Food for the cities programme

Exploring available data

We cannot begin to assess a food system unless we know more about it. The task of tracking down and making sense of what information is already available and what further information is needed, is required. A first list of available data sources has been developed by RUAF and Wilfrid Laurier University that can serve as a basis for identification of possible global, national and local data sources for the 7 CRFS project cities. This list can serve as an inspiration for other city regions to look at potential different local and national information sources. Further data sources are indicated in the data framework that is described as part of the CRFS scan (See Review of existing data).

Of course the extent to which local organisations/researchers in cities can collect and analyse CRFS data is largely dependent on local data availability (secondary and primary data). Challenges include:  agreeing what to measure; finding inexpensive ways to collect data and gain insights into what it means; engaging decision/policy makers or budget holders in prioritising this work; and aligning this work with available resources including money, time, expertise, and commitment. Given general time and resource limitations, we do not aim for collection of robust scientific data at a first stage but rather suggest a rapid appraisal approach based on secondary data analysis, multi-stakeholder consultations, interviews and case studies.

Project tools and examples

First list of data sources for CRFS project cities

This document gathers together a first set of data sources that help to capture various dimensions of a City Region Food System. Data sources are clustered for different parts of the food chain from the point of production through point of sale to consumption and beyond to become waste.