Digital Food Systems

Evidence Clearing House

Frequently Asked Questions

What is digital agriculture intervention?  

This involves any digital or data innovation or technology deployed to enhance agricultural activities in the food system.  

What is an evidence of impact?  

Evidence of impact involves the result or outcome of implementing the digital intervention among a target population or in a region.  While it will not always be possible—particularly with emerging technologies—to achieve the ‘gold standards’ of evidence (e.g. a randomized control trial or full impact assessment) we would still request submitters to have measured some quantifiable enhancement from the digital intervention.  What was the ‘value add’ in the food system from data or digital tools that might not have happened otherwise?

Why are we collecting digital interventions and evidence of impact? 

Digital interventions in food systems appear every day in the press, and the sector appears to be rapidly digitizing, and yet- perhaps inevitably with emerging technologies- the base of rigorous evidence of impact for these technologies is still relatively thin. We seek to remedy this; by consolidating evidence and monitoring trends in digital interventions, we aim to build more quantifiable intelligence that can be used by development agencies, potential investors, and the innovators themselves.  Evidence is the critical piece needed to help these innovations find a path to scale.  

How will it be evaluated and by whom? 

Each intervention will be examined and verified by an expert for approval.   The Platform for Big Data will reach out to our network of experts, particularly our six technical communities of practice, to find the right subject matter expertise to review submissions and approve them for publication. 

How will it be used? 

The Platform for Big Data seeks to understand trends in digital interventions and their entry points in food systems and communicate about these to the wider system of stakeholders.   Particularly innovative interventions or impressive demonstrations of impact will be featured in Platform for Big Data communication materials, and with a good inflow of submissions we will be equipped to periodically generate synthesis reports and meta-analyses of the ‘state of the evidence’ for digital food systems.     

What information will be displayed? 

Submissions of information regarding interventions or impact will be considered public, but no personally identifiable information of the submitters will be published or divulged.   

How does an organization submitting an intervention benefit? 

The Platform for Big Data will publicize particularly innovative interventions or demonstrations of impact through our blogs and publications.   Startups or other digital innovators will have a credible mechanism for contributing to and benefiting from a growing base of evidence related to their interventions, which may inform the decisions of funders or investors, precipitate new partnerships, and result in more engagement with the Platform for Big Data.