Using Technology To Keep Tabs on Food Security in Rwanda

WFP is turning to technology to support the Rwandan Government build its capacity to develop, design and manage programmes to improve the food security in the country.

 In June 2015 WFP provided 150 computer tablets worth US$ 89,000, to assist the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) to collect timely and accurate information that will help assess the food security situation across the country.

"These tablets will allow the government to collect real time data on how people are eating, how much they pay for food and where potential pockets of hunger are developing,” said Jean-Pierre de Margerie, WFP Country Director. “This will help give the government a more precise picture of the needs of the country, improving their ability to design and target support to the most vulnerable.”

The tablets are also a major time saver, as staff on fact-finding missions will be able to update the central database from the field. Entering information at the point of capture improves data quality and security, reduces data access time and eliminates the use of printing materials.

Training was provided to 10 government staff and partners in accurate data collection using the tablets and how to carry out an Emergency Needs Assessment with more focus on food security and related issues. The trained staff will trainers others in their respective institutions.

Food security analysis is a core function of WFP’s work and is the basis for the design of all operations. It provides information to identify the most food-insecure people, to ensure the most effective targeting and to identify the most appropriate type and scale of intervention, whether food distributions, school feeding or more innovative interventions such as cash or voucher programmes. WFP has been providing assistance to the Rwandan Government to undertake food security assessments for many years, during both normal and emergency periods including droughts.

WFP’s vision is to see Rwanda become a food secure country, achieve its vision 2020, the second economic development and poverty reduction strategy (EDPRS 2) and the millennium development goals. In Rwanda, WFP provides food assistance to around 200,000 people including refugees in camps.