Project overview

SCOPE CODA smartcards replace paper booklets with digital records, and enables frontline workers and global stakeholders to make informed decisions with real-time data.

The Problem

Child malnutrition is a severe global health challenge causing illness, impaired growth and development, and even death. More than 50 million children worldwide suffer from malnutrition and every year over 2.6 million deaths of children under five-years have malnutrition as an underlying cause.

In resource-poor and remote health clinics, weaknesses in paper-based systems lead to inefficiencies and errors such as duplications in patient records, not reaching those most in need of treatment, and difficulty in understanding basic but essential information such as whether a child has been admitted for malnutrition before. Weak information systems provide inferior support to service providers and decision-makers, and ultimately translate into poor health and nutrition of communities.

The Solution

SCOPE CODA aims to tackle these issues. The innovation allows frontline workers to record information; track an individual’s nutrition and health status; identify when a person has recovered; and indicate whether the treatment has been successful. The process involves an electronic database and a personal smartcard, given to each beneficiary upon enrolment, that holds treatment details required for follow up.

The application builds on WFP’s existing participant management system, SCOPE, to merge identity management with programme management. The CODA add-on is specifically designed to meet the information needs of nutrition programmes, tracking individual cases. Data collected can be made available to users from frontline workers to global stakeholders.

SCOPE CODA replaces paper-based registries, ration cards, and reports with a smartcard for each person receiving support and an electronic database. Although initially developed for community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM), SCOPE CODA can be used by any programme requiring on-demand distribution and decentralized conditionality monitoring.

The innovation allows reliable, accurate, and timely transmission of records to a cloud-based server, even where there is low bandwidth and poor connectivity or electricity. Field managers can use the technology to assess programme performance in real time, optimize operations and more easily generate daily reports. Seamless referrals between programme components help to reduce that individuals are lost in the referral system and increase their recovery rates.

Real-time Decision Making

Moving from a paper-based to a digital system can increase programme efficiency by minimizing manual error and time-consuming processes in data entry, analysis and reporting. The application will be complemented with biometrics technology for stronger identification processes, applies strict eligibility criteria to reduce the risk of inefficiencies in targeting only those individuals who need help.

The information held in the database can then be accessed online by WFP and shared accordingly, providing all stakeholders with the most up-to-date information for decision making to improve programmes in near real time.

SCOPE CODA provides a unified platform for all CMAM stakeholders, including national governments, UNICEF, international organizations and implementing partners, to access and share programme information. It has the potential to increase coordination among stakeholders and assist them in developing harmonized, evidenced-based strategies to address malnutrition.

Meet Teresa

Teresa is a young and vibrant woman who lives with her children in the Loputuk village, in Moroto, Uganda. A couple of years ago, one of Teresa's five children was enrolled in the Government’s Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) Programme. With support from WFP —but mostly through the determination of her mother— her daughter recovered and left the programme, never to return.

When your child is sick, you are sick as well. You can feel the pain. You can’t concentrate on other things and the whole family becomes unstable and less productive.
Teresa, Ugandan mother

It was at that moment that Teresa knew her actions could make a difference; that she could change and save lives by helping other mothers fight such a distressful battle. Ever since, Teresa has been sharing her experience and transferring her knowledge to afflicted mothers through community training sessions in which she explains the “whats” and “hows” that will help children overcome acute malnutrition.

In one of the sessions, Teresa announced the introduction of WFP’s technology as one of the whats and hows. The message was positively received by the other mothers. A spontaneous round of applause exploded right after Teresa said SCOPE CODA smartcards would replace all the current paper booklets by digitally storing all the information. She explained that SCOPE CODA is a much more practical way to carry and store information, especially with the rainy season about to start and with booklets not being quite waterproof.

The Way Forward

SCOPE CODA has been adopted in South Sudan, Uganda and Tajikistan, impacting and supporting more than 15,000 WFP beneficiaries. Learnings and results will support the roll-out of SCOPE CODA to other priority countries in 2018. The long-term goal is to eventually digitize all CMAM programmes. Although it has been developed to support CMAM, the application is already being considered for use in programmes in other sectors and offers the potential to link with other government and private sector services.


Meet the team

Federico Naccarato
WFP Innovation Accelerator
Last updated: 05/12/2018