2018 WinnerRevealing informal food flows through free WiFi
The Inspire Challenge is an initiative to challenge partners, universities, and others to use CGIAR data to create innovative pilot projects that will scale. We look for novel approaches that democratize data-driven insights to inform local, national, regional, and global policies and applications in agriculture and food security in real time; helping people–especially smallholder farmers and producers–to lead happier and healthier lives.
This proposal was selected as a 2018 winner, with the team receiving 100,000 USD to put their ideas into practice.
Revealing informal food flows through free WiFi
Despite of being the main source of food for the poor and also of food safety hazard, food flows at traditional and informal markets are largely invisible. This means that informal flows are mostly ignored in urban food planning and programming.
This project proposes to characterize and monitor food flows between traders, retailers and consumers in Hanoi, Vietnam by providing free Internet to a series of wholesale and markets around the city. Project partners CIAT and the General Statistics Office (GSO) of Vietnam will survey actors and track in space and time all the devices (connected or not) in the range of the router and signal amplifiers. By crossing the data gathered the initiative aims to model food flows and linked actors at key markets.
Unraveling informal food flows will contribute to identify better policy and planning options to upgrade distribution channels in a way that benefits the poor.
Step by step
Scoping study for markets
The traditional market system in Vietnam is quite diverse, divided in 3 types (type 1: more than 400 stores, type 2: more than 200 stores, and type 3: less than 200 stores). A quick scoping study on markets has been done in two districts in order to better understand market types and their management structure.
A kick-off meeting involves local partners, local authority and market management boards. The purpose of the meeting is to get feedback of research using Wi-Fi, which is considered quite new. Selection of five specific markets are discussed based on a set of criteria. Constraints during the implementation are also indicated and solutions are discussed in the meeting.
Router setup and Wi-Fi installation
Data collection is carried out during this time.
The analysis expects to provide detailed network analysis of food flows at different scales for different markets as well as recommendations to policy makers related to market development.
A meeting is organized in order to get direct feedback from policy makers.