WFP’s mVAM project collects data by mobile at high frequency in some of the world’s most food insecure communities. In doing so, we have steadily been accumulating reams of data that are begging to be analyzed in-depth – something we just don’t have the resources for. So when Leiden University’s Center for Innovation invited us to submit challenges for the 2015 Data4Food Hackathon, we were totally game, and brought along some of our datasets. The event, which took place in The Hague from September 11th to 13th, included college students, aspiring tech stars but also policy people. The mix of attendees was meant to ensure that proposed approaches had a real-world flavor.
The winners of the Data4Food challenge created an app called ‘What’s the Price’ that helps Indonesian farmers access food price data in real time on their smartphones. The prototype features an appealing icon-based interface.
This is potentially a great use of the food security data that is available on social media or from existing high-frequency monitoring. Second place was awarded to a team that worked on a dashboard to visualize trends in WFP mVAM text message data. Hopefully, a product of this type will make it to our website and help us better share the data we collect.