World Bank 2020 Innovation Challenge for Agriculture and Food Security Risk Financing in Southern Africa

World Bank 2020 Innovation Challenge for Agriculture and Food Security Risk Financing in Southern Africa

Deadline: April 2, 2020

Applications for the World Bank 2020 Innovation Challenge for Agriculture and Food Security Risk Financing in Southern Africa are now open. The World Bank’s Agriculture Observatory with the support of Draper University is launching three innovation challenges to accelerate the world response to the growing effects of climate change in agriculture and tackle some of the most urgent needs in SADC agriculture and food security today.


The agriculture sector faces increasing risks as natural disasters become more frequent and disruptive due to climate change. Climate change is expected to intensify the following agriculture risks in the South Africa Development Community (SADC):

  • Crop failures due to extreme weather events (drought, floods)
  • Animal and/or plant pests or diseases
  • Food price, agriculture, and trade flow disruptions

To incentivize the development of these risk financing tools, the World Bank is launching the following three challenges with the aim to demonstrate alternative ways of collecting or monitoring critical datasets and indices that can be used to ultimately assess in a granular, scalable and dynamic way the various dimensions of impact induced by agricultural stressors.


  • Challenge 1: Measuring Weather Variables
  • Challenge 2: Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases
  • Challenge 3: Agriculture Data


The winners of each challenge will

  • Present to a panel of experts from top international institutions in a Shark Tank format.
  • Exhibit their proposal work in a report on agriculture innovations by the World Bank and partners
  • Be featured in key media outlets as an innovator in the area.
  • Attend an award ceremony in Washington, D.C., (all expenses paid) and have the opportunity to interact with potential partners.


  • The proposals must follow the provided template and all documents must include the name, institution and thematic area chosen in its heading
  • Affordability of the solution
  • Geographical focus on Southern African countries (defined by those countries members of the Southern Africa Development Community – SADC)
  • Establish a clear path towards application of the solution on-the-ground
  • Demonstrate the capacity of the proposed solution to scaleup to more countries/regions
  • Demonstrate the performance of the solution proposed against the data sources/databases mentioned for each thematic challenge
  • Demonstrate how the performance of the solution has been validated
  • Meet World Bank eligibility requirements:
    • Development and usage of open access data, products, tools and approaches
    • Open source technological solutions that are simple and replicable are encouraged
    • Involvement of local research or other partners in developing countries on an equal basis.


  • Step 1: Go to the application link here.
  • Step 2: Fill out the questionnaire, upload a one-minute explanatory YouTube video, write a 500-word project description, and attach a pitch deck. For the Yield Data challenge, participants must also submit a sample of their data in CSV format.

For more information, visit World Bank Innovation Challenge.