Go big with data to tackle food security and climate resilience


The World Bank has opened a call for all individuals with an innovative mindset to come up with climate and food solutions using big data.

The call, they explain, is in response to an abundance of underutilized 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."

The challenge: use these increasing volumes of data to find big data solutions that address issues in two critical areas: 1) food security and nutrition, and 2) forestry and watersheds.


Image: World Bank.

To help get your creative juices following, the World Bank has provided some suggested areas of need. For example, a data driven approach to monitor seasonal food production and consumption, or a visualization product that exhibits risks to farmers’ income throughout the food supply chain.

Even if you aren't interested in applying, the challenge's handbook provides a valuable list of datasets that can be leveraged by anyone looking to report on food security or climate issues.


Image: An example of dataset lists contained in the handbook.

Successful applications will receive a cash prize of $10,000, and the possible opportunity to share their ideas at a knowledge exchange workshop.

Submissions close on 9 November 2016, and winners will be announced on 14 December 2016.

Apply at the World Bank website here.