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Delivering decades of innovative humanitarian response has shaped the World Food Programme (WFP) and its collective mindset, cultivating the persistence, ingenuity and problem-solving that are now driving its digital transformation. 

With innovation and technology, WFP speeds up emergency response, scales up assistance and brings empowerment and choice to people in need. In the humanitarian content, money saved can so often mean lives saved. 

Read the WFP Innovation Accelerator's 2022 Year in Review for a deeper exploration of innovation at WFP.

This is what innovation and digital transformation look like to WFP: 

There are many more ways that technology helps in WFP’s fight against hunger. This includes training smallholder farmers through easy-to-use apps and improving emergency response by using chatbots for two-way communication with crisis-affected people. 

To harness technology, innovation and data to its fullest potential, WFP fosters strategic partnerships with companies and organizations – who supply pro bono access to software, products and professional skills.

Innovation, and the design and use of digital tools at WFP, are guided by five core values that steer our operations worldwide: 

  • With integrity, WFP prioritizes the safety and privacy of the people it serves and exercises due diligence with prospective donors
  • By collaborating among divisions, between disciplines and through partnerships, WFP pushes to achieve more with data and digital technology
  • A strong commitment to duty keeps WFP from ever settling for “business as usual”, as it innovates to disrupt hunger
  • WFP’s sense of humanity pushes it to develop solutions with a sustainable impact on people’s lives
  • With an inclusive mindset, WFP welcomes the people it serves as equal participants in the digital landscape, which is helping pave the way to zero hunger.

Driven by these values, innovation and technology have served as great enablers of humanitarianism. The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to WFP for using food as a pathway to peace, would not have been possible without this approach.

After the success of WFP’s first fundraising app, ShareTheMeal, the Innovation Accelerator was established in Munich in 2015 to proactively source, support and scale high-potential solutions to disrupt global hunger and work towards the Sustainable Development Goals. It uses the expertise and strategies of private sector tech leaders and start-up entrepreneurs to improve humanitarian intervention projects, by connecting them with more than 21,000 WFP staff worldwide, across global operations in over 120 countries and territories.

The Accelerator also shares its learning with UN colleagues, as co-lead of the UN Innovation Network, and with various NGOs and private sector innovation entities through its SDG Acceleration Programme.

The WFP Innovation Accelerator has supported more than 125 projects to date, with 22 innovations scaling up globally. These projects reached 37 million people across 88 countries in 2022 alone, through WFP’s humanitarian field operations. Innovations supported by the Accelerator have raised more than US$200 million in co-funding (includes funding raised through private and public investors, in addition to the support received from the Innovation Accelerator).

WFP is a four-time winner of the Anthem Awards, which recognize social impact work worldwide. The WFP Innovation Accelerator was named in Fast Company’s lists of Best Workplaces for Innovators and Most Innovative Companies (Not-For-Profit) 2021