The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) activity, is pleased to announce the launch of the FEWS NET COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts on Food Insecurity Data Visualization. The interactive visualization combines FEWS NET’s early warning analyses and estimated peak population in need of emergency food assistance in its 29 presence and remote monitoring countries with daily deaths, total cases, and other factors related to the pandemic that may affect food insecurity (such as lockdowns, movement restrictions, and closure of businesses and public services). By combining country-level food security status, estimates of population in need, and COVID-19 related government responses—the primary drivers of economic downturns—this visualization sheds light on the implications of the COVID-19 crisis on food security in FEWS NET countries.

The FEWS NET Learning and Data Hub (Hub), implemented by Kimetrica, worked collaboratively with other FEWS NET implementing partners and USAID to identify visualization components, develop, and deploy the visualization map using Mapbox Studio. The Hub development team established Application Programming Interface (API) linkages to direct data from the FEWS NET Data Warehouse (FDW), a software managed by the Hub, onto the map via the FEWS NET website. Data sources stored in the FDW and displayed on the visualization include:

  • Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) phase data on food security outcomes provided by FEWS NET;
  • The COVID-19 API Project, which sourced data from the Johns Hopkins Whiting Center for Engineering, Center for Systems Science and Engineering; and
  • Country Government Measures dataset from ACAPS, which is a non-profit, non-governmental project that provides international, independent humanitarian analysis.

Combining data from the IPC Acute Food Insecurity—on a scale of 1 (Minimal) to 5 (Famine)—with real-time COVID-19 external APIs, the development team produced a map that allows users to draw correlations between the pandemic and its impact on food security across the 29 FEWS NET presence countries. Users can interact with the visualization to select a specific country and see several data points. Using Ethiopia as an example in the image below, data points include:

1. Links to FEWS NET’s alert page for the country (box in the upper left hand corner); 

2. The IPC classification for the country’s geographic units (box in the upper right hand corner); and

3. Data on COVID-19 cases, death, and government measures (box in the lower left hand corner).

USAID anticipates FEWS NET will update both the visualization and the resources available on the webpage (i.e., weekly briefings, associated global alerts, and more) on an ongoing basis. Subscribe to FEWS NET Updates or contact for more information.

About Kimetrica

Kimetrica provides research, evaluation, survey, information management, and modeling and simulation services for evidence-based decision-making and learning. Kimetrica works with governments and non-profit organizations to increase the impact and efficiency of their social investments, enhance accountability, manage critical risks, and build donor or taxpayer confidence. Kimetrica has successfully managed IDIQ mechanisms and more than 100 analytical and support activities, primarily in East Africa but also around the world. Kimetrica has offices in Broomfield, Colorado; Washington DC; Nairobi, Kenya; and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


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