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Innovation

Globalization, climate change, environmental degradation, migrations, the spread of communicable diseases and conflict are just some examples of evolving challenges and opportunities confronting rural poor women and men. Development practitioners constantly face new challenges and many good practices may quickly become obsolete. Making a positive and lasting impact on rural poverty requires the capacity both to implement tried and tested practices and to respond to new challenges and opportunities as they emerge. In other words, it requires the ability to innovate.

The complexity and diversity of rural poverty call for new, better solutions. Despite global progress towards the SDGs, many countries and regions are lagging behind, and social and economic inequalities are growing almost everywhere. This situation calls for new approaches to eradicating rural poverty and a better understanding of its challenges as seen by the rural poor.

Achieving one’s goals better

IFAD defines innovation as a process that adds value or solves a problem in new ways. If possible, the product, idea or approach should also be new to its context, useful and cost-effective in relation to a goal, and able to “stick” after pilot testing.

Innovation can take many forms and be used in many ways across IFAD and its projects. Innovative solutions can provide both small-scale incremental improvements and large-scale transformations. Innovation is not necessarily related to technology, nor does it have to be something entirely new or developed by IFAD alone.

For IFAD, the most important innovations are those that impact rural poor people directly: changes to the way smallholders and other rural poor people invest, produce and market their products; manage their assets; get organized, communicate and interact with their partners; and influence policies and institutions.

Related publications

Related publications

Digital Agriculture in Asia and the Pacific region: A synthesis of ongoing work

May 2021
While the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and digital tools has been increasing steadily across large swathes of rural Asia during the past two decades, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has imparted a sense of urgency in terms of accelerating this trend.

Tunisia: Detecting change with remote sensing

January 2021
This case study presents an analysis undertaken for the IFAD-funded Agropastoral Value Chains Project in the Governorate of Médenine, Tunisia.

IFAD Innovation Network

November 2020
The IFAD Innovation Network is an informal, democratic, non-hierarchical space for sharing ideas, good practices, tools and lessons learned about innovation at IFAD.

Related events

Related events

Geospatial technologies for land recordation

July 2021 - EVENT
FAO and IFAD webinar series of GeoTech4Tenure.

The role of the public sector in the assimilation process of innovative agri-technologies: The Israeli Model

July 2021 - EVENT
This webinar introduced the role of the public sector in Israel in creating and enabling environments and platforms for the assimilation of innovative agri-tech in to farming practices.

Webinar: Pasture in Kyrgyzstan - remote sensing and climate policy

July 2021 - EVENT
This study compared the average pasture conditions of 2000-2004 and 2016-2020 using Landsat-based spectral indices and a digital elevation model. The remote sensing analysis took pasture types, grazing periods, altitudes, and a dataset with field measurements into account.

Related news

Related news

Third round of National Call for Proposal (Morocco): Supporting remittances in times of crisis in Africa

July 2021 - NEWS
The Financing Facility for Remittances (FFR) of IFAD is pleased to announce the third round of National Calls for Proposal (Morocco) 2021: supporting remittances in times of crisis in Africa.

Second round of National Calls for Proposals (Kenya and Uganda): Supporting remittances in times of crisis in Africa

April 2021 - NEWS
The Financing Facility for Remittances of IFAD is pleased to announce the second round of National Calls for Proposals (Kenya, Uganda) 2021: supporting remittances in times of crisis in Africa.

El FIDA lanza la Segunda Edición del Premio a la Innovación Juvenil Rural en América Latina y el Caribe

March 2021 - NEWS
El objetivo del concurso es identificar y premiar iniciativas innovadoras impulsadas por jóvenes que contribuyan a superar los desafíos de la pandemia de COVID-19 en las áreas rurales de la región.

Related stories

Related stories

How innovation is helping tea growers in Sri Lanka

May 2021 - STORY
Sri Lanka has been a global supplier of tea since the plant was first imported to the island about a hundred and fifty years ago. Since then, tea estates have often been passed down from generation to generation, weathering good times and bad.

Three ways we’re using digital technologies to fight rural poverty in the NEN region

December 2020 - STORY
Digital technologies have become our constant companions over the last few decades. Devices like smartphones and laptops have become even more relevant after the COVID-19 outbreak, helping us stay in touch even in times of physical distance.

Rural youth, innovation and tradition: the challenge of a new order

November 2020 - STORY
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the reinvention of the agricultural sector is indispensable today. In fact, it is already beginning to take place with young people at the heart of it.

Related blogs

Related blogs

A decade of IFAD’s inclusive rural finance programmes points to an innovative and catalytic future

July 2021 - BLOG
The number and variety of financial services accessible to the rural poor continues to grow. A recently completed stocktake of IFAD’s rural finance programmes has identified a number of successes, plus some opportunities for further innovation.

Promoting renewable energy technologies for small-scale farmers in Cambodia

June 2021 - BLOG
Renewable energy technologies are an increasingly important part of small-scale agriculture. IFAD’s S-RET project is bringing these technologies to farmers throughout Cambodia – and it’s recently been selected as a GEF Global Good Practice Project.

Taking stock of IFAD’s digital agriculture efforts in the Asia-Pacific region

June 2021 - BLOG
Digital agriculture is an indispensable part of strengthening food systems. IFAD’s recent stocktake of our ICT interventions in the Asia-Pacific region has revealed over 50 active solutions and some critical gaps to address.

Innovation contact

Contact information

innovation@ifad.org