PlaSA Colombia, spanish acronym for Plataforma de Sistemas Alimentarios (Food systems platform) is an initiative led by the Alliance Bioversity – CIAT, funded by CGIAR initiative: National Policies and Strategies (NPS), to report, monitor and analyze what is happening in Colombia’s food systems. This platform is an online tool that synthesizes and democratizes data and information, currently dispersed, helping in decision-making, legislation on food safety and to articulate actions from different actors.
It's an easily accessible space in which anyone interested in the complex universe of the food system will find from data to narratives based on truthful, simple, and updated information to better understand dynamics, drivers, main components and trade-offs of the country's food systems.
So far PlaSA has 11 interactive dashboards with information on:
- Food production and financing
- Distribution of livestock in Colombia
- Food supply
- Food miles
- Food mobilization: routes and travel by type of vehicle
- Environmental impact from food mobilization
- Nutritional status of the Colombian population according to BMI
- Cost and affordability of a healthy, nutritious and subsistence diet in Cali.
In what context is this tool useful?
PlaSA provides detailed information related to the country’s food system to support decision making (especially for those who formulate policies and design public and private intervention and development programs); to provoke necessary debates on the type of food system to be pursued at both the national and regional levels; and to generate impact on public policies and intervention programs. The organization of the information seeks to structure data from multiple dimensions to facilitate the understanding and construction of narratives by users of any type. This is largely based on secondary data from public sources, processing and translating the complexity of the raw data into simple images. One of the main findings, for example, are the information gaps. These become an invitation to the scientific community to articulate and mobilize academic lenses to the food challenges.
PlaSA Colombia as a digital tool will improve evidence-based decision making by food system actors to mitigate threats and risks. This, in turn, will improve the integration of food system actors, reduce information asymmetries and existing inefficiencies and contribute to the long term, to greater food and nutrition security resulting from decisions and intervention programs based on evidence and updated data. PlaSA Colombia will allow for a constant updating of data and will also reinforce the precision of the intervention of political actors.