Real-time decision support systems: the famine early warning system network

By:  and 



A multi-institutional partnership, the US Agency for International Development’s Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET) provides routine monitoring of climatic, agricultural, market, and socioeconomic conditions in over 20 countries. FEWS NET supports and informs disaster relief decisions that impact millions of people and involve billions of dollars. In this chapter, we focus on some of FEWS NET’s hydrologic monitoring tools, with a specific emphasis on combining “low frequency” and “high frequency” assessment tools. Low frequency assessment tools, tied to water and food balance estimates, enable us to evaluate and map long-term tendencies in food security. High frequency assessments are supported by agrohydrologic models driven by satellite rainfall estimates, such as the Water Requirement Satisfaction Index (WRSI). Focusing on eastern Africa, we suggest that both these high and low frequency approaches are necessary to capture the interaction of slow variations in vulnerability and the relatively rapid onset of climatic shocks.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Real-time decision support systems: the famine early warning system network
ISBN 9789048129140; 9789048121957
DOI 10.1007/978-90-481-2915-7_17
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher Springer
Publisher location Rijeka, Croatia
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 26 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Other Government Series
Larger Work Title Satellite rainfall applications for surface hydrology
First page 295
Last page 320
Country United States