Formed in 2013, since its inception the Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD) has grown in community strength to over 200 members, becoming one of the RDA’s most prominent Thematic Groups.
IGAD is a domain-oriented group working on all issues related to global agriculture data. It represents stakeholders in managing data for agricultural research and innovation, including producing, aggregating and consuming data.
Beyond this IGAD promotes good practices in research with regard data sharing policies, data management plans, and data interoperability, and it is a forum for sharing experience and providing visibility to research and work in agricultural data.
One of IGAD’s main roles is to serve as a platform that leads to the creation of domain-specific Working Groups. To date, four successful Working Groups (WGs) have been formed under IGAD, these are: Wheat Data Interoperability, Rice Data Interoperability, AgriSemantics and On-Farm Data Sharing WGs. All groups played an active role at the last RDA Plenaries, in Montreal (Canada) and Barcelona (Spain).
- To promote good practices in the research domain: data sharing policies, data management plan, data interoperability
- To provide a platform for networking and cross-fertilization of research ideas in data management and interoperability
- To solicit and promote interactions and projects among the major international institutions and groups worldwide which work on agricultural research and innovation
- To achieve data interoperability
Birds of Feather Groups
Events at RDA
The RDA holds its plenary meetings every six months at different locations around the world. Built around the RDA Working and Interest Group meetings the sessions are designed to consolidate the RDA’s work and that of its interest groups in building social and technological bridges towards open data sharing. IGAD’s role since its inception at the RDA Gothenburg has expanded with every successive Plenary. The outcomes of the Wheat Data Interoperability Group have proved to be a success and the challenge is now on to replicate those successes with the Rice Group.
IGAD has used the Plenary meetings as a place to reach out and forge new alliances with other groups, as well as creating new offshoot groups aimed at specific solutions. During Plenary sessions IGAD has hosted a wide array of speakers and discussions and it continues to work alongside major international initiatives such as GODAN, GACS, CIARD, CGIAR, FAO of the UN, INRA, CYMMIT among others.
RDA P8. September 2017 in Denver (USA) Highlights
RDA P5. March 2015 in San Diego (USA) Agenda
RDA P4. September 2014 in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) Agenda
RDA P3. March 2014 in Dublin (Ireland)
RDA P2. September 2013 in Washington DC (USA)
Capacity development activities
IGAD has spearheaded two important capacity development initiatives. These include two introductory online MOOCS course on data management, principally aimed at learners in Latin America, and four Forums on Open Data and Open Science in Agriculture in Africa.
The MOOCS courses offer an introduction to themes of data management using examples from the international sphere and with a particular focus on data management research in fisheries and nutrition. As well as teaching how to define data the course looks at issues of data storage, sharing and long term preservation, highlighting the different resources available to researchers in data management. IGAD heads the course in conjunction with the FAO of the United Nations, Spain’s Polytechnic University of Valencia and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
The goal of the forums is to provide a platform for stakeholders in Africa to share knowledge on institutional and national initiatives aimed at enhancing the visibility, accessibility and usability of agricultural data and science, and their potential contribution to the realization of Africa’s sustainable development goals and the SDGs.