Seeking Innovative Ideas to Improve Data Collection in the Global Dairy Sector for Human Health and Well-Being

CHALLENGE CLOSE DATE: July 11, 2013
Scientists Without Borders, in partnership with The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science at the New York Academy of Sciences and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation seeks bold, innovative, feasible, and scalable ideas to leapfrog existing approaches and significantly improve the collection, reporting, aggregation, and sharing of data associated with dairy production and consumption all along the smallholder dairy production value chain in, but not limited to, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

We are seeking ideas that will appropriately and successfully combine and integrate technology-based approaches and innovations with social and cultural factors, rather than focusing on any one approach in isolation. Additionally, we seek ideas that provide a clear model of sustainability – meaning an identified and measurable pathway to scale and adoption of the idea proposed – and platform or program models that are open and shared, can piggyback or integrate with existing technology or program initiatives, and that can accommodate additional functionality as needs evolve. Finally, solvers must be cognizant when proposing a solution of the resource constraints and technology limitations operating at the household or smallholder farmer level in the relevant geographies.

Reward: Up to $7,500 for novel, feasible, and cost-effective ideas and approaches that significantly improve the collection, reporting, aggregation, and sharing of data associated with smallholder dairy production and consumption in the developing world. There may be opportunities for the winning solver to work with the partners to further develop the selected idea.

Solvers:  We are seeking student solvers at all academic levels (ranging from the middle school to postdoctoral level) in order to access nontraditional creative minds and passionate problem-solvers.  We encourage students to form teams or other models of collaboration to engage as many different perspectives as possible.

The Successful Idea Will:

  • A successful idea must propose a solution or approach that can be implemented or used at the smallholder farmer household level.
  • A successful idea must mitigate the cost per farmer reached for data collection.
  • A successful idea must propose a solution that enables the data sought to be captured at the household or smallholder level to be easily understood and input, even given varying agricultural practices, languages, degrees of education and literacy, and will provide a systematized and standard framework for the data capture and entry (Examples of data to be captured at the household level, or by smallholder farmers includes, but need not be limited to, geographic location, migration pattern, species and breed of animal, cross-breeding information, health of the animals, fodder, seasonal information such as weather, inputs, or migration patterns, quantity and quality of milk produced, quality and quantity of milk consumed at the household level, quantity and quality of milk sold, milking time of day, container and storage practices, transport to market, price at market.).
  • A successful idea must enable the data captured to be easily uploaded to a common or shared platform, and the platform must have the tools and capacity to aggregate and process the data and enable the variety of stakeholders to access, understand, analyze, and share it in a meaningful way.
  • Where a technology tool, or suite of tools, is proposed, a successful idea must propose a solution that is open and interoperable across a variety of platforms and device interfaces and that can accommodate the development of additional functionality to capture other kinds of data or piggyback on existing tools, platforms, or interventions.
  • A successful idea must propose a solution that also addresses and considers users (particularly smallholder farmers’) incentives to adopt the tools or approaches proposed, their price sensitivity or other potential barriers to adoption, and should creatively approach incentives for communities and target populations to avail themselves of the innovation (e.g., gamification, community organizing, peer-to-peer spread).

Download the Idea Submission Form | Download the complete Challenge Statement

Source: Scientists without Borders website

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Posted on June 16, 2013, in Job Opportunities, Research grants, fellowship and scholarships, Youth and Agriculture, Youth and ICT and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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