Implementing Data Services for Development
SERVIR—meaning “to serve” in Spanish—combines NASA’s Earth-observations data and tools with USAID’s expertise in international development, supporting the use of geospatial technologies to help decision makers in developing countries respond to environmental change. Through the SERVIR network, experts at regional hubs in Eastern and Southern Africa, Hindu Kush-Himalaya, and the Mekong River Basin partner with local decision makers and U.S.-based scientists to create new datasets, maps, and decision-support tools related to climate adaptation and mitigation, disaster-risk reduction, water and natural- resource management, land-use planning, and infrastructure development. SERVIR hubs also provide training to build capacity in local institutions for accessing and using scientific data and tools for decision making.
The SERVIR website offers access to a range of environmental information, maps, satellite and sensor data, and other analysis tools. In countries such as Nepal, where a large percentage of the population depends on rainfed agriculture for subsistence, climate-related risks to crop production pose serious challenges to food security and economic stability. To help address this critical issue, SERVIR-Himalaya and its partner organization the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) worked with the Nepal Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD) to create the first-ever web-based Agricultural Atlas of Nepal. The Atlas, which provides free access to information on crops and livestock products to a wide audience, is one component of an Agriculture Management Information System that serves as a basis for agricultural and food-security analysis and planning in Nepal. MoAD and ICIMOD are also developing an agricultural-monitoring system based on satellite data to provide key agricultural information on crop growth and stress as well as early signs of drought, enabling officials to plan for and mitigate the effects.