Agriculture Data, Knowledge for Learning and Innovation Group
The aim of the task group is to provide requisite information for biennial review discussions and for policy and program formulation on improving the quality, reliability, management and accessibility of agricultural research data in African Counties (AC) and beyond. Further to strengthen the collection, management, and availability of agricultural statistics data in AC based on already developed strategic plan for strengthening agricultural and rural statistics (SPARS) and within Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Develop Programme (CAADP) processes. Making agricultural research data available and usable will empower the different stakeholders (scientific and technical community) to make informed decisions, improve management capabilities, awareness, enhance adaptation and mitigate against potential risks. The group will be responsible for the review and harmonization of key agricultural research data and statistics for the AC and beyond, and integration into the developed multi-year comprehensive National Agricultural Investment Plans (NAIPs) in AC for sustainability. Additionally, to formulate proposals for improving the usability of existing agricultural research data, SPARS and eventually integrating new generated data as a framework policy.
Issues the Task Group is addressing
Much of the agriculture and related data generated in most EA countries are not visible and available for access and re-use to meaningfully contribute to impact on food security in the region. This is due to several reasons and challenges both at institutional and national levels. The TG aims to bring together stakeholders in agriculture to develop and implement strategies for knowledge sharing and improving the visibility and accessibility to agricultural data and science in EAC. This will bridge the widening gap between research and practice commonly inherent in difficulties of access, analysis, and publication of the East African agricultural research knowledge and statistics data needed for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Using big data and ICT techniques create a virtual platform for data sharing, visibility, and available for access and re-use and management (analysis and publication) to all stakeholders. The platform will create an opportunity for access, reliability and management of agricultural research knowledge for the different stakeholders and initiatives, and strengthen collaboration between the multiple stakeholders in agricultural and rural development at the global, regional, national and local levels.
Improved decisions skills, strengthened adaptive capacity and resilience of stakeholders on high value and benefit of data uses and re-use, and further institute a practice-oriented research and collaboration culture among colleagues and wider public working together on similar initiatives. In addition, cultivate cohesion among the different groups leading to effective agricultural research knowledge utilization, strengthening partners’ capacities and enhance agricultural data visibility. CODATA can leverage on the enabling policy framework for open data and open science at the regional, national and institutional level, increase adoption open data and open science agenda as well as improve access, reliability, and management of agricultural research knowledge and data. Strong focus open data and open science initiatives will impact positively on the livelihoods of farmers and rural communities through utilization of agricultural research data and knowledge. Additionally, commissioning case study research on the value and impact of open data on development including agriculture, innovation, governance, and accountability will add value to agricultural community in AC and CODATA partners.
- Identify the elements of a plan to move forward quality, reliability, management and accessibility of agricultural research data in AC to support countries’ strategic plan for strengthening agricultural and rural statistics (SPARS) data.
- Enhance and strengthen agricultural research data, knowledge and statistics action plans within CAADP processes.
- Promote the concepts of open data, access and science within CAADP framework in African countries and facilitate institutionalization of multi-year comprehensive National Agricultural Investment Plans (NAIPs) in AC.
- Incorporate greater openness and transparency of agricultural research data, knowledge and statistics, and a higher profile for the quality, reliability, management and accessibility development of research data in NAIPs for AC member states.
- Institutionalize openness and transparency of agricultural research knowledge for improved access and data-reuse
- Institute SPARS and integrate NAIPs to support availability and open access to agriculture data and science
- Develop innovative solutions to improve access to agricultural research data hence address food insecurity, and combat hunger and poverty in AC.
- Unlock the huge value and benefits through open data and open science using available case studies/evidence on open data and open science to advance agriculture as realized during the various stakeholders forums and meetings undertaken on Big Data, Open data and Open science in June, 2015 Nairobi -Kenya and March, 2016 in Seoul- Korea).
- Create Open data and open science enabling environment including appropriate governance, policies, data archiving policies and strategies for research institutions and research funders. The framework will address the main issues hindering the adoption of open data and open science including lack of understanding of open data, open science and open access among key stakeholders; wide spread concerns with plagiarism of open resources; absence of Intellectual Property Rights policies resulting in reluctance to provide access to open data and in some cases “over protection” of data; and the absence of policies and strategies for data preservation/archiving (to guarantee continued access to data) in most institutions in AC.
- Create awareness to data owners that Data has multiple uses and can be re-used and can be beneficial to the wider public, researchers and generation of new knowledge.
- Engage young scientists to actively drive the mindset shift and foster collaborative research, open data and open science agenda leveraging on existing networks and platform such as Kenya Agricultural information Network (KAINET www.kainet.org), Global strategy, CAADP Framework, Big Data conference in Seoul –Korea recommendations and findings from the Forum on Open Data and Open Science in Agriculture workshop, organized in June 2015, Nairobi Kenya by FAO of United nations and Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO).
