Country of Operation
- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)Foreign aid agency or multilateral organization
SummaryRapidSMS is helping detect and monitor malnutrition in Ethiopia through a cell-phone based application.
Using RapidSMS system to detect and monitor malnutrition in Ethiopia
Key program components
In October 2008, Ethiopia experienced crippling droughts. Faced with the possibility of famine, UNICEF Ethiopia launched a massive food distribution program to supply the high-protein food Plumpy’nut to under-nourished children at more than 1,800 feeding centres in the country. Malnutrition is responsible for more than half of all deaths among children under age five. The number of chronically malnourished children has decreased since 1996, but remains alarmingly high.
Previously, UNICEF monitored the distribution of food by sending a small set of individuals who traveled to each feeding center. The monitor wrote down the amount of food that was received, was distributed, and if more food was needed. There had been a two week to two month delay between the collection of that data and analysis, prolonging action. In a famine situation each day can mean the difference between recovery, starvation, or even death. The Ethiopian implementation of RapidSMS completely eliminated the delay.
RapidSMS Ethiopia was designed specifically to:
- To monitor reporting activity,
- View and analyze incoming supply reports immediately,
- Send custom messages to field monitors,
- Broadcast announcements and updates to all field monitors,
- Export data to Excel,
- Generate customized reports,
- Visualize data (delivery status, number of new beneficiaries, stock levels, etc) on a map,
- Generate graphical summaries of activities