Food for the cities programme

Establishing the local context

The local context is shaped by various demographic, socio-economic, jurisdictional/institutional, geographical, environmental, and natural factors. 

This context must be established at the start of the ‘Rapid scan’ module to understand how the contextual components of the CRFS both affect food value chain activities and are affected by them. Contextual information is also helpful for establishing priorities for the CRFS project as it shows the scale of problems to be addressed, and institutional and policy mandates that could be leveraged to address them. 

Data on the contextual factors is collected using document analysis and expert interviews. 


The following tools will help establish the local context: 

Tool: Detailed explanation of the food systems approach 

An explanation of the food systems approach, including how contextual factors condition the experiences of stakeholders, processes and relationships, and how outcomes of activities and interactions in value chains contribute to contextual factors. 

Example: Data sources for literature review in Toronto, Canada

This table provides a list of all the identified available data sources for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and Toronto as well as some national level information.  

Template: Rapid scan report 

This template will help the project team to develop a brief report with facts resulting from the rapid scan assessment for external dissemination (e.g. advocacy, donors, partners, etc.)

Step-by-step GIS guide for the CRFS assessment and planning process

[Available soon] 


Training unit 5: CRFS context and characterisation (Rapid scan)

This unit gives guidance on the questions to ask, and the secondary data to source, to establish important element of the local context and to characterise the CRFS.