KAZNET: Directed Crowdsourcing for a Sustainable Livestock Market Information System
Information scarcity on livestock markets and essential services severely limits development and resource management in the drylands. How can we leverage digital technologies and grow access to mobile networks to develop a data collection, processing and dissemination platform? Our goal is to develop a digital platform using crowdsourcing techniques that delivers high-resolution, near real-time market data in an economically sustainable way.
The lack of credible market information is especially significant in remote livestock markets. Currently, governments and development actors have little information with which to identify and support appropriate interventions and value chain players are also limited in the investment opportunities they can exploit. Previous attempts to collect market information have faced challenges with data quality and continuity stemming from unsustainable business models and the high cost of collecting information in remote locations.
Under this project, we are developing and testing a digital platform for crowdsourcing data, thereby decentralizing the process of data collection by incentivizing contributors to submit responses to a set of tasks on a tailored mobile application. We have concurrently created a web-based management system that submits and defines parameters for the data collection tasks, organizes and runs analytics on the data, and packages it into information products for a range of clients, including automated offerings that can be provided at near-real time.
The system, dubbed KAZNET, which is a play on the Swahili words kazi (work or job), net (internet) and kaskazini (north) because the mobile application asks contributors from northern Kenya to perform task for pay using their mobile phone. KAZNET is expected to improve efficiency and timeliness in information collection, reduce market information asymmetry, and reduce the transactions costs associated with collecting, storing and disseminating market information. Livestock traders’ and producers’ access to reliable and real-time information will improve decision making and strengthen value chain linkages. Central to the initiative and to solving the perennial challenge of dependency on project funds will be an effort to ensure that KAZNET becomes commercially self-sufficient.
The project has the following three project objectives:
Develop a simple, low-cost system for collecting accurate livestock market information that is economically sustainable.
Improve market information systems through the provision of timely, accurate, and useful livestock market information to increase commercial livestock production and sales.
Increase the prevalence and use of market information by traders and producers.
Outputs and Communications
Kenya State Department of Livestock
Kenya Livestock Marketing Council
Regional Pastoral Livelihoods Resilience Project (RPLRP)
June 2019-December 2019