Workshop on Using Data to Enhance Food security
Workshop on Using Data to Enhance Food Security
August 16, 2012
USIP Headquarters Building
Food security is a product of coordinated activity from food production through processing and storage to distribution, marketing, retail, and consumption. Disruption at any point across this chain of activity can render a region’s food supply insecure. In detecting and responding to such disruptions, how can the work of agencies addressing food security be enhanced by more effective sharing of information among them? What kind of technology platforms and associated protocols for providing and sharing data would advance this objective?
Specifically, in the process of developing programming to respond to diminished food security in a given region, how can data sharing enable greater program effectiveness? For example, what data would provide a better understanding of needs in country and help identify those intervention activities most likely to enhance food security? How can collaboration and data sharing platforms and technology help to build the stakeholder networks necessary to generate the political will, monetary support, and operational capability necessary to support interventions? And finally, what is the role of data sharing in supporting monitoring and evaluation, learning, and the dissemination of best practice in food security?
This workshop will brings together a range of food security specialists, technologists, and data specialists working in food security to investigate these issues and explore various ongoing data sharing and technology initiatives working to improve the performance and impact of food security interventions.
8:00 a.m. Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Welcome and Goals for the Day
Co-Chairs: Elmer Roman, DoD; Sheldon Himelfarb, USIP
8:45 a.m. Identifying Data for More Effective Programming in Food Security
To support a data-driven approach to developing programming for food security requires a broad data set to capture the complexity of the food security problem. Market prices (for input, outputs and agricultural services), rainfall, soil characteristics, vegetation cover, capacity building activities (by NGOs, IOs, and local government), and even measures of political stability are potentially relevant to better detecting and responding to food crises. How can better use of data assist in shifting the focus of food security activities from short term humanitarian work into longer term capacity building?
Moderator: Sheldon Himelfarb, USIP
10:30 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. Shared Data, Analysis and Standards for Enhanced Food Security
Technology is improving the international community’s capacity to respond to food crises. For example, USAID’s Famine Early Warning System (FEWSNET) has long been the de facto standard for detecting emerging food crises. With online resources like Interaction’s Food Security Aid Map and the Sahel Food Crisis mapping project, tools are emerging that offer better situational awareness and heightened capacity to manage an integrated response. How were these approaches developed and how have they affected the international community’s response to food security crises?
Moderator: Elmer Roman, DoD
12:30 p.m. Lunch
1:15 p.m. Table Top Exercise (Farooq Kathwari Amphitheater)
By making the scope and scale of humanitarian and development activity in an area visible, collaboration software can improve coordination between actors and thereby improve outcomes in targeted society. This session will use the UNITY platform to demonstrate how even limited information sharing can positively affect intervention outcomes.
Facilitator: Mark Hainsey, USACE
Steve Wood, Integrasure
2:45 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m. Response to Exercise (B241)
Given the morning discussion on how to organize to share data and exploit technology in support of food security intervention, and the table top exercise, what types of functionality and data sets are necessary to support engagement by NGOs performing work to enhance food security? Finally, what sort of activities can create the working relations between organizations necessary to share information?
Moderators: Elmer Roman, DoD; Sheldon Himelfarb, USIP
4:00 p.m. Adjourn