Harnessing telecommunications network data for rainfall monitoring in developing countries

The lack of accurate rainfall measurements in developing countries poses problems in monitoring crop yields, which in turn can make it difficult for the providers of rainfall-based index insurance to gauge risks and set rates accurately.

Existing instruments available for monitoring rainfall—including rain gauges, radar, and satellites—all have limitations. For example, rain gauges provide a local observation that does not faithfully represent the measured region in its entirety. Satellite rainfall retrievals made from space may be inaccurate near ground level. Due to budgetary constraints, rain gauges and radar equipment are often sparingly deployed in developing countries.

Photo credit: J.B. Dodane