Winrock applies experience and research-based solutions to challenges in agriculture, climate change, natural resource management, and economic and human development. From strengthening community engagement and institutional effectiveness to identifying promising markets for crops, Winrock’s knowledge and technical expertise can provide important tools to help governments, foundations and corporations achieve their goals.
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Climate change and a growing population are putting increasing levels of stress on Bangladesh’s forests, wetlands and other ecosystems. The USAID-funded Climate Resilient Ecosystems and Livelihoods program is helping to disseminate management methods that help communities better collaborate with local and national governments to balance biodiversity protection with sustainable economic development.
Increasing the productivity and profitability of smallholders in Burma has the potential to substantially improve food security and livelihoods in poor, rural communities. The USAID-funded Value Chains for Rural Development program provides technical assistance to producers, farmer groups, agribusinesses and community organizations in the coffee, soybean and horticulture value chains. The project leverages the expertise of volunteers to improve farmer productivity and market access. By introducing new technologies and techniques, improving access to extension services, stimulating private sector investment and promoting market-based approaches, this program aims to boost production and incomes of 80,000 households.
This program works to accelerate Vietnam’s transition to climate-resilient, low-emissions development by working collaboratively with policymakers, communities, and civil society. The USAID funded Vietnam Forests and Deltas program supports adoption of land use practices that slow, stop, and reverse emissions from deforestation and forest degradation through better land use and economic planning and improved funding that incentivizes sustainable practices. By helping local leaders plan for weather and climate risks, the program also increases the resilience of people, places, and livelihoods in Vietnam’s Red River and Mekong Delta regions.
Northern Ghana has a new ally in its struggle against climate change. The USAID Feed the Future Ghana Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Project (AgNRM) is protecting both food security and the region’s natural resources. It’s doing this in a holistic way: boosting incomes from natural products such as shea nuts; improving food security through household gardens, cook stoves and improved water management; securing land tenure, especially for women; and strengthening environmental stewardship.
Because many Cambodians make their living from farming, logging and other pursuits that can lead to deforestation, the country struggles to protect its forests while maintaining economic growth. The USAID Cambodia Supporting Forests and Biodiversity Project empowers forest communities, government officials at all levels, NGOs, business interests and communities to become champions for sustainable forest management practices that benefit people and the planet. The project has conducted extensive assessments to support wildlife and biodiversity research and has improved planning and management of nearly 900,000 hectares.
Complex problems require transcendent solutions, ones that span borders and sectors. Human trafficking is such a problem, and the Asia Counter Trafficking in Persons program (USAID Asia CTIP) is such a solution. A five-year (2016-2021) program, USAID Asia CTIP is a regional activity that focuses on transnational and regional challenges to combat human trafficking. The program aims to reduce the trafficking of persons in Asia through a coordinated and consolidated action by governments, civil society and business that will foster cross-border cooperation, develop opportunities for private-sector leadership and improve the quality of data associated with human trafficking.
CTIP Bangladesh Project Page
CTIP Cambodia Project Page
Nepal’s economy is dominated by agriculture, yet the country is one of the most food insecure nations in the world. By working with the country’s private sector to improve on-farm production and facilitate market development, this program helps subsistence farmers become commercial agriculture producers and earn more income.
Despite tremendous progress, farmers in Asia continue to grapple with two major challenges: food insecurity and poverty. By accelerating the transfer and adoption of innovative agricultural technologies, this USAID-funded Feed the Future program gives smallholders in South and Southeast Asia the knowledge and resources they need to grow more crops and earn more income.
Bangladesh’s aquaculture industry is growing, but its small-scale shrimp and prawn producers still need help. They lack the resources and the knowledge of international standards to run farms and hatcheries to their full potential. By providing farmers with technical training and access to financial services — and by building the capacity of the trade associations and government agencies they work with — this project aims to boost livelihoods, increase productivity in the shrimp and prawn industries, and improve food quality and safety in Bangladesh.
Crops that spoil or arrive at market in a condition consumers reject are a missed opportunity for the Philippines to reduce its food insecurity and increase the profits of its small farmers. To address that problem, the Philippines Cold Chain Project works to help smallholder farmers and fishermen on the island of Mindanao to produce high-value products consumers want, and to establish the cold chain infrastructure (basically, a refrigerated supply chain) necessary to ensure those goods are fresh and appealing when they arrive at market. The project also seeks to facilitate and encourage production and post-harvest handling practices that reduce losses of perishable food products.
Reliable access to water is critical for Tanzania’s economy, food security, environmental sustainability and public health. Over the past two decades, the country’s government has implemented important national reforms to drive improved management of this critical resource. This program helps local communities implement Multiple-Use Water Services, increasing private sector participation and raising awareness about the importance of good sanitation and hygiene practices.
Guinea has plenty of farmable land and water, a large youth population, and three quarters of its labor force employed in agriculture. But despite these advantages, the nation is still one of the poorest in the world. One reason is the lack of opportunity that prevents women and youth from contributing significantly to the economy. Guinea’s Strengthening Market-Led Agricultural Research, Technology and Education (SMARTE) is enhancing the nation’s agricultural strengths by working with these populations, boosting education, promoting agricultural extension and introducing new technologies.
The Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP) is a five-year, Leader with Associates cooperative agreement that supports U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) thought leadership, innovation and action in global water security by integrating water security issues into Mission programming through relevant, Mission-specific initiatives. Together with its partners Tetra Tech, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), World Resources Institute (WRI), Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and its resource partners CEO Water Mandate and mWater, and Winrock International will develop comprehensive water security intervention strategies using locally owned solutions at the water basin, sub-basin and local catchment scales.
The Sustainable Water Partnership will:
• Improve stakeholder awareness and participation in water security.
• Improve stakeholder capacity and tools to assess water security risks.
• Improve planning and water governance capacity.
• Improve capacity and behaviors to implement water resource management measures.
• Ensure increased collaboration, learning and adaptive response to water risks.
Though the bulk of Winrock’s programs are outside the United States, we are committed to improving lives in our home state of Arkansas by boosting the state’s competitiveness in the increasingly important high-tech economy. To do that, we work with technology inventors and entrepreneurs to smooth the often difficult journey from raw idea or insight to viable commercial enterprise. Innovate Arkansas helps scale Arkansas ventures through three key focuses: Acceleration, Capital, and Talent. Innovate Arkansas has helped more than 140 clients add 600+ jobs to the Arkansas economy while raising $265 million in investments, and generating $226 million in revenue.
Vietnam has made remarkable progress in growing its economy and reducing the number of its people living in poverty. This success brings new challenges, particularly reducing the country’s consumption of fossil fuels and its emissions of greenhouse gases. By promoting energy efficiency in the construction sector through capacity building, policy advice, and technical assistance, this program helps Vietnam pursue a path towards green growth.
Poverty motivates hundreds of thousands of Cambodians to migrate every month in search of employment opportunities. Many of those who leave are uneducated and have limited access to information, which makes them particularly vulnerable to human traffickers. Targeted at provinces with high prevalence of trafficking, this four-year program seeks to prevent trafficking through livelihood development, awareness raising, effective prosecution of traffickers, and repatriation and reintegration support for survivors of trafficking.
Poverty and food insecurity are inextricably linked in Bangladesh. Particularly vulnerable are women, youth and those in areas of the country most likely to be impacted by climate change. The goal of this program is to improve nutrition and food security through training in entrepreneurship, improved production of high-value foods as well as reliable access to markets and important agricultural inputs.
To meet Sub-Saharan Africa’s food security and economic challenges, the entire agriculture sector must learn new skills and embrace innovative technologies. Effective agriculture education and training providers — ranging from institutions providing formal certificates and diplomas to NGOs, agribusinesses, and cooperatives that directly train farmers — are absolutely essential in this task. Volunteer experts from the U.S. are supporting entities to better prepare students for productive careers and to transfer knowledge and innovations directly to farmers and others in the agriculture sector.
Nobody knows the challenges and opportunities faced by farmers better than other farmers. Credibility and practical know-how are at the core of this program connecting U.S.-based volunteer farmers and agricultural experts with Asian universities, government training centers, and individual farmers. Through instruction and hands-on training, thousands of Asian farmers and fishers learn about practices and technologies that can boost both the sustainability of their businesses as well as their incomes.
A large percentage of Guineans lack food security and spend a sizable portion of their income on rice. To better meet the needs of its citizens and adapt to the impacts of climate change, Guinea’s agriculture sector must implement new technologies and modern land-management methods. This program focuses on building the capacity of local training and research institutions so that they become effective agents to share knowledge and transform the sector to become more productive and sustainable.
Tibetans have long relied on the natural environment for their livelihoods. But climate change and other factors threaten the future viability of Tibet’s traditional herding and agriculture practices. The Support for Ethnic Tibetans in China Project engages Tibetan communities in the west and southwest of China and provides them with the scientific knowledge and tools they need to adapt in ways that preserve their natural resources, livelihoods and culture.
As Georgia’s economy and industries grow, so too do the country’s projected greenhouse gas emissions. This is exacerbated by Georgia’s outdated and inefficient lighting, heating and energy systems. This program works with the national government, municipalities, businesses and others to develop and implement a national low emission development strategy. Among the tools being developed are municipal-level sustainable energy action plans, policies and guidelines that promote cleaner energy use, and the promotion of energy efficiency and green buildings to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and improve its economic competitiveness.
Changing hearts and minds to end gender-based violence means creating local solutions to this pervasive problem. Working with and through local people and organizations, the program will foster collaboration and support for gender equality as it mobilizes communities, improves services for survivors, and strengthens local organizations in Papua and West Papua, Indonesia. This five-year USAID program works in partnership with Resources Management and Development Consultants and in close coordination with the Government of Indonesia and local civil society organizations.
Social and economic factors push many children in Africa and Southern Brazil out of classrooms and into tobacco fields and other forms of child labor. This robs children and entire communities of the chance to forge a better future. Building on the initial successes of the Achieving Reduction of Child Labor in Support of Education (ARISE) project, this follow-on program raises awareness about child labor and helps improve family livelihoods so that children can pursue their education. The program also works with government officials to strengthen and enforce laws preventing child labor.
