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AfriScout App Debuts in Washington, DC

Published 09/29/2017 by Global Communities

Project Concern International’s AfriScout mobile application is among 100 development innovations under one roof today as part of Global Innovation Week (GIW) in Washington, D.C.

The inaugural event—hosted by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)—is an opportunity for leading innovators, industry experts, researchers and scientists to showcase the latest thinking around innovation in government, global health and international development. Featured innovations are being implemented across the globe in over 45 different countries.

“It’s really an honor to be invited by USAID to have AfriScout presented among a select number of innovations that are making real impact to improve lives all around the world,” said Chris Bessenecker, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at PCI. “We’ve received really positive feedback and made great connections that will inform our learning as we move forward to scale.”

Chris Bessenecker (center), Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at PCI, shows USAID Administrator Mark Green (right) how to use the AfriScout mobile application at Global Innovation Week in Washington, D.C.

Over 225 million pastoralists across Africa rely on livestock as their primary source of economic, social, and physical well-being. With dramatic changes in climate and land use, finding pasture within traditional grazing areas has become high-risk and resource intensive. On average, pastoralists lose a quarter of their herds each year, which can have devastating impacts on their livelihood stability and even survival.

With support from USAID and, PCI is revolutionizing the way pastoralists in Africa find pasture and water for their animals using the power of satellite and mobile technology. The AfriScout mobile app displays current water and vegetation conditions on localized grazing maps, enabling pastoralists to make more accurate and cost-effective migration decisions, improve pasture management and collaboration, reduce the risk of herd loss and ultimately transform their lives.

After piloting the innovation in Ethiopia, nearly 80% of pastoralists reported using the maps for migration decision-making and more than half of respondents considered the maps their most important source of information. Herd mortality rates also dropped by 48%, resulting in a savings of over $5 million.

“Previously, I used to lose at least 3-4 cattle yearly, but this year and last year I had no loss at all because of [these maps],” said Bakkar Issa, a pastoralist in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. As of 2017, he is among more than 513,000 map users in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

To learn more about AfriScout, visit