How can we leverage digital technologies, and grow access to mobile networks and use of mobile phones, to develop a data collection, processing and dissemination platform that cost-efficiency delivers high-resolution, near real-time data in an economically sustainable way?
Information scarcity on markets and essential services severely limits development and resource management in the drylands. The lack of credible information is especially significant in remote livestock markets, where the aggregation of information and wealth would seem to offer valuable opportunities for promoting development interventions and monitoring impacts, but where governments and development actors have very little information with which to identify and support appropriate interventions and value chain players are also limited in the investment opportunities they can exploit.
Though several attempts have been made in the past to collect market information, they have faced challenges with data quality and continuity stemming from unsustainable business models and exacerbated by the high cost of collecting information in remote locations.
PROPOSED SOLUTION & RESEARCH ACTIVITIES
Under this project, we propose to develop and test a digital platform for crowdsourcing data – decentralizing the process of data collection by incentivizing contributors to submit responses to a set of tasks on a tailored mobile application – along with a web-based management system that submits and parametrizes 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 project has the following three project objectives:
Develop a simple and low-cost system for collecting accurate livestock market information that is economically sustainable.
Improve market information systems through timeliness, accuracy, and utility of livestock market information to increase commercial livestock production and sales.
Increase in prevalence and use of market information systems to directly reach 25,000 traders and producers, through the timely and accurate generation and dissemination of livestock market information to increase commercial livestock production and sales.
The system, dubbed KAZNET, is expected to improve efficiency, and timeliness in information collection, reduce market information asymmetry and the transactions costs associated with collecting, storing and disseminating. Livestock traders and producer’s access to reliable and real timereal-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.
FINDINGS TO DATE
State Department of Livestock, Kenya Livestock Marketing Council & ONA
International Development Research Centre
October 2016 - September 2018