Food security monitoring via mobile data collection and remote sensing: results from the Central African Republic

Enenkel M, See L, Karner M, Alvarez M, Rogenhofer E, Baraldes-Vallverdu C, Lanusse C, & Slase N (2015). Food security monitoring via mobile data collection and remote sensing: results from the Central African Republic. PLoS ONE 10 (11): e0142030. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0142030.

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Abstract

The Central African Republic is one of the world's most vulnerable countries, suffering from chronic poverty, violent conflicts and weak disaster resilience. In collaboration with Doctors without Borders/Midecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), this study presents a novel approach to collect information about socio-economic vulnerabilities related to malnutrition, access to resources and coping capacities. The first technical test was carried out in the North of the country (sub-prefecture Kabo) in May 2015. All activities were aimed at the investigation of technical feasibility, not at operational data collection, which requires a random sampling strategy. At the core of the study is an open-source Android application named SATIDA COLLECT that facilitates rapid and simple data collection. All assessments were carried out by local MSF staff after they had been trained for one day. Once a mobile network is available, all assessments can easily be uploaded to a database for further processing and trend analysis via MSF in-house software. On one hand, regularly updated food security assessments can complement traditional large-scale surveys, whose completion can take up to eight months. Ideally, this leads to a gain in time for disaster logistics. On the other hand, recording the location of every assessment via the smart phones. GPS receiver helps to analyze and display the coupling between drought risk and impacts over many years. Although the current situation in the Central African Republic is mostly related to violent conflict it is necessary to consider information about drought risk, because climatic shocks can further disrupt the already vulnerable system. SATIDA COLLECT can easily be adapted to local conditions or other applications, such as the evaluation of vaccination campaigns. Most importantly, it facilitates the standardized collection of information without pen and paper, as well as straightforward sharing of collected data with the MSF headquarters or other aid organizations.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Bibliographic Reference: PLoS ONE; 10(11):e0142030 [November 2015]
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:52
Last Modified: 09 May 2016 14:08
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/11336

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