Since 2011, the French Red Cross has supported food assistance distribution to the most vulnerable in French Guiana, operating in most of the littoral areas (Cayenne, Kourou, St Laurent du Maroni, Rémire-Montjoly, Mana, and Matoury). However, accessing accurate and timely information about various aspects of food assistance has proven to be challenging. Additionally, mostly due to the COVID outbreak and its economic impact on the population, the Food Assistance Platform (PFA) of French Red Cross in Guyane saw the volume of food distributed multiply by 3 in 2020 (140 tons in 2019 – 490 tons in 2020 = equivalent 840.000 meals).

In this context, Relief Applications supported the organization along with experts in emergency need assessment, social work and transversal approach, cash transfers and information management to deliver cash transfer solutions from the programme. The distribution and questionnaire analysis were among the tasks executed. These questionnaires captured the consumption pattern of beneficiaries (which items are most needed, which market they use to shop…) to take their preferred practices into consideration and discover the main constraints.

Building upon the successful completion of this initial study, Relief Applications embarked on a second phase of the project, aiming to address the challenges identified in the initial phase; notably, the lack of robust Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) systems which made apparent that a digital solution would be instrumental in enhancing a fair distribution of food assistance activities across the territory.

Relief Applications contribution entails the development of such a solution. We proposed a comprehensive digital platform or application built using Oort, a no-code digital tool that allows for a quicker and more cost-efficient creation of applications. The main goal is to put technology at the service of enabling robust M&E practices, facilitating data-driven decision-making, providing insights into food assistance needs, and ensuring equitable distribution of aid.

Therefore, with Oort, we developed Alimentaide 973, a tool to track food assistance activities, monitor their impact, and collaborate effectively to enhance the effectiveness of food assistance through:

– Identification of food assistance actors in underserved areas and integration of their data into the digital platform and mapping system.
– M&E practices, and data utilization capabilities.
– Development of a comprehensive digital platform/ application that enables continuous data collection, monitoring, evaluation, and visualization of food assistance activities.
– Training and ongoing support to ensure food assistance actors effectively utilize the digital platform to optimize their operations and impact.