Heightened awareness of the many ills caused by child labor has led to a global decrease in its incidence. Nevertheless, estimates are that 168 million children worldwide are still engaged in child labor. This program develops the capacity of interested governments to create and implement policies that result in a meaningful reduction of child labor.
Agriculture, particularly rubber, is an important contributor to the Liberian economy. A significant number of children are involved in the production of rubber due to household poverty, the high cost of adult labor, a lack of awareness about the hazards of work and limited access to education. Under these economic and social conditions, children perform difficult and dangerous labor that affects their health, their ability to attend school and their social development. Winrock confronts the challenges faced by child laborers and their households by raising awareness of the importance of education and the dangers of hazardous work. By forming partnerships with the government and private sector, this program provides material and social support needed to get children back into school. This includes securing income opportunities for parents so that they no longer need to rely on child labor and delivering modern agricultural-vocational training to children in order to increase their opportunities for decent and productive employment.
No country can reach its full potential when women don’t have equal access to education and economic opportunity. The Feed the Future Bangladesh Women’s Empowerment Activity helps women develop the skills they need to improve agricultural livelihoods, make decisions in their families, and be leaders in their communities. Winrock also engages men and local leaders to support gender equality, a key to achieving food security and sustainable development.
To be effective and long-lasting, solutions to Sub-Saharan Africa’s food security challenges must be homegrown. That belief drives this USAID-funded Feed the Future initiative to develop the capacity of African agriculture professionals, institutions and stakeholders to reduce hunger and poverty. The program seeks agricultural transformation by engaging stakeholders at the continental, regional, country, and local levels to improve the effectiveness of institutions, strengthen the capacity to manage policy change, and promote effective participation of non-state actors.
This project takes a comprehensive approach to help the government of Rwanda and its tea producers eliminate child labor in this key sector of the country’s economy. Besides improving access to formal and vocational education and strengthening the enforcement of existing labor laws, REACH-T raises awareness of child labor’s long-term effects. Building on Rwanda’s policy framework, the project will expand the national response to ensure that tea producers employ good labor practices and the sector is poised for growth with sustainably produced tea.
Though human trafficking is a global problem, successful efforts to combat it must start at the local level. Focused on 25 highly vulnerable districts, the Bangladesh Counter Trafficking-in-Persons Program aims to mobilize and coordinate the actions of local and national governments, non-governmental organizations, and citizens and community leaders. Program activities include: supporting and empowering survivors; increasing the effectiveness of prosecution; and engaging all layers of society to end human trafficking.
Pressured by global demand for cocoa and persistent poverty, many cocoa farmers in Ghana rely on child labor. With limited opportunities for education and livelihoods in rural cocoa communities, youth between 15 and 17 years are particularly at risk of engaging in hazardous child labor. This program works with cocoa communities to raise awareness about the dangers of child labor and offers youth promising alternatives, including skills training, job placement in age-appropriate work and educational opportunities.
Even though Nigeria is Africa’s largest exporter of crude oil and has some of the world’s largest natural gas reserves, over half of the country’s population lives in the dark. Access to energy and the many health and economic benefits it brings is particularly elusive in rural areas. This project aims to make clean energy more readily available through increased access to private sector finance. The project supports technical assistance for bank and project developers, and promotes policy changes that improve business conditions.
The grim reality in South Sudan is that girls are more likely to die at birth than complete their primary education. Understanding that this robs the country of critical talents, the South Sudan government has made the education of girls a top priority. Winrock works with government officials at all levels to dramatically increase educational opportunities for girls through capacity building and by providing both teacher and peer-led mentoring.
Human health and the environment suffer when people burn wood and other solid fuels in rudimentary stoves and fires to meet their cooking and heating needs. The goal of this USAID-funded program is to create a market for clean, energy-efficient stoves. In Kenya, Winrock is helping to eliminate distribution bottlenecks by expanding cookstove distribution networks and increasing the availability of both consumer and distributor financing, which makes cleaner cookstoves more affordable and accessible to Kenyan consumers.
Inefficient and outdated technology have made Macedonia one of the most energy-intensive economies in Europe. This program helps the country establish the necessary legal and investment frameworks to encourage implementation of renewable energy technologies and adoption of low emissions development strategies.
As the home base for Walmart and Tyson Foods, Northwest Arkansas has done a remarkable job attracting and retaining large corporations. But creating an environment that lures innovative technology entrepreneurs and the high-paying jobs they create requires something a bit different. Building on the success of Innovate Arkansas, the NWA Venture team, in partnership with the Walton Family Foundation and the Northwest Arkansas Council, brings together a community of engineers, artists and innovators to build a region that draws and keeps entrepreneurs from around the globe.
Indonesia boasts the third-largest expanse of tropical forests in the world. Sustainably managing this unique economic and ecological resource is important to both the economic well-being of many Indonesians and a world community increasingly focused on climate change. As a partnering organization in this USAID-funded project implemented by Tetra Tech, Winrock’s role is to provide Indonesian government officials and the private sector with mapping, monitoring and other tools that clearly outline the impact of their development and conservation choices.
