Somalia: FSAU launches innovative information management technology products

Originally published
The Food Security Analysis Unit for Somalia (FSAU), implemented by FAO and funded by the EC and USAID, is launching innovative Information Management Technology (IMT) products to assist information dissemination and policy making in the field of Food Security and Nutrition.
The products include the web site, the Digital Library (DILI), the FSAU Field Information Capture System (FICS), the Health Information System (in collaboration with UNICEF and WHO), GIS and Remote Sensing system improvements, and other IMT developments. The current phase of FSAU is placing significant emphasis on "linking information to action" and "making information easily available to a wide range of users". The following IMT products help accomplish those goals: -- The FSAU web site is a comprehensive resource with the latest information on Somali food security, nutrition, and livelihoods. On the new web site, you can find all FSAU products such as the Food Security and Nutrition reports (in both English and Somali languages), Climate Data Update, Market Data Update, maps, data sets, baselines, and other current and historical FSAU outputs. All items are available for viewing and downloading.

Digital Library (DILI) and Resource Center -- The FSAU Resource Center is a fantastic place to sit and read from our extensive library of Somali Food Security and Nutrition related information. At the Resource Center (located in our Nairobi office) one can access the FSAU Digital Library (DILI). DILI is an invaluable resource for anyone who is looking for current or historical food security and nutrition information items (reports, academic articles, statistical and spatial data sets, maps, photos, audios, etc.) All the items are easily retrieved in 'soft' or digital format and distributed freely. The items include FSAU products as well as available information from partners, NGO's, the press, universities, etc. Eventually, DILI will be accessible any where in the world via the web site. DILI's development depends on YOU! FSAU eagerly solicits submissions to DILI (i.e., any reports, articles, books, ppt presentations, maps, photos, CVs, etc. related to Somali Food Security, Nutrition, and Livelihoods) -- kindly send as an email attachment to:

Health Information System (HIS) -- A collaborative effort between FSAU, UNICEF, and WHO, the Health Information System is a database software that contains health statistics collected from health institutions in Somalia. Using standardized forms and analytical format, the data base enables information users to have a one-stop graphical analysis of malnutrition levels, diseases and immunization statistics collected at health facilities around the country. FSAU provides the central hub for all nutrition statistics while UNICEF and WHO are responsible for immunization and morbidity data sets, respectively.

Field Information Capture System (FICS) -- The FSAU Field Information Capture System (FICS) incorporates custom built FSAU software components and the latest satellite phone technologies to collect and store field-based data in real time. Point data such as the location of towns, settlements, bore holes, emergency crisis areas (Tsunami affected areas, locust tracking, etc.), field staff, etc, is retrieved from the GPS feature of the Thuraya phones and sent from the field to Nairobi using Short Messaging System (SMS). The various data received from the field are stored in the FSAU Integrated Database and viewed on a web-based map in real time (as soon as they are received from the field). The FICS information collected and sent from the field is used for early warning, response to immediate livelihood emergencies, updating our spatial database, and for the security and management of field staff.

GIS and Remote Sensing System -- FSAU has built upon an already strong GIS and Remote Sensing system by restructuring and standardized procedures to increase efficiency and accessibility of our diverse spatial data sets. Using field-based data, satellite imagery, and secondary data and analysis from USGS/FEWS and MARS/JRC, FSAU analyzes Somali climate change. FSAU analyzes spatial layers to produce maps on health care facility locations, nutrition status, population density, livestock migration, agriculture production, and various other layers. All data sets and maps are distributed freely from our web site and digital library (DILI) for your download and use.