Data in Emergencies Geospatial Work in Emergency Assessments
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) established the Data in Emergencies (DIEM) Hub Information System in June 2020. Driven by regularly collected primary data, its objective is to understand the impact of shocks in food crisis contexts and inform decision-making in support of agricultural livelihoods. The DIEM Hub has been publicly available since June 2021.
As demonstrated in an earlier Agrilinks post, the DIEM-Monitoring system collects, analyses and disseminates data on shocks and livelihoods in countries prone to multiple shocks. DIEM-Monitoring aims to inform decision-making by providing regularly updated information on how different shocks affect the livelihoods and food security of agricultural populations.
In order to understand the impact of large-scale hazards — sudden-onset, slow-onset, natural and human induced — DIEM-Impact conducts assessments to provide a granular and rapid understanding of the impact on agriculture and agricultural livelihoods.
When a disaster occurs, some indicators are provided in the aftermath (ideally the first two weeks) of the shock as a rapid assessment when field data is not yet available. These rapid assessments provide initial indications of the scope of the disaster using satellite imagery-based data together with secondary geospatial information. DIEM-Impact rapid assessments are triggered by FAO Country Offices, local governments or global alert systems (such as the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System or the World Food Programme alert system).
Following the rapid assessment, a detailed impact and needs assessment can be prepared depending on the organization’s needs and the scale of the disaster. At this stage, the initial results of the rapid geospatial assessment are refined, along with the production of additional indicators. DIEM-Impact surveys can be triggered to collect field data in order to better understand the shock. Rapid geospatial assessments also help to identify the most affected areas to be visited when key informant or community surveys are able to be conducted.
Flood historical trends and conflict hotspot geospatial information prepared over several years of flood data obtained from satellite-based technologies or several years of conflict location geospatial analyses, enable better targeting of sampling locations in anticipation of field surveys.
Following a shock, DIEM-Impact estimates the extent of the hazard using earth observation and geospatial data. Satellite imagery, such as Sentinel, Landsat and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data, is used to analyze the location(s) before and after the disaster by applying different models and technical procedures. High-resolution satellite imagery, such as Maxar Technologies, is used to find damaged agricultural infrastructure or agricultural livelihoods, and is used as ground truth data and for visualizations. After quantifying the hazard extent, the exposure is assessed with the help of other auxiliary geospatial data, such as land cover, livestock density, landslide probability, the local crop calendar, livelihood zones, etc. Vulnerability elements are included in the assessment to analyze the micro and macro levels of the impact of the disaster.
These outputs are presented as ArcGIS StoryMaps and include interactive and static maps with detailed narratives about the estimation of the potential impact on the locations and agricultural assets (crop types based on seasonality, livestock numbers, infrastructure, etc.) and recommendations. Additionally, DIEM-Impact assessments integrated with DIEM-Monitoring survey findings are presented as reports and dashboards on the DIEM Hub.
We invite you to explore the StoryMaps linked below. These StoryMaps have been published over the last few weeks. Do not hesitate to get in touch to learn more about these assessments or DIEM’s geospatial work in general.
Earthquakes in Afghanistan, October 2023
Over the last month, several earthquakes in the province of Herat, Afghanistan, have claimed many victims and will have an impact on agricultural production. DIEM has analyzed satellite images for potential damage and has determined that almost 580,000 hectares (ha) of agricultural land have been damaged by the earthquakes.
Storm Daniel, Libya, September 2023
Geospatial technology has enabled DIEM to rapidly analyze the damage caused by storm Daniel in Libya. While remote-sensing data revealed a small percentage of flooded farmland, the impact of the floods on farming and fishing activities could be considerable, given the damage caused to irrigation networks, roads, markets, storage structures and other infrastructure.
Flooding in Chad, 2023
Above-average rainfall for the 2023 rainy season in Chad has prompted DIEM to initiate a detailed satellite assessment of the extent of flooded cropland. By September 15, 2023, almost 352,000 ha of cultivated land had been flooded, with foreseeable consequences for agricultural production and food security.
Monitoring floods in the Sahel and Central Africa, 2023
DIEM continues to track the evolution of flooding in the Sahel and Central Africa during the flood risk season. The total and agricultural areas flooded are updated every two weeks in order to assess the impact on agricultural production as accurately as possible. The latest update, conducted on October 15, 2023, indicates a decreasing trend of flood extent for almost all countries, except Central African Republic.