Food for the cities programme

Rapid scan

The Rapid scan module is the first phase of the assessment and is based entirely on existing (secondary) data and stakeholder knowledge, including the results of existing or recent assessments and existing policies and programmes relating to the CRFS. 

The ‘Rapid scan’ may logically be conducted after the project team has completed the ‘Define the CRFS’ module. Certainly, the initial spatial or territorial boundaries of the CRFS will have been decided, within which data will be collected or collated; it may also be useful to have completed initial stakeholder mapping, to identify expert interviewees to contribute knowledge.

The purpose of this module is to start building a general picture of the CRFS, and to enable identification of some initial priority areas where action may be taken to increase sustainability and build resilience, and where more, in-depth information is required.

The general picture of the CRFS has two or three components, each of which is addressed through an activity (activity 3 is optional, depending on whether the project will focus on climate and pandemic resilience as well as sustainability): 


  1. Establishing the local context of the city region (geographical, demographic, socio-economic and jurisdictional)
  2.  Identifying the character and assessing the functioning of the CRFS 
  3.  Rapid food flow mapping of one or more commodity value chain or food group
  4.  Assessing climate and pandemic-related risks (determined through the most relevant hazards, potential impacts on the CRFS, exposure, vulnerabilities and resilience capacities).
  5.  Participatory decision-making 

Outputs for the ‘Rapid scan’ module

By the end of the Rapid scan the project team will have: 

  • A written report of the Rapid scan with sections on local context of the city region and broad characterization of the CRFS.
  • Updated maps showing spatial data relating to CRFS characteristics and general food flows. Depending on whether Activities 3 and 4 are carried out, they may also have maps or GIS data sets for food flows of specific commodities or food groups; and key spatial data on risk exposure. 
  • a short (4-page), accessible, visual fact sheet of the Rapid scan findings 
  • a list of 3-5 priority areas for in-depth assessment
  • a list of data gaps, some of which will have an explanation; and a sub-list of data gaps (outside the priority areas) to be addressed as part of the In-depth assessment 
  • updated stakeholder maps, including more institutional actors from government departments and agencies; and, if Activity 4 is carried out disaster risk management and urban resilience stakeholders.

Depending on whether Activities 3 and 4 are carried out, the report may also contain sections on food flows of key commodities and food groups; and on hazards and possible impacts on CRFS components, as well as what is already known about vulnerabilities, exposure, and resilience capacities within the CRFS.

The project team might also have: 

  • an updated visioning statement that takes account of the Rapid scan findings; 
  • re-defined boundaries of the CRFS, taking into account the characterization of the CRFS and food flow mapping.