Imagine a village in a war-torn country. For many months, refugees have been fleeing to this village in the hope of finding peace. But the village has very limited access to food and water and, despite the fact that they are safe from conflict here, hunger lurks. Humanitarian workers try to meet as many needs as they can, but they don’t know the full scale of the situation.
With limited emergency food supplies, who do they prioritize? Which parts of the village need help most? Should they focus on the east end, where food is scarce and the children’s health is worsening each day? Or should they head north, where most of the informal shelters are popping up? How do they answer these questions and direct help where it is most needed? What could help them make such difficult decisions?
Whether a crisis’ onset is sudden, like the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, or persists long-term, like the protracted conflict in South Sudan, the priority for humanitarian and development workers is to save and assist as many people as possible.
How can governments and agencies know where to prioritize efforts and resources to improve the situation? They use SMART, a toolkit managed by Action Against Hunger Canada. We're raising funds so our team of public health professionals can continue honing the tools and training that agencies and governments need to reach those who need it most.
What is SMART?
SMART (Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions) is the gold standard methodology for determining the magnitude of a public health situation by measuring indicators like the nutrition status of children under 5 years of age and mortality rates of the population.
For the last decade, Action Against Hunger Canada serves as convener for SMART for all agencies’ needs with regards to the methodology. SMART is used by other humanitarian organizations, UN agencies, and local governments.
SMART strengthens nutrition information systems so humanitarian and development aid workers can focus on what matters most: improving public health outcomes by saving and assisting people in need.