Fighting Back Against A Hunger and malnutrition Epidemic


Fighting Back Against A Hunger and malnutrition Epidemic


Malnutrition is known as the single greatest threat to child survival. Each year 3.1 million children die from hunger-related causes — a staggering number which accounts for nearly half of all child deaths globally.

We were given an opportunity to develop a digital tool named SMART+, to enhance operations and global nutritional surveillance for Action Against Hunger (AAF): A game changing non-profit organization with over 40-years of experience in food crises response and a vision to permanently end world hunger.

Unifying the way organizations and world powers manage data

For world powers, defeating hunger on a global scale is affordable, however treating and preventing the issue is not as straightforward as sending food. In order to ensure that food and resources are distributed efficiently, Action Against Hunger is working to track the location and severity of malnutrition in developing areas.

One thing that has remained clear to Action Against Hunger is that in order to resolve a hunger epidemic, cooperation from many organizations will be needed. Underlying ambitions to unify the way malnutrition is tracked and establish a common solution for managing data between organizations is now being made a reality through SMART+, a set of digital tools we’ve developed in collaboration with our client to aid in the collection, sharing and comparison of data.

It starts with the SMARTcollect mobile app which allows for streamlined and standardized collection of malnutrition data. By convincing other organizations to use this infrastructure, it will allow data to be compared, meaning that organizations will be able to rely on each other’s data and focus their resources more effectively.
The Platform is used by Survey Managers to set up collection surveys and manage survey data. After the results of a survey are validated by the manager, they are sent to the Aggregator and Dashboard.
The Aggregator is where donors can see a list of all the surveys that have been completed, and can select surveys to view a summary of its results.
Using the Global Dashboard, sharing and visualizing data from all surveys is made simple. The data can also be filtered to only include certain areas of interest and demographics.

Overcoming Technical Challenges

Due to the sensitivity of information, it was our goal to ensure that data security was a top priority of this project. We also worked to ensure that no data is lost because the surveys can be difficult and potentially dangerous to conduct leaving little margin for re-collection.

One of the biggest challenges that we needed to overcome was poor or non-existent internet connection in the areas where surveys are conducted. As a result, the SMARTcollect app was designed in a way such that it could handle the internet cutting out or being unavailable. Additionally, the SMART sites have been optimized for lower-spec devices, which are more commonly used by AAH when out in developing areas.

A New Chapter Begins...

As of now, the SMART+ solution is actively being used to survey communities within South Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia and is quickly gaining popularity from other countries. Once properly load tested, it is anticipated that hundreds of surveys could be conducted simultaneously — an occurrence which would not be possible otherwise.

It is our hope that SMART+, continues to have a positive impact and helps Action Against Hunger reach their goal of permanently ending world hunger.

To learn more about the organization or make a donation, you can visit Action Against Hunger online.

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