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How the University of Veracruz used data visualisation to help develop the state’s Observatory on Food Security and Nutrition

Background

The University of Veracruz was established in 1944 and is considered the state’s premier institution of higher education. The university now has a presence in five university regions and 28 municipalities. The university works with many national and state-level organisations that are seeking to improve the lives of people living in Veracruz.

The Faculty of Nutrition, Xalapa, which belongs to the Universidad Veracruzana, works in partnership with other agencies and hosts the Centre for Food Security and Nutrition State of Veracruz (OBSAN). The Observatory's mission is is to provide a platform that provides information on food security and nutrition in the State of Veracruz and to contributes to decision-making and policy development.

Getting started

We talked to Lolki Lopez Galindo, from Faculty of Nutrition, Xalapa. She explained that the team was given the task of developing an information system for OBSAN. "The intention was to collect data that were scattered in different departments, and gather them in one place, where they were available at any time or place, on a computer with internet access, through an intuitive, user-friendly and interactive interface," she says.

“We had already come across InstantAtlas and felt that it could be an integral part of the information system. A large volume of data had to be collect together but learning how to put it online using InstantAtlas only took a couple of days.”

Meeting the need

OBSAN now has an information system that enables it to make information available to policy makers, researchers, government agencies and the general public. Lolki says: “Policy makers are using it to plan and evaluate actions and strategies for intervention in food security and nutrition in order to prevent and reduce the adverse effects of the economic crisis on the population.” Data are displayed in a way that makes regional comparison easy and the feedback from all users has been supportive of the initiative.

Future developments

The university will be working with OBSAN to add further data sets to the information system to ensure it is as comprehensive as possible. The team is also looking at adding in data for the same indicators over a number of years so it will be possible to carry out in-depth time series analysis of the data.

OBSAN

Key benefits

  • Data relating to food and nutrition security is now available in an easy-to-use format
  • Policy makers, researchers, government agencies and the general public can access the data from any computer with internet access
  • Updating the data requires fewer resources that in the past and can be carried out more quickly


Other InstantAtlas stories and reports

Mexico Data Observatory - How data presentation is helping the Mexico Data Observatory get local information into the hands of a wide range of individuals

INCAP - How data presentation is helping health ministers in Central America target intervention programmes

CDC - How the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has used data reporting and visualization to develop its Disability and Health Data System (DHDS)

Procalculo Prosis - Using data visualisation to help the Bogota Chambers of Commerce improve the business environment in the country’s capital city




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