SBAIC Member Sonjara participated in USAID’s Hack4Hunger, the Food Security Open Data Challenge. In less than 36 hours, Sonjara went from concept to functional prototype which addresses a critical area in food security: capturing data on food and micronutrient deficiencies in developing countries. USAID honored Sonjara’s contribution by including Sonjara in one of the four winning teams, presenting their work at the World Hunger Day in Iowa (October 16th, 2012).
Sonjara built the Food Frequency Method Online (FFMO) http://www.foodfrequencyonline.org/, a cloud-based open source prototype for NGOs and governments surveying food security and child survival.
Based on the Helen Keller International Food Frequency Method for Vitamin A Deficiency, the FFMO maps currently offer paper-based food frequency survey methods to measure malnutrition in under-five year olds by household. Not only does the FFMO make the scientifically validated method more efficient, but it also brings in “just in time” open source data into the survey design process.
For example, survey managers select dates of the survey by looking at critical temperature and precipitation data from the World Bank for the target country, allowing them to decide when the best time to perform the survey, based on their goals. Managers also select and identify communities to be surveyed using Google maps. The FFMO also automatically tracks the status of interviewers and calculates questionnaire results. The tool can bring in additional outside data to put the results into context, making for better design of appropriate interventions. Finally, the FFMO makes the data exportable to be shared back with the food security/child survival community.
The USAID Hack4Hunger convened entrepreneurs, food security stakeholders, data experts, programmers, and volunteers over the weekend to build powerful new technology applications to tackle critical food security challenges in developing countries. http://idea.usaid.gov/opendata/challengequestions
Sonjara builds custom technology applications to address international development and other social challenges, using our rapid application framework, Fakoli (www.fakoli.org). We have a deep history of working in international development with USAID and its partners.