SMARTplus: a Digital System for Fast, Reliable Malnutrition Data Tackling the Health-Crisis in Somalia
By Action Against Hunger Canada
For the last decade, Somalia has suffered from one of the highest rates of emergency-level malnutrition. Lack of timely, reliable nutrition and mortality data prevents humanitarian aid workers from responding appropriately and in time. In addition to a shortage of skilled surveyors, data collection is often biased, costly, slow, and lacks transparency. Lack of quality data is most acute among the poorest and hard to reach populations. The severity and magnitude of suffering must be measured and well-understood, in order for aid organizations and governments to react appropriately and provide life-saving services in a timely manner.
Action Against Hunger Canada’s SMARTplus provides end-to-end digital infrastructure to provide fast, cheap and accurate child body measurements to address malnutrition in children under 5 in conflict affected areas of Somalia. Data from 3D scanning is analyzed for quality assurance, is aggregated into a central database, and results can be visualized on a public dashboard down to sub-regional level, to help inform humanitarian response. This digital infrastructure generates accurate data with less resources (including staff and time), promoting tangible improvements in how governments and aid agencies identify, alert, and react to impending health and nutrition crises, ensuring malnourished children receive life-saving health services.