Millions of Egyptians live below the poverty line and the results are predictably bad, including high rates of illiteracy and infant mortality. In the area of the country known as Upper Egypt — which consists of the Nile River Valley from Cairo south to Lake Nasser — the majority of impoverished people are agricultural laborers, landless farmers and smallholders. This program uses a combination of technical assistance and market-oriented approaches to help these smallholders better serve consumers and increase their incomes.
To reduce and reverse the loss of valuable forestland and biodiversity, Colombia is developing a national strategy for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, also known as REDD. This program aids that effort by providing technical assistance to accurately account for emissions reductions that result from conservation and by facilitating the participation of communities and the private sector.
The hilly city of Ilam in eastern Nepal is known both for its expansive tea production and its environmental consciousness. Those two themes come together in this public-private partnership to establish a new municipal waste management system. The project will establish a partnership between Ilam Municipality and the private sector that fuels commercially driven solid waste management. Funded by the European Union’s Switch Asia program and assisted by Winrock’s technical support, the sustainable solid waste management system includes small and medium-sized businesses that utilize compost for tea and vegetable cultivation and, as a result, create green jobs. Once successfully implemented, this innovate approach will be a model for Nepal’s other municipalities.
In the last 15 years, Indonesia’s palm oil sector has seen an enormous production increase, leading to growth in smallholder incomes and the overall national economy. However, this expansion has threatened the environment by driving high deforestation and peatland degradation rates. This project, a partnership between USAID, Winrock and Perkumpulan Sawit Lestari, aims to strengthen private sector initiatives that address the link between deforestation and the palm oil industry. It works to enhance technical research on policy and regulatory reform, define and address smallholder sustainability needs, and develop a framework for monitoring and reporting progress against deforestation.
Delivering clean electricity to regions that lack reliable access to power addresses two interconnected challenges: climate change and poverty. As part of an overall effort to provide 100 percent renewable energy to the citizens of the Indonesian island of Sumba, this program delivers the technical expertise required for schools to install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Powering these schools with solar — and becoming a community charging station for solar lanterns — allows teachers and students to study without interruption and helps alleviate the poverty that arises when there’s no access to energy.
Budding entrepreneurs in the Mississippi River Delta region often lack resources crucial to business success — a deficit that discourages job creation, stunts economic growth and perpetuates persistent poverty. To address these issues, the Delta I-Fund program, in partnership with the Delta Regional Authority, trains cohorts of entrepreneurs in successful startup practices, connects them with local business mentors and provides them with capital sourced from private investors. Bolstered by knowledge and funding, these businesspeople are better prepared to bring their innovative ideas to life.
Rice is critical to the food security and economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s capital city of Kinshasa. This USAID-funded program aims to improve the local rice supply chain through a variety of steps; these include increasing the productivity of small farmers, improving post-harvest processing and handling of rice and strengthening farmer associations and cooperatives.
Farms are businesses, which means they respond to economic signals. That basic idea is behind this program’s approach to reduce the damage to water quality caused by agricultural run-off in the West Branch Milwaukee River watershed. Winrock works with water treatment plant owners, conservation groups and others in the area to devise pay-for-performance incentives that encourage farmers to implement practices that reduce pollution.
Communities that most need healthy and affordable food options often have the fewest choices. The Wallace Center at Winrock International collaborates with vulnerable communities to establish value chains that make nutritious and local food available to everyone. This happens through training, mentoring, peer-to-peer learning opportunities and by fostering collaboration between organizations committed to delivering the benefits of good food to all.
The foundation of Ethiopia’s economy, agriculture can play a substantial role in improving livelihoods and increasing the country’s food security. This project supports the Government of Ethiopia’s efforts to establish important regulatory and policy conditions that improve local and national land governance. A particular focus of the project is allowing itinerant pastoralists to secure community land rights and manage their natural resources. Winrock provides administrative and technical support to Tetra Tech ARD, the prime implementer of USAID’s Land Administration to Nurture Development project.
The palm oil industry has provided economic opportunity to small farmers in the West African nation of Liberia. To build on the progress and benefit even more smallholders, this program works to open up new markets and expand the products that can be made from oil palms. The project also emphasizes the importance of sustainable practices that reduce deforestation and other harmful environmental impacts.
Milk quality and valuable income are lost because over 800,000 smallholder Kenyan dairy farmers have no refrigeration to store their milk. As a result, over 60 percent of milk in Kenya is not processed and much of it spoils because farmers have no access to grid electricity or cannot afford expensive to operate diesel-powered generators. The PV-SMART project is sponsored under the innovative USAID Power Agriculture Energy Grand Challenge program, which is assisted by in collaboration with our technology partner SunDanzer. PV-SMART is changing the energy dynamic by pioneering affordable on-farm battery-free solar milk chillers in a first-ever pilot project with project paybacks under 1 year and zero maintenance issues after 2 years. The project also works with local savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs) to establish financing for the solar milk chillers.
