OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Hunger Index

Hunger Index is using available hunger data and analytics to develop maps and info-graphics for the emergency response industry.

Photo of Richard Ashaba
2 1

Written by

Hunger Index is using available hunger data and analytics to develop maps and info-graphics for the emergency response industry.

We also hope to use our data visualization tools to raise awareness within communities about existing hunger hot-spots for communal action.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest prevalence of hunger with one in four persons is undernourished, World Food Program also calculates that US$3.2 billion is needed per year to reach all 66 million hungry school age children and we realize that this is a very reachable target if this data was available in a context easily understood by all people.

Food wastage is also high in Sub-Saharan Africa with over a third of the food produced going to waste most times attributed to limited information between areas with a lot and those with shortage.

We have a mission ensure that hunger will be completely curbed to zero through ensuring that information about hunger hit areas can easily accessed in formats that can easily be used by all people.

Explain your idea

Data on areas experiencing surplus food production and those experiencing food shortages is available in several databases by UN agencies and governments over the world. However, the data is not accessible or useful for individuals and institutions not involved in food assistance industry because the data is either too technical or unpleasant to view Sub - Saharan Africa has had the least progress towards reducing hunger in the past years, where more than one in four people remain undernourished – the highest prevalence of any region in the world. Many of my fellow Africans are dying because of a problem that can easily be solved if information available is easy and convenient to use for relief professionals and communities. Our data visualization online and offline tools will transform this data into actionable, easily understandable information and make it available for individuals, nonprofits and corporate CSR departments for them to discover new ways to redistribute excess food to needy communities. This information is packaged both online in a smart-phone app and mobile-responsive website, as well as offline in printed newsletters. We hope that by equipping hunger relief professionals and communities with actionable, easy-to-use information, hunger will be a thing of the past by 2050.

Who Benefits?

The world food program states that "If women farmers had the same access to resources as men, the number of hungry in the world could be reduced by up to 150 million" and so we are looking to specifically empower more women through our various programs we will launch just for them because they are the most actively involved in food production as far as Sub-Saharan Africa is concerned yet have the least resources so we believe that if we can provide hunger relief agencies and professionals with this information they can best pick out to empower women in Africa to have the same resources as men to reduce the number of people going hungry everyday. Because still research states that when a crisis hits, women are generally the first to sacrifice their food consumption, in order to protect the food consumption of their families.

How is your idea unique?

- Whilst there are other organizations providing this data, accessibility to all people who could potentially help but not involved in the food assistance sector because it is so technical and not pleasant to read but unlike them, we present it in form of simple maps and info-graphics to simplify it for everyone. - Unlike all the others, our data is open source and translated in over 10 most popular languages in every country we work in. - When we avail this data to everyone communities with a lot of food will be able to trade to areas of scarcity and this will dramatically reduce food wastage.

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Prototyping: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing my idea.

Tell us more about you

I am currently still prototyping this project and looking for another collaborator with similar expertise in this field. But regardless, I will have finished designing the website and covered all of the East African countries by October 2017 if my funding targets are met.

Expertise in sector

  • 5-7 years

Organization Filing Status

  • No, but we are a formal initiative through a university.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Richard,

What sort of feedback have you received from the organisations involved in open data and open data mapping?

Photo of Richard Ashaba

We have not received any official response probably because of visibility since we're still just a startup under a University though during our pilot we have had interaction with officials from Food Agriculture Organization, they embraced it since they indicated that this would even make it easier to identify hunger hit spots.