Digital Green Innovation Acceleration Programme

WFP Innovation Accelerator

Relevent Country: Cote d'Ivoire

The Digital Green Innovation Acceleration Programme (DGIx) is searching for high-impact digital ventures and projects solving some of the most pressing environmental challenges in selected countries.

The Digital Green Innovation Acceleration Programme (DGIx) is a programme by the WFP Innovation Accelerator and the Smart Development Fund (#SDF), and powered by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union (EU).

Digital transformation can play a major role in addressing climate change and biodiversity loss in low- and middle-income countries. A “twin transition” approach recognises this large and untapped role of technology and data to drive sustainability: instead of thinking about digitalization (using technology) and sustainability (taking care of the planet) separately, a twin transition strategy believes that these two changes can work together. It states that the technologies that help the environment and the ones that enable digital transformation, can both help them create stronger, more flexible, and better economies.

The programme will select ventures, solution providers and consortiums who will receive financial, technical, and methodological support from the WFP Innovation Accelerator, #SDF, and other partners. Together with the best and brightest minds globally, they will be able to leverage the digital-green synergies to ultimately improve the lives of vulnerable communities.

What they offer?

  • The WFP Innovation Accelerator has a track record of organizing over 45 flagship innovation bootcamps to date, supporting over 395 teams to rapidly refine their innovations, field testing over 120 projects, and bringing disruptive innovations to scale. Join a high-impact network of disruptive innovations that have reached over 37 Million people in 2022 alone.
  • The Smart Development Fund #SDF has so far refined, supported, and scaled 8 digital solutions from the global south expanding their impact in 32 countries, partnering with more than 360 institutions from the public, private, and social sector, directly benefiting 1.5 million persons and reaching more than 13 million individuals.
  • With a wealth of experience and profound expertise, the WFP Innovation Accelerator and the GIZ programme’s Smart Development Fund #SDF, join their efforts to support digital innovations accelerate their growth and expand their impact globally.

The selected ventures and solutions will be:

  • invited to participate in a fully virtual 4-day WFP Innovation Bootcamp in early December 2023.
  • invited to attend an in-person pitch event in Kigali, Rwanda, on 30-31st January 2024.
  • be able to apply for the WFP Sprint Programme, which is a 12-month acceleration programme with access to:
  • support from the WFP Innovation Accelerator, GIZ and relevant partners through the duration of their Sprints,
  • mentorship and access to a global network of relevant stakeholders, and
  • equity-free funding of up to US$230,000 for the implementation of a proposed growth plan for ventures (funding amount for consortium applications will be determined on a case-by-case basis).
  • given a chance to scale. Once they have proven their concepts, and value for social impact, the solutions could qualify for further funding and support in future programs or events within the alumni community.

What they are looking for?

  • DGIx aims to leverage the aforementioned interconnectedness between digitalisation and climate change by utilising the potential of ventures and consortiums developing digital tools for climate action in the following areas:
  • Adaptation: reducing potential damages and vulnerability associated with climate change. Integrating information and communication technologies/digital infrastructure for real time data and predictive analytics can reduce the loss and damages associated with climate change. They are looking for ventures and consortiums that are developing solutions for climate adaptation, ideally but not limited to one of the following functional areas:
  • Early warning systems and forecasting: innovations that provide decision makers and communities with accurate and timely information, enabling them to design and implement proactive measures to mitigate risks and enhance preparedness for extreme weather events.
  • Biodiversity and wildlife protection and monitoring: data-driven innovations that aid conservationists in making informed decisions, combat habitat loss, and counter illegal activities.
  • Sustainable and productive forestry: innovations that enhance tree health monitoring, optimize timber harvesting, and promote reforestation efforts.
  • Improved livelihoods: innovations that enable communities to effectively address climate-related challenges threatening the quality of their livelihoods, including lack of quality air or water.
  • Mitigation: curbing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires reshaping the living, consumption patterns, and the economy. They are looking for ventures and consortiums that are developing solutions for climate change mitigation, ideally but not limited to one of the following functional areas:
  • Resilient transport infrastructure: innovations that can dramatically optimize traffic flow, reduce congestion, promote regenerative modes of transport, enable intermodal mobility concepts, and minimize greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Urban planning and building design: innovations used to inform the development of climate-responsive infrastructure, such as flood-resistant buildings, green spaces, and climate-sensitive urban layouts.
  • Sustainable supply chain: innovations that enable real-time tracking of goods, routes optimisation, improving transparency and accountability in reducing carbon emissions, etc.
  • Green ICT: innovations that can optimize energy consumption in data centers, encourage eco-friendly digital services, and empower users to manage their energy usage.
  • Circular economy initiatives: innovations that help closing the material loops by providing/using accurate real-time data on the availability, location and condition of products, help minimise waste, promote longer life for products, reduce landfill dependency, etc.

Resilience: anticipating, preparing, and recovering while incurring minimal damages. According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), climate-resilient pathways are development trajectories of combined mitigation and adaptation to help avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”. They are looking for ventures and consortiums that are developing solutions for climate change resilience, ideally but not limited to one of the following functional areas:

  • Soil conservation: innovations that aid farmers to make informed decisions through real-time insights and guidance into moisture, nutrients, and erosion.
  • Capacity building for farmers: innovations that equip farmers with the skills needed to adopt innovative techniques, enhance productivity, and access to the market.
  • Agricultural water management: innovations that help farmers achieve precise water delivery to the crops and ensure crop hydration based on their needs.
  • Community preparedness and capacity building: innovations that ensure and strengthen community readiness and cohesion, enabling swift and effective responses in times of crisis at a community level.

Geographic Focus

  • Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Togo.

Eligibility Criteria

Please take the following factors into consideration before submitting your application to the programme:

  • Your organization must have a presence (e.g., in the form of a country office or other permanent presence, subsidiary, long-term operations, etc.) and be locally rooted in the country of implementation.
  • Your organization must be an established legal entity (for-profit, not-for-profit, social enterprise) for at least 2 years.
  • Your innovation must be at least at the validated prototype stage, ideally with proof of traction, and a verified potential commercial value and impact.
  • Your innovation should clearly address one or more of the priority innovation areas.
  • Your innovation should have a clear pathway to scale (capacity to be adapted, expanded, replicated or scaled) along with a well-defined implementation plan ready to be executed during the 12-month accelerator period using the available funding.
  • Applications from consortiums and cooperations with local NGOs are highly encouraged.
  • Solutions using open formats and approaches (Open Data, Open Hardware, Free and Open-Source Software, collaborative mapping and crowd-sensing) are encouraged.
  • At least one of the team members must be fluent in English.
  • They prioritize ventures that focus on promoting gender equality and empowering women, either through their beneficiaries, job creation, or by having a high representation of women in leadership positions.
  • They also encourage applications from youth-led ventures.