America’s small businesses have always been an engine for innovation and job creation. In Winrock’s home state of Arkansas, women-owned small businesses have been growing at a rate 1.5 times faster than the national average. Through the Arkansas Women’s Business Center (AWBC), Winrock is helping fuel that trend by providing thousands of hours of training and the sort of access to markets and capital that entrepreneurs need to grow their companies.
A lot of field work is necessary to truly understand the role of forests in climate change — both the benefits of preserving them and the impact of cutting them down. As part of a NASA-funded initiative, Winrock is spearheading the planning, collection and analysis of data to understand the impacts of selective logging on carbon stocks in the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo.
Increased globalization and economic downturns have buffeted rural communities throughout Arkansas. Decisions about how to respond and rebuild a rural community’s economic base often fall to municipal leaders, many of whom lack the staff, knowledge and resources to develop effective economic development strategies. Through group training and one-on-one mentoring, this program helps municipal leaders develop road maps for increased quality of place that attracts families and businesses and creates sustainable economies.
Healthy and well-managed coastal areas provide local populations with everything from tasty seafood to protection from damaging storm surges. As part of the National Science Foundation’s Coastal SEES (Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability) program, this project analyzes and measures how utilizing best land management practices impacts the water quality in three watersheds in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay.
Delighting consumers isn’t the only key to the success of regional and local food hubs; farmers also have to follow the USDA’s food safety regulations. Technology offers the possibility of an effective, efficient and hassle-free way to ensure compliance. The Wallace Center at Winrock International is working with growers, USDA and technology company FoodLogiQ to pilot and test an information technology solution that will streamline regulatory compliance and solidify consumer confidence in the safety of local and regional food.
Millions of people in Nepal have no access to electricity and rely on firewood, kerosene and cow dung for their lighting and cooking needs. The resulting conditions harm human health, are damaging to the environment and make economic development more challenging. To address this, Winrock is working with Ace Development Bank and local financial institutions, renewable technology suppliers, and others to make financing for the installation of renewable energy technologies more readily available. Financial support from the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) has led to nearly 11,000 households receiving sustainable forms of electricity from small solar systems and cleaner cooking solutions from improved cook stoves and biogas facilities.
Erosion and deteriorating water quality are just two of the negative consequences when fertilizer used to grow crops makes its way into lakes and streams. This collaboration between Winrock, Michigan State University, conservation groups and farmers establishes financial incentives to encourage farmers to improve their environmental performance in ways that simultaneously protect their livelihoods and Lake Erie.
As an important aide to Dr. Norman Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution, Christopher Dowswell played a critical role in helping hundreds of millions of people achieve food security. One key to the Green Revolution’s success was education. Appropriately, this scholarship fund supports the training and education of primarily female agricultural extension workers. Not only can these workers train farmers to increase their production and incomes, they also become important role models to encourage more African women to pursue leadership positions in agriculture.
Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is an effective approach to address climate change. But questions over how forests should be managed to balance economic and environmental priorities can lead to conflict. This program investigates instances of conflict in Mexico, Vietnam and Nepal with the aim of developing tools and approaches that can be used globally to promote cooperation and conflict resolution. The project is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, the UK’s Department for International Development and the Conflict and Cooperation in the Management of Climate Change Fund.
In rural Kenya, solar water pumps (SWPs) can help smallholder farmers save on fuel costs, increase acreage, and grow more than one crop a year. However, many farmers don’t know about these benefits or lack credit options to purchase their own SWPs. The USAID-funded Kenya Smallholder Solar Irrigation project (KSSI) works to accelerate commercial sales of SWPs to small farmers through demonstrations, product assessments, and technical assistance to SWP retailers and financial institutions.
Winrock has long recognized the threat posed by climate change. The American Carbon Registry (ACR), founded in 1996 and operated by Winrock, is dedicated to the belief that markets are the most effective tools to tackle climate change. As such, ACR has developed transparent and science-based methodologies to incentivize carbon reductions in agriculture, transportation and other industries. ACR is also a partner in assuring that California’s landmark Cap-and-Trade Program can manage, verify and credit carbon offsets effectively.
Pay for performance (or P4P) isn’t just a way to incentivize sales professionals. Winrock has spearheaded approaches that financially reward farmers for reducing the amount of phosphorous that makes its way into rivers and lakes. Though phosphorous in fertilizer and manure helps crops grow, its runoff from fields also creates harmful dead zones and causes algae blooms in waterways. P4P lets farmers decide the best ways to limit water pollution.
The Wallace Center supports entrepreneurs and communities as they build a new, 21st century food system that is healthier for people, the environment and the economy. The demand for locally produced food is strong, growing and often outstrips the ability of small farmers to keep up. Through research, education and technical assistance, The Wallace Center at Winrock International helps groups of local producers (known as food hubs) work together to reach and serve large and sustainable markets.
The Innovation Hub is a collaborative and diverse community of all ages, interests, and skill levels. We have worked hard to create an accessible space that is open to anyone who wants to Learn and Build with us. We believe that the challenges of the 21st-century economy require us to do everything we can to develop, retain, and attract talent — which has always been our state’s greatest asset. That demands a collaborative community approach that exposes everyone to creative possibilities and offers ready access to the information, resources, and instruction they need to bring their ideas to fruition.
We have created an open environment with tools, technology, equipment, and support, along with the opportunity to Learn and Build through formal and informal programs. The result is an acceleration of innovation that leads to new products, new businesses, and new works of art, as well as an enhanced appreciation for what it possible when we provide the pathways for every individual to realize his or her potential.
Mitigating the impact of climate change requires tapping the power of markets. Winrock propels that approach by facilitating carbon offset trading and developing scientifically rigorous methodologies to measure and verify reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
As part of USAID’s Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally program, Winrock is working to improve the nutrition and health of women and children in Guinea. In particular, project activities will focus on improving the diets of young children and pregnant and lactating women. By conducting research into obstacles preventing proper maternal nutrition, infant feeding and agricultural practices and by working with community members and groups, Winrock will help ensure women and children have steady access to the food they need to thrive.
Small farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa are better able to achieve food security and earn a sufficient livelihood when they receive assistance from the continent’s agricultural colleges and universities. This program helps bolster the ranks of agricultural experts by introducing new opportunities for mid-career professionals to participate in extension education and degree programs at African universities.
Smallholders produce around 40 percent of Indonesia’s palm oil, an amount that is expected to increase due to the lack of land suitable for new large-scale plantations. However, a lack of resources and technical capacity often leads to extremely low productivity and unsustainable management at small plantations. With funding from IDH, Cargill and Costco, this project will create a protocol that provides step-by-step guidance to smallholders and tengkulak (middle men) about how to identify and manage peatland areas in existing plantations and around new plantings. It will also supply instruction about management methods to restore areas not suitable for replanting. By working with farmers to apply this protocol, the result will be increased sustainability and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Tanzania has relatively abundant water resources, although population growth and poor management has made shortages increasingly common. The goal of this project is to use market-driven approaches to support sustainable access to water, particularly in poor and rural areas. Part of the solution is to increase the number and effectiveness of entrepreneurs engaged in water supply, sanitation and hygiene activities in remote villages. Also important is the implementation of a multiple-use water services (MUS) approach that bases planning and financing strategies around a community’s many domestic and commercial water needs.
The local food movement is improving the health, economies and environment of communities around the country. But for the benefits of healthy and sustainably grown food to reach more Americans, changes throughout the food chain are required. The Wallace Center’s National Good Food Network helps build regional food hubs that allow all participants in the supply chain to share the knowledge and resources necessary to meet the burgeoning demand for local food.
Asia’s forests are a critical economic and environmental resource for its people. Yet logging, farming and other human activities are accelerating deforestation at an alarming rate. This USAID-funded program developed a regional approach that promotes sustainable land use and establishes financial incentives for preserving critical forestland.
Success in the global economy starts at the local level. Only when communities have access to capital, business knowledge, trained employees and other resources can companies launch and grow. This program establishes business development incubators across Arkansas that provides rural entrepreneurs the information and training they need to succeed.
Encouraging private enterprise in Liberia’s agriculture sector is critical if the country is to lower its high rates of unemployment and poverty. Progress will require extensive changes — everything from bolstering the country’s road infrastructure and weak institutions to promoting the importance of women and youth in agriculture. As a partner on this USAID-funded program, Winrock provides technical assistance to help increase farmer productivity and profitability.
Indonesia has become the largest palm oil producer in the world, making the industry a vital cog in the nation’s economy. Additional economic and environmental benefits are possible if the liquid waste generated during the palm oil production process is used to make renewable biogas. The USAID-funded Capacity for Indonesian Reduction of Carbon in Land Use and Energy (CIRCLE) program helps the owners of palm oil mills produce renewable energy and improve the overall sustainability of their facilities.
Economic signals and the ingenuity of farmers are a powerful combination when it comes to reducing the environmental impact of agriculture. This program seeks to slash the amount of pollutants that enter the air and water as a result of the activities of Maryland farmers. This includes conducting research into credits farmers can earn and sell for reducing the environmental impact of their operations.
The vast majority of Colombia’s citizens are connected to the power grid and receive electricity from low-emissions sources like hydropower and natural gas. That’s a good thing. Unfortunately, many people in rural areas have no access to electricity or have to rely on dirty and expensive diesel generators. This program helps expand renewable energy and energy efficient technologies to underserved populations through technical assistance, project development and policy reforms.
Winrock provides ongoing technical support to the owners of rubber plantations in Guatemala to implement greenhouse gas friendly practices and to help assess their possible participation in climate change mitigation markets.
Nepal’s rural poor urgently need clean and reliable electricity. This pilot project examines the potential of electrification through biomass gasification technology. The results of the effort are expected to help inform government policies to utilize the technology to deliver electricity to rural communities across Nepal.
The vast majority of Nepalese living in rural areas lack access to electricity, a key ingredient for improving food security and economic opportunity. This program eliminates financial and technical barriers that stand in the way of rural communities reaping the benefits of renewable energy. Supported by the Dutch development bank and NMB bank, Winrock bridges the gap between end users and local financial institutions as well as the divide between local financial institutions and commercial banks. This is accomplished through a series of awareness campaigns, orientation programs and capacity building initiatives. So far, the effort has resulted in nearly 14,000 households receiving electricity from small solar, micro hydro and clean and efficient cooking solutions.
Cooking food is one of life’s most essential tasks. Yet, it can also be deadly. Pollutants from cooking with solid fuels in open fires or rudimentary stoves are estimated to cause 4 million premature deaths a year, while also contributing to global climate change. Inefficient traditional cooking also threatens natural resources. To address these problems, Winrock works with cookstove manufactures to help them design and build higher-quality, better-performing cookstoves that meet consumer’s needs. This EPA-funded project provides this support through trainings, webinars and study tours all over the world — and through support to international voluntary standards.
Civil war and violence have devastated South Sudan’s infrastructure and kept generations of children out of school. To combat the resulting challenges, Room to Learn, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and Parent Teacher Associations, works to offer a safe and quality education to children and youth around the country. Fundamentally, Room to Learn is a community-led program aimed at providing inclusive and relevant education to the children of South Sudan.
Millions of people in Nepal have no access to electricity and rely on firewood, kerosene and cow dung for their lighting and cooking needs. The resulting conditions harm human health, damage the environment and make economic development more challenging. Winrock’s expertise in clean energy makes the many benefits of reliable energy access available throughout Nepal.
Improved cookstoves can reduce harmful indoor smoke and save time or money for families through fuel savings. But they are not readily adopted, often because the cookstoves available to families don’t fully meet their needs. To better understand and overcome this problem, the WASHplus project undertook consumer research studies in Bangladesh and Nepal that allowed families to try out cookstoves in their homes for several months and provide feedback. The studies also measured cookstove performance and helped gauge how willing families are to pay for them. Based on these studies, WASHplus developed a toolkit for other groups interested in undertaking similar research. WASHplus also supported the development of international voluntary standards for cookstoves; and worked closely with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves along the way.
Years of agricultural run-off have deposited large amounts of phosphorous-laden fertilizer into Ontario, Canada’s Lake Simcoe. Though fertilizer can help boost crop production, its presence in rivers and lakes harms water quality. This program aids the Ontario government’s efforts to improve Lake Simcoe’s health by creating and developing incentives that encourage farmers to reduce the amount of phosphorous that makes its way into waterways.
Consumer demand for sustainably grown local food is an unprecedented opportunity for family farmers. To take full advantage of the opportunity, small farmers are increasingly working with food hubs — enterprises that utilize cooperative aggregation, distribution and marketing strategies. The Wallace Center at Winrock International works to develop and strengthen food hubs that help small farmers gain entry into large markets they could never access on their own and build a strong culture of food safety.
The need for affordable and healthy food is especially acute in Mississippi, a state that routinely leads the nation in obesity and poverty rates. The Wallace Center at Winrock International collaborates with communities, farmers, wholesale distributors and others to build local food value chains that will make healthy and fresh food readily available in the state’s schools, hospitals and stores.
Healthy wetlands have the potential to store large amounts of carbon. Winrock’s American Carbon Registry (ACR) is developing a methodology that will encourage wetlands restoration in California by allowing those who undertake conservation projects to generate offsets that can be sold on the state’s carbon market.
Malawi’s forestland is disappearing. To counteract that trend, this project seeks to encourage improved land management practices. As part of a collaborative effort, Winrock will provide technical assistance to the Government of Malawi’s Environmental Affairs Department to create and implement its National Greenhouse Gas Inventory System. This improved system will supply information vital to understanding the climate change impacts of improved land management practices and policies.
The problem of deforestation in Brazil, particularly in the Amazon, is well-known. Nike is working with Winrock’s American Carbon Registry (ACR) on a unique way to raise funds to support reforestation. Through this initiative, Nike sells the carbon offsets issued to the company from ACR and donates the proceeds to protect and replant Brazilian forests.
The availability of fresh and healthy local food often depends on the success of farmers markets. For markets to reach their potential individual vendors and market organizers need training and financial resources to boost sales and awareness. This program provides new and emerging farmers markets in Arkansas with instruction on topics ranging from fundraising to marketing and promotion to vendor recruitment and retention.
There is a measurable impact on greenhouse gas emissions when forests are cut down and replaced with plantations. As a contributor to the High Carbon Stock Study, a sustainability initiative launched by growers, traders and other stakeholders in the palm oil industry, Winrock reviews existing tools and equations used to measure the impact of turning forests into palm oil plantations.
Transitioning land from forest or grassland to cultivation for biofuels has implications for greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Renewable Fuel Standard 2 rulemaking process, Winrock is responsible for evaluating and analyzing the emissions implications of land conversion taking place around the world as a result of increased demand for biofuels
Because forests have the capacity to store carbon, land management is a critical tool to address climate change. Fact-based decision making relies on accurate measurement of forest carbon. Winrock has conducted field training and developed a measurement methodology and manual that is being to create the biomass equations necessary to measure forest carbon stocks in Laos. These equations will be used in the country’s National Forest Inventory.
