SMS and Smartphones in Mozambique’s Disaster Management System

Category : 3-2-1 On Demand Messaging, DataWinners - Data Collection for Development

Mozambique’s National Disasters Management Institute (INGC) recently unveiled the newest expansion of its Integrated Information System for Disaster Management.

The system uses HNI’s DataWinners platform to provide SMS alerts prior to a severe weather event, to collect information in real time during an event, and to continue to collect critical data immediately following the event.

INGC Technical Brief

INGC Technical Brief on the Integrated Information System for Disaster Management (Portuguese)
Click to download

The five-year, $15 million US project, financed by the U.S. government, is part of the USAID Coastal City Adaptation Project implemented by Chemonics International to help Mozambique adapt to climate change.

Mozambique is cyclically hit by disasters due to its geographical location. Climate change is increasing both the frequency and the destructive power of meteorological disasters. These enhancements to the national disaster management system improve the government’s ability to detect disasters in advance and to mitigate their impacts.

Boys Pemba city, Mozambique

Boys Pemba city, Mozambique
Photo: Cristina Miranda, USAID

During and after an emergency, the INGC will collect information from all sectors — health, education, agriculture, etc — using both SMS and the DataWinners Smartphone App to assess losses and damages across the country.

In addition to systems for alerts by SMS, and data collection during and after a disaster, a future fourth component will provide  on-demand audio messages in three national languages: Portuguese, Changana and Macua. These messages will be available toll-free on mobile phones through by HNI’s 3-2-1 Service in partnership with Vodacom Mozambique.

Mozambique Integrated Information System for Disaster Management

DataWinners and the 3-2-1 Service are expanding the ability of the INGC to communicate, in particular, with people in remote rural areas. The extended reach of two-way information flow is unprecedented for INGC, and will help the government make decisions that will save lives in the country’s most vulnerable areas.

Pemba and Quelimane are two highly vulnerable cities in northern and central Mozambique. It is in these two areas where the first phase of the project was implemented. Based on the results in Pemba and Quelimane, the Mozambican government decided to expand the system throughout the country. HNI, CCAP, and USAID worked in partnership to plan and finance the expansion.

Sergio Malo, HNI’s Program Manager in Mozambique, has overseen the training of more than 30 government technicians to use DataWinners and the related reporting tools.