A streamlined tool for rural household surveys – Q&A with Jim Hammond on RHoMIS – the Rural Household Multi-Indicator Survey

Interviewed by Vanessa Meadu

There are great opportunities to improve the process of gathering information from farming households, particularly in Low and Middle-Income countries where development projects depend on solid data for their success, and existing data resources are scarce.

Enter RHoMIS – the Rural Household Multi-Indicator Survey, which aims to reduce the costs, time requirements and reporting burdens for those who carry out household surveys. The development team have built and used a bank of survey questions based on internationally recognised indicators, covering all aspects of farming systems, including livestock. The database contains a wealth of information that may unlock important solutions to livestock challenges.

We spoke with Jim Hammond, a scientist based at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), who co-leads the RHoMIS team, about how RHoMIS could help close livestock data gaps and uncover new insights.

Vanessa Meadu: How can RHoMIS help improve the reliability of data on livestock and rural livelihoods in Low and Middle-Income Countries?

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New study uncovers source of mystery neurological disease devastating Tanzanian sheep and goats

by Vanessa Meadu, SEBI

Pastoralist livestock keepers in Tanzania knew for some time that their sheep and goats were succumbing in large numbers to a neurological disease known locally as ormilo, but until recently this threat had gone largely unnoticed by the scientific community and the veterinary services. Now, researchers, from the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine (IBAHCM) and the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST), have identified the culprit as the dog tapeworm Taenia multiceps, opening the door for potential solutions.

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Agriculture and climate change: Scientists and stakeholders break down walls in Berlin

by Gareth Salmon

I recently returned from Berlin, where I attended the first International Conference on Agricultural GHG Emissions and Food Security (#AgriGHG) The agricultural sector contributes significantly to human-induced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change. Responding to this, the conference brought together scientists and stakeholders (policy makers and advisors, farmers’ organisations and the food industry) to discuss the challenges and opportunities for emissions mitigation within the sector. Read more

Livestock disease diagnosis tools for Sub-Saharan Africa: a guide to what’s out there

SEBI researcher Theodora Tsouloufi has been looking into disease diagnosis tools for animal health: what tools are currently available, what are their main offerings, and how these have been put into practice?

One of the ways the Supporting Evidence Based Interventions (SEBI) programme works to deliver ‘better livestock data for better smallholder lives’ is by evaluating already-existent and new technologies. The goal is to gain a better understanding of what tools and technologies work best to improve livestock health and productivity, and under what conditions. Read more

Collaboration in action: better livestock data for Africa and Asia

by Vanessa Meadu

Members of the LD4D community have joined forces to gain a fuller understanding of the impact of their work and identify ways to better target interventions in Asia and Africa.

The recent meeting in Brisbane, Australia brought together experts from GALVmed, the University of Edinburgh’s Supporting Evidence Based Interventions (SEBI) program, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Read more

Integrating gender into livestock projects: How data can help

By Jac Davis

The success of livestock projects can depend on how well they address gender gaps. Differences between men and women’s social roles and responsibilities can have large impacts on how livestock projects are implemented and maintained. But the exact effects of these gender differences may vary from project to project.  Data collection, and data collaboration, can help uncover and predict the role of gender in livestock projects.

Why include gender in livestock projects? Read more

Report from Rome: Livestock modelers band together to answer Big Questions

LD4D member Gareth Salmon reports back from a week of fruitful discussions with an international group of livestock data modelers at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome. 

To answer big questions relating to livestock, the Livestock Data for Decisions (LD4D) community has convened a working group on Livestock Modelling. At the end of May, I visited the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, for a workshop organised by the working group, and met with key technical people who work on livestock modelling, to discuss how to share and consolidate information and methods to increase the efficiency and accuracy of global livestock modelling efforts. The meeting helped identify ways to harness the efforts and energy of a diverse community of experts. Read more