SWALIM Runs Webinar on Land and Water Data Collection Using Low Cost Smartphones in Somalia

The Somalia Water and Land Information Management project (SWALIM) is one of the few UN development programmes to have information management as its primary mission, and using technologies such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing (RS) and data collection with mobile devices and modern web applications. Under the oversight of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), SWALIM has been able to successfully introduce various technological innovations to benefit communities dependent on fragile land and water resources, despite the very challenging environment in Somalia. Since its launch in 2001, SWALIM has sought to use ICTs to achieve its objectives, introducing innovative approaches and methods adapted to the particular environment in which it operates. As the programme has developed, managers have taken a particular interest to ensure that the initiative makes full use of cutting-edge technologies as they emerge. As a result, SWALIM has become the primary source of reliable information on land and water resources in Somalia, serving as a basis for increased food security through sustainable agriculture. Through a series of webinars offered by the e-agriculture platform, SWALIM seeks to demostrate how it is using technology to improve food security in Somalia, sharing lessons learned with the members of the e-Agriculture Community and other interested participants. The first of a series of webinars was delivered on the 5th of June 2017 focusing on the use of “low cost smartphones to collect land and water data in Somalia”. Collecting data in remote locations in Somalia is complicated by many factors including security constrains for non locals, restriction on the use of data collection equipment such as GPS and cameras and communication barriers among others. To address these challenges, SWALIM has developed a set of land and water data collection tools based on open source software available for low-cost smartphones. SWALIM uses this technology to undertake high quality field data collection in security constrained areas and provides results in a short period. These can be run with or without a network connection, and used to store the collected data for later transmission or uploading. The data collected is transferred to a central computer, which converts it into standard formats for data compilation, aggregation and analysis. The data collected is automatically linked to SWALIM online information platforms and made available to technical experts in near real time. You can access a 30 minute recording of the webinar through this link: http://bit.ly/2r9Fyz2

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