaborations between researchers inside and outside of the CGIAR. SPIA is willing to help find external collaborators for researchers from CGIAR centers. These requests should be directed to Ricardo Labarta (, who will then work Kyle Emerick to help identify potential collaborations with external researchers.

EOIs should be prepared using the below template and sent to In addition to the EoI narrative, the CV’s of all principal investigators should be included in the application.

Computer Vision for Agriculture

Deadline to submit papers: 7 February 2020, 00:00 PST

Artificial intelligence has invaded the agriculture field during the last few years. From automatic crop monitoring via drones, smart agricultural equipment, food security and camera-powered apps assisting farmers to satellite imagery based global crop disease prediction and tracking, computer vision has been a ubiquitous tool. This workshop aims to expose the fascinating progress and unsolved problems of computational agriculture to the AI research community. It is jointly organized by AI and computational agriculture researchers and has the support of CGIAR, a global partnership that unites international organizations engaged in agricultural research for a food-secure future.

Computer Vision for Agriculture (CV4A) is the second workshop of the Computer Vision for Global Challenges initiative and will focus on agriculture. It will be held in April 2020, in conjunction with the International Conference on Representation Learning (ICLR), in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It will be a full-day event and will feature invited speakers, poster and spotlight presentations, a panel discussion and (tentatively) a mentoring/networking dinner. 

Call for Papers: Researchers are invited to submit their recent work on Computer Vision applications, tasks and challenges inspired by and applied to agriculture, with a special focus on developing regions.

Topic include but are not limited to:

  • Crop health (pests, diseases, plant nutrient deficiencies) and crop yield estimation.
  • Crop type recognition from ground and/or satellite imagery. Such data can be used to target interven- tions, assess risk, evaluate the impact of programs.
  • Artificial intelligence for bottom-up, farmer-led crop improvement.
  • Hyper-spectral (e.g. NIR, MIR, x-ray fluorescence) imaging for detecting early-stage or physiological issues in crops (e.g. photosynthetic activity, water stress, nutrient stress).
  • Whole-field, multi-view crop diagnostics.
  • Computer vision methods for food security, index insurance, drought/flood early warning systems.
  • Multi-modal integration of data from diverse sensors.
  • Crowdsourcing agricultural data.

Papers will be presented as poster and oral presentations. Researchers based in developing regions are strongly encouraged to submit.

The Netherlands – CGIAR Research Programme – Senior Expert Programme

Deadline: 27 February 2020, 14:00 CET
Budget: 2.85 million Euros

This call for Senior Expert candidates seeks to contribute to the mutual benefit of partnering between CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs), CGIAR Platforms and CGIAR Centers, and Dutch knowledge institutes and stakeholders by supporting the participation of Dutch research organisations in CGIAR.

The Senior Expert Programme (SEP) will fund part of the personnel costs of Senior Experts from a Dutch research organisation who participate within a CGIAR Research Programme or Platform with linkages to one or more of the four priority knowledge domains of the NL-CGIAR strategic partnership. This Call is implemented in close collaboration with the CGIAR and with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (MoFA and LNV), as well as the Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP).