Scientists have developed the simplest way to monitor food security using a smartphone app, which mixes weather and soil wet data from satellites with crowd-sourced information on the vulnerability of the population to malnutrition and other relevant socio-economic data.
Drought and failure will usually be expected by observance the weather and measure soil wet. However other risk factors, like socio-economic issues or violent conflicts, will endanger food security too.
For organisations like Doctors without Borders (MSF), it’s crucial to get data regarding vulnerable regions as soon as possible, so they need an opportunity to provide facilitate before it’s too late.
The system developed by scientists at Vienna University of Technology and therefore the International Institute for Applied analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria, has yielded promising results throughout tests within the Central African Republic.
“Today, smartphones are obtainable even in developing countries, then we tend to set to develop an app, that we referred to as SATIDA COLLECT, to help us collect the necessary data,” said IIASA-based app developer Mathias Karner.
The digital form of SATIDA COLLECT are often adapted to local eating habits, because the answers and therefore the GPS coordinates of each assessment are stored regionally on the phone.
When an internet connection is offered, the collected information are uploaded to a server and might be analysed along with satellite-derived data regarding drought risk.
In the end a map could be created, highlighting areas where the danger of malnutrition is high.
For Doctors without Borders, such maps are extraordinarily valuable. They facilitate to set up future activities and supply help as soon as it is required.