SS 250 Technology, Policy, and Problem Solving

Purdue University


Unit 8 Assignment

Technology, Policy, and Problem Solving

In 1961 an executive order was created by President John F. Kennedy called the United States Agency for International Development, in order to lead the US government’s international development and humanitarian efforts. “Leading this transformation was President John F. Kennedy. President Kennedy recognized the need to unite development into a single agency responsible for administering aid to foreign countries to promote social and economic development. On November 3, 1961, USAID was born and with it a spirit of progress and innovation. November 3, 2011 marked USAID’s 50th Anniversary of providing U.S. foreign development assistance From the American People. Our workforce and USAID’s culture continues to serve as a reflection of core American values–values that are rooted in a belief for doing the right thing.” (USAID History | U.S. Agency for International Development, 2018).

The USAID is a great fit for Madagascar, the country has been going through lots of political problems as well as natural disasters that have left the country in bad shape. Natural disasters happen pretty often and the country lacks of the tools and resources to be able to recover from these and help providing people with food and medicine needed.

Madagascar, a beautiful country rich in flora and fauna, a country with a very unique ecosystem that holds some of the most beautiful species of plants and animals, ironically faces severe food crisis, lots of food shortages are happening as the country goes through its third consecutive year of drought caused by EL Nino. Asides the natural problems that contribute food problems in the country, “Recent political instability has undermined government institutional capacity, economic growth and development efforts.” “Madagascar | World Food Programme,” n.d. As a result people have less access to basic services and lack of resources to recover from frequent shocks. “Over 78 percent of Madagascar’s population lives on less than US$ 1,90 per day. Affecting almost half of all children under 5 – the world’s fourth highest rate – chronicmalnutrition is considered a major public health concern in Madagascar.” “Madagascar | World Food Programme,” n.d.

“In 2016, a drought worsened by El Niño, an irregular and complex series of climatic changes, left 1.4 million people in Madagascar desperately short on food. These people are expected to face food shortages through 2017.” “More than six percent of children die before they reach five years old, and 500 out of every 100,000 live births result in the mother’s death. High levels of anemia lead to this high maternal mortality rate.” (“Hunger in Madagascar: One of the World’s Poorest Nations,” 2017)

Madagascar between the ten most vulnerable to natural disastersand which is considered as the most cyclone exposed country in Africa. About a quarter of the population live in areas that are highly prone to cyclones, floods, and droughts. 90 percent of Madagascar’s original rainforests have been lost to logging, charcoal-making, and slash and burn agriculture. These are factors that also contribute to the fragility of the ecosystem and intensifies vulnerability to shocks and food insecurity.

“The Grand Sud region of Madagascar suffered several consecutive years of rain shortfalls which was further aggravated by the global El Niño weather event in 2016 and 2017. 1.6 million people estimated to be severely food insecure – and 393, 145 of them in an ‘emergency condition’ – as of October 2017.” “Madagascar | World Food Programme,” n.d

As we can see climate change and natural disasters go hand in hand with the lack of food. In order to have better control of these problems we can use technology as a medium to predict and prevent future disaster and how to be ready for these. Satellites all over the earth to senser tha are place on the oceans, rivers and farms are helpful tools that can forecast the drivers of food insecurity with a much higher degree of accuracy. “For example, the agriculture technology firm aWhere has created a global agronomic weather database with 1.6 million ‘virtual weather stations’ that can predict current and future weather events at 9km intervals. aWhere can also highlight “pocket droughts” where small geographical areas might be experiencing severe water access issues, even when the larger region has plenty of rainfall.” How Technology Can Reduce Hunger and Improve Food Security – ICTworks,” 2018.

One way of fighting hunger that really called my attention was this one app called “Share the Meal app” According to World Food Program USA, 2015 smartphone users outnumber hungry childdren 20 to 1, giving us the power to make a change anytime with just a swipe of our finger on our phone. This is a perfect example of how technology gets ivolved to help those in remote areas.

In addition, E-Cards have been created to replace traditional food stamps and commodities like rice and corn with funds that food assistance recipients can use to purchase different types of foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains etc, from local markets. The E-cards are delivered and redeemed using cell phone technology giving refuges the option to decide what they want to cook. The use of E-card are easy to record and keep track of transactions, this shows more transparency and eliminates the cost of food distribution and storage but instead helps boost thev local economy through the support of local vendors that take E-cards.

Technology is a great tool and weapon against hunger, all the technological advancements have given us access to data, resources and tools that can be used to end hunger in places such as Madagascar. The tools I have mention are great medians that would meet the USAID mission to end hunger.


5 Heart-Warming Stories of Digital Health Saving Lives – The Medical Futurist. (2016, July 21). Retrieved from

How Technology Can Reduce Hunger and Improve Food Security – ICTworks. (2018, January 10). Retrieved from

Hunger in Madagascar: One of the World’s Poorest Nations. (2017, November 23). Retrieved from

Madagascar | World Food Programme. (n.d.). Retrieved from

USAID History | U.S. Agency for International Development. (2018, February 16). Retrieved from

World Food Program USA. (2015, December 12). 7 Tech Innovations Changing the Global Hunger Conversation. Retrieved from