Who We Are

Global Center for Food Systems Innovation (GCFSI)

The Global Center for Food Systems Innovation (GCFSI) is one of the seven development labs funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in their Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN). Through HESN, USAID hopes to harness the intellectual capacity of domestic and international research and educational institutions to help solve the most pressing global development challenges. These challenges exist in contexts that are vastly different and often present complex interdependencies. Advanced data and analytics are critical to understanding these systems. Advances in “Big Data” have created powerful tools in addressing development challenges. As a case in point, the first pillar of the USAID HESN is “To apply better data, analytics, and geographic analysis to define, understand, and solve distinct development problems”.

Decision Support & Informatics (DSI)

The foundation of decision support is in data that is integrated, standardized, and accessible, but it is of little use on its own. Data can be transformed into knowledge by analysis, visualization, and research. This is what the GCFSI Decision Support and Informatics (DSI) Unit is designed to do.

We have assembled a team of experts in data architecture, data delivery systems, geo-spatial analysis, and informatics to provide data and analytics support to researchers worldwide, from academia, the private sector, local governments, and NGOs.

We draw from multiple data sources such as the World Bank, the United Nations, USAID, academia, and others to provide a robust information platform that includes tabular as well as geo-spatial data. This dataset currently covers nearly 10,000 national and subnational development and policy indicators and their attendant metadata. The DSI unit is building on this foundation through data sharing with USAID and HESN partners and is integrating data from across the GCFSI spectrum.

Data Disclaimer

Information provided to the Decision Support and Informatics Unit (DSI) and preseneted here is accurate to the best of our knowledge and is subject to change on a regular basis, without notice. While the DSI makes every effort to provide useful and accurate information, we do not warrant the information to be authoritative, complete, factual, or timely. Information is provided on an “as is” and an “as available” basis. The Michigan State University disclaims any liability, loss, injury, or damage incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, resulting from the use and application of any of the contents of this site.

Capabilities in DSI

  • GIS
  • Data Mining
  • Advanced vector analysis
  • Advanced raster analysis
  • Integration
  • Custom tool development

DSI collaborators include

  • The Center for Global Change and Earth Observation
  • MSUglobal
  • Center for Statistical Training and
  • Consulting
  • Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research

For More Information About DSI

Pouyan Nejadhashemi
DSI Lead Faculty

Kenneth Scheffler
Manager, Higher Education Solutions Network Program