The government of Liberia has embraced Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) as a tool to improve the management of its forests and capture climate finance opportunities that reward conservation. Winrock is assisting the government in its development of a REDD Readiness Program. In particular, Winrock provides training and technical assistance to develop estimates of both historical greenhouse gas emissions resulting from deforestation and expected future emissions in the absence of improved land use management. This information will then be used to demonstrate emissions reductions that result from improved land management.
Like many other developing countries, Mozambique is exploring how it can reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to land use. The country is also eager to participate in global Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) efforts, which provide countries financial incentives for sustainably managing their forests. As part of that effort, Winrock is providing technical assistance to Mozambique to help identify drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and to develop strategies to address the problem.
Chile is investigating the role its forests should play in reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. With funding supplied by the World Bank, this program provides technical support to Chile’s National Forestry Commission as it formulates an emissions reduction program.
Heavily forested Guyana is at the forefront of global Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) efforts. In particular, the South American nation has signed an agreement with the government of Norway that financially rewards Guyana for protecting its forests from development. This program enhances the agreement’s transparency and credibility by providing monitoring, reporting and verification services. Winrock has been working with Guyana since 2010 to design its approaches to account for past emissions from forests as well as emissions reductions achieved through REDD programs. These accounting approaches have enabled Guyana to receive performance payments from Norway.
Technology and innovation will create the 21st century’s best and highest-paying jobs. To help its home state reap the benefits of technology-driven economic development, Winrock’s Innovate Arkansas program is a critical resource for the state’s entrepreneurs. Through one-on-one client assistance specific to a company’s needs, we work to transform promising ideas and inventions into sustainable businesses.
American consumers increasingly recognize that locally grown food is not only fresh and delicious, but also provides communities important environmental and economic benefits. The Wallace Center at Winrock International is collaborating with farmers, wholesalers, distributors and other partners in Maryland to meet the state’s burgeoning demand for local food through food hubs. By delivering collective marketing, packaging, product aggregation and other activities, food hubs improve the financial viability of producers and increase the availability of nutritious food.
REDD, or Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, is one of those rare acronyms that actually spells out exactly what it means. But calculating the greenhouse gas impacts of REDD policies and developing strategies that provide livelihoods for local populations while conserving carbon-storing forests is anything but simple. Yet accurate accounting is essential to enable payments to cover the costs of these programs. Winrock provides technical assistance to help the Ghana Forestry Commission achieve these important objectives.
Puerto Rico depends on agriculture for food security and the health of its rural economies. But farming activities are also a major source of nitrous oxide emissions and water pollution caused by agricultural run-off. This program creates a pathway for farmers to participate in environmental markets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve water quality.
The demand for palm oil has provided vital economic opportunities to many Indonesians. At the same time, the conversion of forests and drainage of peatland to create palm oil plantations is a leading source of Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Winrock has designed two scalable and replicable pilot projects that demonstrate the feasibility of improving the management of peatland areas currently devoted to palm oil production — an approach that would reduce emissions while increasing long-term sustainability.
Overcrowded classrooms, low pay and limited professional development makes it hard to be a teacher in Malawi. And low teacher morale makes it tough for children to get a quality education. Japan Tobacco International, which sources much of its tobacco in Malawi and funds the ARISE pilot program there, is providing training and resources to teachers in three rural areas of the country where ARISE is active. This support for teachers helps improve the quality of education and contributes to lower levels of child labor.
Millions of people in Nepal have no access to electricity and rely on firewood, kerosene and cow dung for lighting and cooking. The resulting conditions harm human health, are damaging to the environment and make economic development more challenging. To address this, Winrock is working with a range of stakeholders — including the Asian Development Bank, the Government of Nepal, and businesses and communities — to promote smart partnerships and policies to increase the availability of clean energy.
Crops that spoil or arrive at market in a condition consumers reject are a missed opportunity for Bangladesh to reduce its food insecurity and increase the profits of its small farmers. To address that problem, the Cold Chain Bangladesh Alliance is helping small farmers produce high-value products local consumers want and to establish the cold chain infrastructure (basically, a refrigerated supply chain) necessary to deliver those goods to market.
Social and economic pressures far too often lead Tanzanian children into the workforce. The Promoting Sustainable Practices to Eradicate Child Labor in Tobacco program, or PROSPER, seeks to prevent and withdraw youth of all ages from child labor, especially in the tobacco industry. PROSPER addresses the root causes that fuel child labor and offers alternatives through everything from vocational agriculture training, scholarships, entrepreneurship and business skill education for mothers to policy and advocacy initiatives. By collaborating with the government, private sector employers, communities and civil society organizations, PROSPER seeks to eliminate child labor in tobacco growing areas of Tanzania.
Increasing awareness that local food is nutritious and good for both the environment and the economy has propelled the growth of regional food economies. In order to encourage more investment in regional food systems and sustainable agriculture, it’s important to showcase the benefits to local economies and communities. This program seeks to build awareness by assisting The Wallace Center at Winrock International in expanding the reach of its National Good Food Network by developing a regional food economies working group and fellows program, and by supporting a national communications strategy that underscores the economic benefits of fostering local food systems.
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