Fall Armyworms in South Sudan

Region: South Sudan, Africa

The Challenge

Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO) is a Purdue University-based program focused on research for scaling and scaling for research. What does this mean? SAWBO researches the effectiveness of educational content in animations, scaled to tens of millions globally across numerous languages, diverse cultures, and literacy levels. We examine how these educational interventions can have a positive real-world impact on those living on just a few dollars a day through this process. SAWBO then studies this impact to develop “next steps” scaling strategies to achieve even greater global impact.  Currently, international smallholder farmers are in an all-out fight against the Fall Armyworm, an insect pest that is devasting their crops and livelihoods. The Shah Lab investment will allow SAWBO to develop and research the impact of animated educational technology intervention on Fall Armyworm control. Our university-NGO-private sector partnership approach provides farmers an intervention that is safe for the environment and human health. We will experimentally test the impact of a linguistically adapted animation intervention on the control of Fall Armyworm on maize crops targeted to South Sudan farmers. This research could also provide critical information necessary for scaling this solution across additional countries for even greater impact.

The Purdue Innovation

This project won a Shah Lab Seed Grant in 2021 and is in progress.


Purdue University:

  • Julia Bello-Bravo, Assistant Professor of Agricultural Sciences Education and Communications
  • Barry Pittendrigh, John V. Osmun Endowed Chair, Department of Entomology
  • Christian Krupke, Professor of Entomology


  • Peter Macharia, World Concern