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Designing a data ecosystem to improve food systems


Our client

Our client is a pan-African non-government actor who works with governments across the continent to develop, disseminate and adopt food systems best practices. The institution is at the forefront of driving systems-based transformation that leverages easy wins for sustainable change. The client manages an investment portfolio of USD 300 million, targeting 28 million smallholder farmers in Africa.

The client’s mission

Stong food systems have the potential to create lasting solutions for the continent’s most pressing food security and job creation challenges while responding to climate change and other meta risks. A systemic approach can help harness the continent’s productive potential. Systems change, however, requires an evidence base, including reliable data. In a region where data can be scarce and the human angle to data is not always fully understood, there is an urgent need to explore creative ways of establishing a living evidence base that centralises data points and resources from all relevant stakeholders.

Our support

Africa Practice was contracted to explore different ways of collecting, managing, and analysing food systems data to inform relevant stakeholders on opportunities for systemic change. We supported the client with the following: 

  • Primary data strategy, collection and analysis 
  • Datasets identification, sourcing and management 
  • Dataset analysis and visualisation 
  • Data ecosystem strategy development 
  • Partnership audit and scenario design

The results

The client’s new strategic workplan adopts a data-driven approach that celebrates evidence and seeks to develop further continent-unique collection and management processes which are not reliant on global approaches. Our client’s strategy is now firmly rooted in the African context, rather than reflecting different, global priorities.

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