- Facilitate the development of an e-infrastructure that supports open data and open science, including archiving of data, open access to institutional repositories and scaling up the Kenya Agriculture Information Network (KAINet) to support more digital repositories in agriculture organizations.
- Building on existing strategies sensitize researchers/lecturers on open access, benefits and Creative Commons Licensing of content; Encourage more institutions to establish institutional repositories, and use tools that conform to international standards which allows for metadata harvesting; develop systems for tracking and monitoring the visibility and impact of the data/content made available through open access by the institutions to highlight the impact and benefits of open data/open science.
- Foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among researchers and the academic community
Other main products or accomplishments
- KAINet Platform
- ASAL Knowledge Hub-KALRO
- CODATA ATG Website
- MOU for ATG Member Institutions
Task Group Activities
- Two days meeting to consolidate the outcomes and recommendations of the forum on Open Data and Open Science in Agriculture held in Nairobi and Big Data conference in Seoul Korea. To continue the consultations and maintain the momentum that had been initiated and provide input for the September workshop, Aug-16
- Workshop to review lessons learnt in Seoul Big Data Conference for application; Undertake country’s situation analysis with regard to county’s SPARS status; Identify strategies for strengthening the collection, management, and availability of agricultural research data and statistics in each of the EA countries; Review CAADP pillars, processes and goals with respect to GS, SPARS and CODATA workings to improve the quality, reliability, management and accessibility of data agriculture; Institute mechanisms for harmonizing key agricultural research data and statistics for the EAC; develop objectives for improving agricultural research data and statistics in EAC; develop the a Logical Framework and Matrix for strengthening agriculture research data and statistics; and Tentatively develop an implementation plan (Action plan), Sep-16
- TG meeting to review the submitted workplan, outputs and make recommendations to accommodate emerging topics and initiatives, Nov-16
- Contact institutions to advocate for enabling policy framework for open data and open science at regional, national and institutional level, develop a systems that encourage stakeholders/ researchers to undertake collaborative multi-disciplinary research work in adopting open data and open science, Dec-16
- Identification of open data and open science themes in participating organizations and countries, derived from CODATA Strategic Plan 2013-2018 and CODATA’s overall mission on which specific outputs and deliverables will be pursued; Identification of existing scientific data sets assets, processes and practices upon which the TG activities will build incrementally to create the desired transformative actions on data science to enhance scientific research, Jan-17
- Visit and encourage institutions to put in place strategies to digitize content that is still available in print format and implement information workflows to capture and archive data and other digital information resources, Mar-17
- Advocate for and lobby policy and decision makers for increased investment to create research infrastructure that will support open data and open science initiatives Jun-17
- Sensitize various stakeholders in agriculture research on Creative Commons licensing as one of the approaches to achieve open data and open science, and more specifically sensitize researchers on appropriate repositories for agricultural data. Aug-17
- Undertake capacity building, training of scientists, stakeholders, and policies makers on open data policy, data management and analytics technologies for open data, need for data preservation, and the merits of open data and open science. This will include information through mobile data collection platforms
- Undertake open data readiness assessment of institutions to review the status quo of the agricultural research data, statistics and systems relative to the recommendations of the GS; Review the extent to which the SPARS for each country is adequate to deal with the current situation in each country – and revise/update the SPARS as needed; and On the basis of the above - identify the elements of a plan to move forward to strengthen the agricultural research data, statistics management system in each country; Take stock of progress to date in harmonization of reported open data; and On the basis of the stock-taking, establish a new plan for how this initiative would best be taken forward to be able to contribute to the CODOTA mission and goals. In addition, discuss the impact of the proliferation of sensors in agriculture in Africa and how open data, access and science strategies can help in addressing the challenges in order realize the desired goals these exercises, Sep-17
- Institute specific approaches, systems, tools and methods needed to improve access and utilization of research data at all levels, Defines the individual and organizational cultural and behavioral changes needed for the implementation of open data and open science in member institutions and countries including necessary capacity development actions to be undertaken, Dec-17
- Develop open data and open science strategy, protocols (standards) and policies to support the implementation of TG goals and in line with advances in agricultural scientific research space and emerging ICT technology pushes, Mar-18
- Review and evaluate TG progress and performance with respective to data evolution and committed actions, Jun-18
- Develop proposals for sustainability of the TG tasks and activities Jul-18
Institutionalize principles of agricultural research data, knowledge and innovation for learning in the member institutions and countries, using the power of digitization such as mobile application, big data concepts and crowd sourcing, August –September 2018