Mobiles can help prevent famine
The World Food Programme (WFP) uses mobile technology to predict potential famine more rapidly. Leiden University's Centre for Innovation is developing a Leiden University online course for professionals to learn the technique.
The world is regularly shocked by famine. At the moment, the north of Nigeria and Yemen are suffering. Mobile information could help aid organisations to combat or even prevent famine in the future.
The United Nation's World Food Programme has for several years been gathering data that give an insight into the food supplies in particular areas. Inhabitants of risk areas in Africa, the Middle East, Afghanistan and Ukraine can indicate by SMS or automated calls whether they have enough to eat. This information will give the WFP real-time insight into the food situation in vulnerable areas.
Small Private Online Course
The Online Learning Lab at Leiden University - part of the Centre for Innovation – is currently developing an online course to teach staff of the WFP about the programme. This so-called Small Private Online Course (SPOC) includes instruction videos, webcasts, reading material and assignments.
The interdisciplinary team at the Centre for Innovation regularly plays a role in providing innovative solutions for issues in the field of humanitarian aid, peace and justice. In January 2017 the United Nations will open a new data centre for humanitarian aid in The Hague. The Centre for Innovation is closely involved in this initiative.