Recently a group of authors from the Red Cross, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam published an interesting paper about the use of forecasts to trigger the finances for humanitarian intervention: http://www.climatecentre.org/site/news/530/forecast-based-financing-could-catalyze-humanitarian-action-says-new-research
The discussion paper can be downloaded here (free of charge): http://www.nat-hazards-earth-syst-sci-discuss.net/2/3193/2014/nhessd-2-3193-2014.pdf
It seems as if we are on the right track.
Markus Enenkel is currently attending the Satellite soil moisture validation & application workshop in Amsterdam.
His talk concentrates on soil moisture applications for drought and food security monitoring, respectively on ways to close the gap between research and applications for humanitarian aid.
This is the link to his presentation.
Recently we got in touch with staff in Ethiopia to prepare them for the first field test which will most likely be carried out in the Eastern parts of Ethiopia (Deghabur) from March 2015. Additionally, requirements, expected outcomes and necessary training to work with the new smartphone app were discussed.