Partnership launched for a rapid response to data-driven hunger



Partnership launched for a rapid response to data-driven hunger

VIDEO Launch of the Jameel Observatory for Food Security Early Action Share Copy Embed

The University of Edinburgh will use its expertise in data-driven innovation to combine data, information and local knowledge to better predict climate risks

NAIROBI, Kenya, September 21, 2021 / APO Group / –

Leading research and humanitarian agencies have joined forces to harness data and technology to stop climate shocks leading to hunger in vulnerable pastoralist communities.

The Jameel Observatory for Food Security Early Action is being established to help address the growing threat to people in the world’s drylands posed by the increasing severity and frequency of climate-related disasters.

The new venture will bring together the expertise of five partners – the University of Edinburgh, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Save the Children, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and Community Jameel .

The partnership will link cutting-edge technology and data monitoring on warning signs of severe weather and systemic climate change with community applications and interventions.

The Jameel Observatory will collaborate with agencies that work with farmers to develop and apply digital and analytical tools that help them shape their own food security, nutrition and livelihoods.

The researchers plan to use community-level data with satellites, drones, weather data and remote sensing to understand, prepare for, and mitigate the likely impact of climate shocks.

The Jameel Observatory’s first project aims to fill the evidence gaps that currently prevent effective forecast-based action to protect the livelihoods and nutrition of children and their families in parts of Africa. ballast.

As the world turns its attention to the United Nations Food Systems Summit and COP26, the emphasis is on the need to be fully prepared for the vulnerabilities, shocks and stresses triggered by climate change.

Drylands, home to billions of people and represent 40 percent of the world’s land area, are threatened by fluctuating rainfall, drought, rising temperatures and land degradation. These create insecurity and conflict caused by competition for resources.

By the time the full force of these crises is felt and hunger sets in, it is often too late to respond effectively, experts say.

Each partner will provide specific insights into the work of the Jameel Observatory. The University of Edinburgh will use its expertise in data-driven innovation to combine local data, information and knowledge to better predict climate risks, encourage coordinated actions and guide interventions.

The Jameel Observatory will be based at the International Institute for Livestock Research in East Africa. ILRI works with hundreds of partners across the continent and is home to the Mazingira Center and other projects focused on food security and environmental research in drylands.

Save the Children has worked to fight hunger and malnutrition in some of the world’s most difficult places for 100 years. The aid agency brings a wealth of practical and programmatic experience helping communities respond, prepare and adapt. Save the Children is committed to strengthening forecast-based response to food crises by using tools such as household economic analysis to predict the impacts of climate shocks on vulnerable families.

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab is an assessment and knowledge partner and will connect the Jameel Observatory with teams of researchers to help evaluate the initiative’s interventions. J-PAL will also share evidence on effective adaptation and climate change programs from the existing experimental assessment literature.

Community Jameel is an international organization tackling some of the world’s most pressing problems and challenges, with actions and solutions based on evidence, science, data and technology. It has supported the Jameel Observatory and has provided its expertise in setting up collaborative institutes and research programs for 75 years.

Fady Jameel, Vice President of Community Jameel, said: “The Jameel Observatory continues Community Jameel’s tradition of supporting initiatives that align expertise, resources and data to have impact. It will tackle the effects of the climate crisis – the great challenge of our time – with bold solutions that combine international, regional and local perspectives, ensuring that they are fit for purpose and can be implemented at any time. large scale. As the Jameel family celebrates 75 years of philanthropy and business this year, we are inspired by our partners in this new venture and look forward to making our own strategic contribution to ensure its success.

George Richards, Director of Community Jameel, said: “Evidence and data are essential to unlock effective responses to the threat of climate change on vulnerable communities. The Jameel Observatory’s approach will shift from responding to the climate crisis to data-driven anticipation and adaptation, helping to find better solutions to the challenge of food insecurity. We are honored to support the launch of this center of excellence and to offer Community Jameel’s experience in developing and mobilizing partnerships that unite leading scientific expertise with locally tailored action to tackle this urgent problem.

Alan Duncan, from the World Academy of Agriculture and Food Security at the University of Edinburgh, said: “The Jameel Observatory will provide targeted decision-making tools to those who face the greatest impacts. difficult climate change. We know that no organization has the capacity to address the complexities faced by dryland communities. With expertise in data-driven innovation in a range of contexts, the University of Edinburgh is uniquely positioned to lead this partnership by bringing pastoral communities together with experts in big data, Earth observation and food security. . Our work must tackle real problems encountered by real people. The project aims to complement other food security initiatives already underway. “

Hassan Bashir, founding director of Nourishing Nomads Limited and director of the Inclusive Insurance Development Agency, said “Pastoral markets in Africa are remote, disaggregated and costly to sustainably maintain. Innovative models that take advantage of data and analysis can help improve efficiency, scale and impact in pastoral regions of Africa.

Joanne Grace, Hunger and Livelihoods Manager at Save the Children, said: “In a world increasingly affected by climate change, it is of urgent importance to anticipate the impact of droughts and droughts. severe weather events on hunger and malnutrition and to act early to prevent lives being lost. . Getting it right would be monumental for children’s health for decades to come. The Jameel Observatory aims to ensure that acting early to prevent food crises becomes the norm rather than the exception. “

Jimmy Smith, ILRI Executive Director, said: “We are delighted to welcome and help inaugurate the official opening of the Jameel Observatory. Like ILRI, the Jameel Observatory is a center dedicated to research for development. Its focus on arid lands and fragile ecosystems could not be more timely. The need to work with pastoral peoples as well as with other organizations that serve them is essential if we are to help pastoral communities prepare for climate-related food security and nutrition shocks.

Iqbal Dhaliwal, Global Executive Director of J-PAL, said: “Climate change is the defining issue of this century. We are honored to join this partnership and support investments in rigorous assessment and evidence-informed decision-making to help ensure that people on the frontlines of climate impacts and living in poverty are not left behind. . “

More information can be found on the Jameel Observatory website:

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