Tanzanian innovators answered the challenge of how the country can achieve #ZeroHungerZeroAIDS. Over 180 applicants submitted ideas for how to address the connected issues of hunger and HIV/AIDS through data use. This week, 22 finalists (5 organizations and 17 individuals) pitched their ideas for the Zero Hunger Zero AIDS Innovation Challenge, a collaboration between the Data for Local Impact Innovation Challenge (DLIIC) and the World Food Programme (WFP).
The Zero Hunger Zero AIDS Innovation Challenge was launched on 20 July 2018 and closed on 7 September 2018. The challenge aims to ensure that there is sufficient, safe and nutritious food to address health risks, including HIV/AIDS, and focused on two specific questions:
- How can we make nutritious diets more accessible, affordable and desirable to Tanzanians, including women, children and those at risk of or living with HIV/AIDS?
- How can we support farmers to increase their productivity and fight against threats, such as environmental shocks and health risks?
Speaking shortly after the pitch session, Mr. Agapiti Manday, the DLIIC Project Manager, said the Zero Hunger Zero AIDS challenge window was an opportunity for Tanzanian local innovators and entrepreneurs to create solutions in the areas of food security, nutrition, agricultural productivity and health risks – including HIV/AIDS.
“We have received more than180 applications in this challenge window of which, after a thorough screening and reviewing process, 22 applications were chosen as final proposals to reach to the pitch stage,” said Mr. Agapiti. He added, “Out of 22, we have 7 female finalists and 15 male finalists. After listening to their great ideas today, we believe that these innovators can come up with better innovations, which will ensure there is sufficient, safe and nutritious food and increased agricultural productivity, while also helping food insecure populations to increase their resilience to health risks, including HIV/AIDS.”
Mr. Agapiti also reflected on DLIIC’s collaboration with WFP, the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security. He noted that working with WFP enabled DLIIC to design challenge themes that addressed long-term, pressing challenges that exist in the local communities in Tanzania.
Commenting after having the opportunity to pitch as one of the challenge finalists, Mr. Paul Israel said, “This was a great platform for youth in Tanzania to showcase and demonstrate that they have good skills and how innovative they are, especially in the area of agricultural development.” He added, “most of the innovative solutions presented today, if well implemented, will have a huge impact in Tanzania, especially in the rural areas.”
DLI Innovation Challenge has already provided grants to 37 winners from the first three challenge windows, which aimed to reduce the risks of HIV/AIDS, improve healthcare services and bring about economic empowerment to the local communities in Tanzania. Learn more about how these grantees are leveraging data to tackle health challenges here.