Enhancing Information & Knowledge in WANA
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Enhancing Information & Knowledge in WANA

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Dr. Ajit Maru

Dr. Ajit Maru

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  • GFAR

Enhancing Information & Knowledge in WANA Enhancing Information & Knowledge in WANA Presentation Transcript

  • Ajit Maru & Valeria Pesce GFAR Secretariat Rome Presentation for AARINENA General Assembly Damascus 12-14 October 2008
  • Outline
    • Need to enhance Information and Knowledge Systems in WANA
    • Priority areas for enhancing information and knowledge systems in WANA
    • Role of GFAR and its members in enhancing information and knowledge systems in WANA
  • Global Food Price Crisis
    • The global food price crisis has revealed the fragility of the West Asia and North Africa (WANA) region’s food security and has brought the need for developing agriculture more rapidly in the region to the fore.
  • Knowledge and Agricultural Development
    • Knowledge is a critical resource for agriculture and its development.
    • Certain that agriculture now and in the future will be even more knowledge intensive.
    • The WANA region has to enhance its investments in appropriate information and knowledge systems for agricultural research and innovation to keep up with demands for new knowledge for agricultural development.
  • Role of ICTs
    • The primary driver for change in information and knowledge systems across the world is the potential of new information and communications technologies to enable greater availability, access and use of information.
    • Within the CWANA region, the use of ICTs especially cellular telephony and broadband Internet is growing rapidly
    • ICTs must be put to good use for agricultural development
  • Priorities in Information Systems Development
    • The priorities are to strengthen systems for:
      • managing scientific and technical information
      • research data management
      • research management information
      • linking research and innovation to the needs of producers
  • Scientific and Technical Information
    • “ Virtual” libraries becoming as important as “Brick and Mortar” libraries
    • Important for information to be accessible in English, French and Arabic
  • Scientific and Technical Information
    • Scientific and technical information today takes many forms, such as blogs and shared datasets, beyond conventional technical papers.
    • The need to develop more concise and accurate information access mechanisms such as
      • customised search engines and ontology to support information access,
      • indexes, catalogues, wikis and summary papers
    • Open access to scientific and technical literature  
  • Research Data Management
    • Growing trend to share datasets on e.g. agronomy of various crops, pest and disease susceptibility, soils etc.
    • Region has to gear its information systems to share these data at the National, Regional and Global levels.
    • Use of models, knowledge based systems and geographic information systems critical for agricultural development
  • Research Management Information
    • To enable greater efficiency and effectiveness of ARD in national systems and for collaboration and partnerships in research there is a need to share information on its ARD Institutions, expertise, research projects and outputs and outcomes of these projects across the region
  • Linking research to innovation
    • Innovation system concepts in agriculture recognize that information related to innovation does not travel in a linear fashion from research stations to producers through extension workers but involves a multistakeholder network that innovates in production and adds value to agricultural products.
    • This means a redesign of information systems that link research and innovation to both producers and market intermediaries.
  • ICTs and knowledge sharing
    • New ICTs have also introduced new systems for knowledge sharing and exchange.
    • Innovation is accelerated in communities that have continuous conversations about their problems and potential solutions.
    • New tools and applications facilitate communications using audio, video, graphics and multimedia among communities and build “virtual communities”, unconstrained by geographic boundaries, among those who share common interests, values and visions.
  • ICTs and knowledge sharing
    • “ Social networking” and “Communities of Practice” that break down institutionalized walls are fast emerging in new knowledge systems.
    • National and regional research systems should foster these networks and communities of practice to help connect with wider society and advance research and innovation for agricultural development
  • Role of GFAR
    • GFAR fosters enhancement of information and knowledge systems through regional forums.
    • At the core of its activities is the belief that global and regional information must be built up from community, institutional and national information systems
  • Institute and National Systems
    • Strengthening Institute and National information systems requires investment in:
      • infrastructure, hardware, software, skills and connectivity,
      • content generation and management,
      • integration of information systems, systems security and mechanisms to protect intellectual property.
      • enable effective and efficient use of information through improving capacities for learning at the organization and individual levels.
  • Institute and National Systems
    • In many situations structural changes, especially in accountability and reward systems, are required for effective learning through ICT enabled systems to take place in organizations.
  • GFAR’s activities in ICM
    • GFAR, through its ICM4ARD Global Partnership Project, has conducted activities in:
      • Advocacy for increased and improved investment in information and communications management,
      • Capacity development of information managers in national systems,
      • Enabling integration and greater coherence in information systems and information management
      • Facilitating improved governance of information systems for sharing and exchange of information.
  • GFAR’s activities in ICM
    • Diverse Information systems need to be able to interact through common mechanisms
    • GFAR, with partners such as FAO and the CGIAR is catalysing development of tools for information management in national systems and for sharing ARD information globally
      • EGFAR, facilitates information sharing and discussions on critical issues related to agricultural research for development
      • AgriFeeds, an RSS based information sharing system
      • GFAR, through the CIARD initiative, is now leading the development of the Global ARD Webring
  • The ARD Web Ring and the RAIS
    • Role of the RAIS: enabling improved and value added access to information held digitally such as on their websites by the NARS and Institutes within the NARS
    • Examples:
    • Science & technology information: scientific publications
    • support NARS’ participation in AGRIS and/or in the Open Archive Initiative and create regional gateways
    • Research management
    • promote common tools/standards for managing research management information and create regional gateways ;
    • make regional data accessible through web services.
  • The Web Ring and AARINENA
    • WebRing approach in AARINENA RAIS plans, 2007 (*)
    • Feed information on NARIMS and NERAKIN to AARINENA-RAIS website.
    • Identify focal points in member countries to exchange information through the new AARINENA website.
    • Collaborate with other Regional Networks and support them to have their own space on AARINENA Website and to add their contents.
    (*) From AARINENA Progress Report (2006/2007): summary of the Fifth AARINENA ICT-RAIS Steering Committee Meeting, Egypt, 29 May 2007
    • Information management tools used in the AARINENA region:
    • NARIMS national level
    • NERAKIN thematic regional network
    • CGIAR SINGER
    • AARINENA website
    • Regional database of agricultural researchers
    • Regional database of organizations
    • Regional STI gateway (AGRIS? Open Archive?)
    The Web Ring and AARINENA - scientific and technical information - research management information RED: foreseen Web Ring implementations - research data
  • GFAR’s activities in ICM
    • GFAR along with its members and partners is working to improve sharing and exchange of information and knowledge related to ARD globally and, through regional fora such as AARINENA, at the regional and national level
    • THEN making knowledge accessible once available...
  • Thank You