RDA 11th Plenary Joint meeting:Supporting effective engagement with research & open data in the agriculture and nutrition. Lessons from IGAD & GODAN Action

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20 December 2017 3709 reads

Meeting title

Supporting effective engagement with research & open data in the agriculture and nutrition. Lessons from IGAD & GODAN Action (Remote Access Instructions)

Collaborative session notes:


Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group(s)

Formed in 2013, since its inception the Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD) has grown in community strength to over 170 members, becoming one of the Research Data Alliance’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 to data sharing policies, data management plans, and data interoperability, and it is a forum for sharing experiences 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 have been formed under IGAD – Wheat Data Interoperability, Rice Data Interoperability, AgriSemantics and On-Farm Data Sharing , all playing an active role at the most recent RDA 10 in Montreal (Canada).

GODAN Action is a three year project to enable data users, producers and intermediaries to engage effectively with open data and maximise its potential for impact in the agriculture and nutrition sectors. Supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the project is led by Wageningen Environmental Research together with international partners including AgroKnow, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), the Land Portal, the Open Data Institute (ODI) and the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA).

The partners in GODAN Action all share a belief in the potential power of open data to make a real difference in addressing global food security and nutrition challenges. But our diverse experience working in this sector has taught us that, for this opportunity to be realised, it requires that all stakeholders in the process have, not just the required access to the data, but also the relevant tools and capabilities to use it. Without this some sectors and communities risk missing out - being left behind. GODAN Action therefore seeks to identify and address the barriers which prevent potential data users - from farmers to meteorologists, communities to international NGOs - from using open data effectively. We work to develop their skills, to build shared standards and approaches and to accurately measure the impact of open data on their work.

Meeting objectives

This is a joint session organized by RDA/IGAD and GODAN (RDA affiliated member) to discuss lessons learnt and share experience from both communities on how to effectively support engagement with research data management and open data.

Although focused on capacity development in the agriculture and nutrition sector the session will also explore the extent to which these lessons might be relevant to those working to enhance the potential of open data in other sectors. 

Meeting agenda

Two short presentations dedicated to the experiences in the context of RDA/IGAD and GODAN Action, followed by a panel session.

Discussion themes

  • Identifying and addressing key capacity gaps – individual and institutional.
  • E-learning for developing countries and impact of MOOCs. 
  • Face-to-face training – creating networks.
  • Assessing impact of capacity development initiatives.
  • Developing and nurturing communities of practice.
  • Building synergies and collaborations.

Presentations by:

  • Chipo Msengezi, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), The Netherlands
  • Imma Subirats, FAO of the United Nations, Italy


  • Suchit Anand, Global OPen Data iN Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), United Kingdom
  • Chipo Msengezi, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), The Netherlands
  • Ilkay Holt, FAO of the United Nations, Italy
  • Alan Stanley, Institute of Development Studies (IDS), United Kingdom
  • Boniface O Akuku, Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization, Kenya

Additional links to informative material related to the participating groups


Target audience:

Those working across sectors to support the capacity of data producers, users and intermediaries to engage with open data including:

  • Policy makers on data management,
  • Government representatives, funders, representatives of international agencies – UN, EU etc
  • Researchers
  • Data providers, data publishers
  • Librarians, data curators and data intermediaries

Group chair serving as contact person: Imma Subirats Coll

Type of meeting: Informative meeting

Remote Access Instructions

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

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