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 new process, product or approach that adds value and delivers a sustainable, equitable, inclusive and/or new contextual solution to rural development challenges.

For IFAD, the most important innovations are those that impact poor rural people directly. IFAD aims to catalyse the generation, testing and scaling up of solutions that have the potential to contribute to deliver equitable, better and greater impact for the rural poor by leveraging on learning, strategic partnerships, digitalization and the implementation of suitable tools and guidelines.

Related publications

Related publications

Handbook for Scaling Irrigation Systems

oktober 2022

Handbook for Scaling Irrigation Systems is a joint publication between IFAD and IFC on how to develop and scale innovative solutions to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and increase crop productivity.

GeoTech4Tenure: Technical guide on combining geospatial technology and participatory methods for securing tenure rights

augustus 2022

This technical guide provides orientation for project designers and implementers on how to combine participatory methods and geomatics technology to strengthen legitimate tenure rights in land-based investments.

Mapping Rural Development: How to use GIS to monitor and evaluate projects

juli 2022

This practical manual provides guidance on how to use geographic information systems (GIS) in the monitoring and evaluation of rural development projects.

Related events

Related events

M4D Joint Open Innovation Challenge Pitch Event

januari 2024 - EVENT

Selected from 200 starts-ups, four finalists will pitch their AI-driven solutions to enhance climate adaptation, resource management, and disaster readiness in rural communities.

IFAD Innovation Talk: Building an Innovation Engine

juli 2023 - EVENT

Discover how top innovators, like Google, Apple and Harvard, build organizations that repeatedly develop break-through innovations from Innovation Alliance’s Chris Heemskerk.

2023 IFAD Innovation Day

juni 2023 - EVENT

How to make innovation and impact investments work for the rural poor?

Related news

Related news

12 startups de Latinoamérica y el Caribe lideran el cierre de la brecha digital en zonas rurales

augustus 2023 - NEWS

Innovatech, el novedoso proyecto financiado por el FIDA e implementado por la entidad financiera alemana Sparkassenstiftung, está sentando un precedente en Latinoamérica, al lograr una exitosa vinculación entre startups tecnológicas –empresas fintech y agtech–, y el sector rural en seis países de Latinoamérica y el Caribe.

Spatial technology creates opportunities for vulnerable small-scale food producers as IFAD and ESA join forces

juni 2023 - NEWS

IFAD and the European Space Agency have stepped up their partnership to help vulnerable small-scale food producers increase their ability to grow food and adapt to climate change by using state-of-the-art spatial technology and data.

2021 Agrobiodiversity Innovation Challenge

augustus 2021 - NEWS

Innovators who aim to mainstream agrobiodiversity solutions into the agri-food sector are welcome to submit applications to the Agrobiodiversity Innovation Challenge.

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Meet the women closing the digital divide in rural China

april 2024 - STORY

Investing in women's digital empowerment can foster prosperity not just for them, but for entire communities. These three remarkable rural women revitalizing their villages in rural China are living proof of this.

Clean energy, thriving rural communities

januari 2024 - STORY

Rural communities need energy to develop, but in a rapidly heating world, a green transition is crucial. Renewable sources, like solar power and biogas, are allowing them to prosper without relying on polluting fossil and wood fuels.

The people feeding the world should get their due

juli 2023 - STORY

Despite their gruelling work, rural people all over the world aren’t getting a fair return. Find out how IFAD is empowering small-scale farmers to earn and produce more, while improving their working conditions.

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4 ways IFAD is using AI to transform rural development

april 2024 - BLOG

Artificial Intelligence is not just a buzzword for IFAD – it is a powerful new technology that delivers better development results and increases impact.

When it comes to measuring water security, lived experiences matter

januari 2024 - BLOG

Water stress is growing around the world. To effectively tackle it, a new approach assesses not only whether water infrastructure is available and working, but also whether it is meeting the needs of the people who rely on it. 

Rural realities go global with immersive storytelling

augustus 2023 - BLOG

Few storytelling mediums are more powerful than film. Find out how IFAD is using virtual reality and 360° video technology to ensure that rural people’s voices are heard.


Innovation contact

Contact information

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