Spotting Opportunities for Global Expansion: Mercy For Animals’ New Open-Access Research Tool

Mercy For Animals has created the Farmed Animal Opportunity Index (FAOI), an interactive new tool to help animal advocates evaluate opportunities for international expansion. The FAOI uses trusted data to score 60 countries on the likelihood that farmed-animal protection work will succeed there.

Scores are based on 19 social and economic factors. Each factor fits into one of three buckets (called “dimensions”): scale, tractability, and global influence. Scale is how big the problem is; tractability is how doable the work is; and global influence is how much a country’s culture influences the rest of the world. 

Our expert analysts found that for Mercy For Animals, tractability is the most important dimension and should make up 55 percent of the FAOI score. Scale is the second-most important, at 25 percent, and global influence is the third-most important, at 20 percent. 

But what if scale is more important to you or your group than tractability? Or what if you think tractability should make up the smallest part of the score? A great thing about the FAOI is that you can choose the percentages that go with each dimension—the only rule is, they have to add up to 100!  That said, we recommend that users stick to the above percentages because they align with tried-and-true science, which you can read more about here

The FAOI also enables users to get raw data to use for their own purposes. Researchers and journalists can quickly gather key data on different countries from a variety of reliable sources. And if users want to see the final score broken down, the FAOI lets them look at the results for each dimension on its own.

This tool is intended to be the first step, preceding a much larger qualitative analysis, in determining where and how our resources can have the biggest impact for farmed animals. We, for example, use the FAOI as the first of four steps we take to guide our international expansion. It helps us narrow our focus to a manageable handful of countries, which we go on to research in depth. 

Visit the FAOI landing page and play around with this tool. Read about its role in our international expansion plan, and check this out for more information on how to best use it. 

Additionally, our research team will host a webinar on January 26 to talk about effective use of the FAOI and things users should keep in mind. Register for the webinar here. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please email our research team at [email protected].