World Bank Big Data Innovation Challenge

The World Bank is announcing a global call for big data solutions and prototypes that address climate change-related issues pertaining to food security, nutrition, landscapes, forestry and watersheds. This Innovation Challenge is open to individuals, students and entrepreneurs as well as start-ups, university labs, private companies, nonprofits and public sector agencies legally established in member countries of the World Bank Group.

The call adresses two main challenges:

  • Food: Food Security and Nutrition
    One of the biggest ways in which climate change is affecting humanity is through the land and natural resources that we all depend on for food. Climate change will affect all four dimensions of food security: food availability, food accessibility, food utilization and food systems stability. It will have an impact on human health, livelihood assets, food production and distribution channels, as well as changing purchasing power and market flows.
  • Landscapes: Forestry and Watersheds
    The supply and quality of water sources in many countries across the globe are threatened by mismanagement and pollution, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that the health of our water supply is heavily regulated by forests. Moreover, climate change is altering forests’ ability to continue playing this role sustainably. The relationship between forests and water is a critical issue which will benefit from new big data solutions to help protect these resources and in turn increase our resilience to climate change.

The World Bank seek to identify and recognise high potential solutions developed by individuals and organizations in these critical areas of sustainable development. These issues are high priorities in service of the World Bank Group’s goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity and are also identified priorities of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Why big data?

In today’s world of mobile technology, social networks, pervasive satellite and sensor information, and machine-to-machine transactions, more data has been generated in the past two years alone in the form of big data than in all of the previous years combined. Data is becoming the lifeblood of many economies, and data-informed decision-making is more important than ever before. However, the ability to use data in development policy and decision-making processes has not seen the same progress. That is where you come in. Help to find solutions and analytical methodologies to use big data effectively in order to help inform climate-sensitive decisions across the globe.

Judging Criteria

The following criteria are weighted equally as part of the judging process.

  1. Practicality of use, impact and potential for scale
    The applicant demonstrates the potential of the big data solution to use data to transform their solution context.
  2. Technically feasible
    The big data solution is technically viable and has a working prototype to further show the functionality and usability.
  3. Relevance to challenge focus areas
    The applicant shows that he/she understands the specific context of the challenge statement to which they are applying and their solution’s potential within that context.
  4. Innovativeness
    Creativity and originality of the idea compared to solutions that are currently in use.
  5. Team (background, capabilities)
    The applicant has the applicable technical background and the capability to take this big data solution to the next phase of implementation.  

Eligibility Criteria

The Big Data Innovation Challenge is open to Applicants ('Applicant') from member countries of the World Bank. Applicants may be individuals, legally established entities (profit or non-profit, academic) and public sector agencies/organisations. Applicants are responsible for compliance with legal requirements of their country.

A) Individuals must be of age of majority in their country at the time of entry. Individuals may form teams and submit entries on behalf of teams. Individuals who join teams must meet the eligibility requirements for Individual Applicants.

B) Organisations must be legally established entities (profit, non-profit, academic) or public sector agencies/organisations in their respective countries.

Employees, contractors and vendors of the World Bank Group (The World Bank Group consists of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Development Association, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, the International Finance Corporation, the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes), the members of the Judging Panel or any company or individual involved with the design, production, execution or distribution of the Challenge and their immediate family members (spouse, parents and step-parents, siblings and stepsiblings, and children and stepchildren, aunt, uncle, niece and nephew) are not eligible to join the Challenge. 

For more details, please consult the Challenge Handbook.

Source and full call information: World Bank Big Data call website