WFP calling…what did you eat today?

Blog entry originally posted in July 2014 on the Humanitarian Innovation Fund website.


This month, we take a look back at the data we’ve collected so far in Democratic Republic of Congo. We also explain what we’ve done to ensure that people answer our phone surveys. Finally, we provide an update about the start of our interactive voice response calls.

We’re also glad to share a short video clip about Agnes, a resident of Mugunga 3 camp near Goma in the eastern DRC. We have been calling Agnes and people like her every month. The clip gives a good idea of how mVAM is implemented in Mugunga 3.

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Agnes (Photo: WFP/David Orr.)

What the data from DR Congo is telling us

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Source: mVAM phone surveys. Cross-tabulation of the food consumption score and reduced coping strategies index.

The mVAM project attempts to offer quick, affordable food security data for decision-making.  In that spirit, we recently put together a summary of our findings in DRC. Our summary bulletin shows that food security indicators in the camp have tended to vary according to the amount of food assistance that is provided. Indeed, these indicators deteriorated when food assistance stopped in early 2014, and improved as some assistance resumed from April. The data we’ve collected to date seems to match reality on the ground.

Maintaining response rates to phone surveys in DRC and Somalia

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Source: WFP. Round 1 took place in Feburary 2014 in DRC, in April 2014 in Somalia.

Our surveys involve calling the same people every month, in order to track their food security status through time.  Ensuring that as many as possible respond to our calls every month is therefore a priority, and a challenge. The figure that follows shows how response rates have varied in DRC and Somalia.

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