According to Statistica, the number of mobile phone users in the world is expected to pass the five billion mark by 2019. This indispensable technology has become a source of data unimaginable just a few decades ago. In the process has made the invisible visible and the threats that face them all of our concern.
As an example, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has pioneered a mobile data collection and reporting system to reach far beyond where traditional enumerators can go to capture data. At the doorstep of the most serious humanitarian crisis since the Second World War, WFP’s mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (mVAM) collects household food security and market price data from communities in areas where food security is threatened by conflict, natural disasters, or displacement. Not only does this approach provide a way to hear from people in inaccessible areas, but it also makes near real-time reporting to local decision-makers possible, enabling a faster and more informed humanitarian response.
This session will explore the strategic opportunity and technical underpinnings of mobile data collection and reporting in some of the planet’s most challenging situations. It will also explore how to create mechanisms for integrating mobile data sources into traditional and non-traditional reporting tools, and share mVAM’s approach to managing change in the agency’s reporting. It will provide a window for national statistics offices and planning officials to explore alternative methods and incumbent challenges of collecting data from vulnerable populations.