Agricultural innovation is knowledge intensive and depends on access to information and knowledge Improved access to the outputs of research is essential if present-day global problems related to agriculture and family farming are to be addressed, such as sustainable intensification of production, climate change, and effective use of natural resources and biodiversity. There is clear evidence that economic development of rural areas is accelerated by greater use of information. Efficient access enhances use of information assets, and stimulates effective research and enhanced innovation within and among communities. Improving the way new partners work together requires greater information sharing and exchange.
The great majority of data and information generated by agricultural innovation institutions are in fact effectively inaccessible and/or have tangible costs associated with access. ** A recent quote can be used to emphasize this slide: " Even the most groundbreaking research is of no use to anyone if it sits on a shelf gathering dust “. DFID Secretary (26/07/12)
A Global Survey on Agricultural Research Communication was conducted in 2011 by GFAR, FAO and CGIAR. More than half respondents were from Latin America and the Caribbean. HIGHLIGHTS: - 75% of researchers saw journals and conferences as the preeminent ways to communicate their research outputs. - Many factors were perceived to prevent be acting as barriers to communication, in particular lack of enabling institutional policies, the lack of resources/support and weak linkages with farmers. - Researchers express desire for training to increase effectiveness in communication, particularly in using social media and in participatory research methods.
Many research organizations invest only a small fraction of their resources in communicating their results and ensuring they are well adapted to rural society’s needs, and most of them provide less than 10% of their available information on the Internet. Digital technologies have transformed agriculture and rural development in so many ways, with mobile reaching family farmers and even the rural poor. For instance, 84% of households in Latin America and the Caribbean have already mobiles phones. Yet there is still a lack of information in the right format to truly exploit these media.
In summary, the barriers are diverse and relate to inadequate national and organizational policies, to individual scientists’ perceptions, and to inadequate technical capacities in use of digital media. In line with recent declarations by the G8 and G20 members, coherent action is needed at global, national and organizational levels to address this lack of accessibility.
In order to address these barriers to opening access to data and information and to their effective transformation and use. An integrated two-pronged approach of good policy and practice is needed so that organizations can develop incentives build up their skills base for greater cooperation and sharing. In addition, capacity development has to be a cornerstone of the approach that will help in applying data and information to solving real problems. A collective effort will really help many smaller institutions to make information truly accessible and contribute to its effective use as they can immediately adopt proven practices and tools without having to develop their own. BENEFITS: By supporting a more coordinated approach to opening up data and information and enabling their effective use, research organizations can reduce costs and guide, train, and motivate their staff.
PRIORITIES AREAS IDENTIFIED: 1. To improve investment through introduction of sound policies and coordinated approaches; 2. To develop institutional capacity through encouraging self-sufficiency and empowerment; 3. To make data and information accessible by promoting open content and common standards.
Once technical information is truly accessible, there is still a transformation process required for its effective use by user communities and especially resource-poor smallholder farmers and producers. There is a need to strengthen the capacity of intermediaries that serve rural communities to access, process and use relevant and useful information in a timely manner, and to create channels for users to express their information needs.
GFAR [and FORAGRO] are part of the global movement on Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development (CIARD) established in 2008, in which more than 150 organizations participate, all working to ensure that data and information become more accessible to those who need them. CIARD partners are working to improve availability and access to agricultural data and information through encouraging development of appropriate institutional policies and capacities, and by promoting open standards and tools that enhance accessibility. The CIARD movement was introduced and endorsed at GCARD 2010
WHY CIARD: The CIARD Movement is in a unique position to overcome the challenges in research communication, and particularly to address the problems associated with access to data and information. It is a collaborative venture/partnership among world’s leading agricultural agencies, regional research forums, national organizations, etc. CIARD can draw on expertise from all the important disciplines.
Partners have been working over the intervening two years to advance the global agenda on accessibility and effective use, with a variety of achievements to be reported through GCARD 2012. A series of consultations have identified the importance of creating a framework to address the issues outlined above, so a new “Framework for Data and Information Sharing” is being develop. This will cover all data and information types produced by diverse organizations. The CIARD framework spans three key dimensions: Championing change in policy and practice: A toolkit is available to support organizations’ and individuals’ efforts to raise awareness/advocate for/influence other towards the need for change and value of ‘opening up agricultural knowledge for all’. This Toolkit is filled with information, ideas, tools and resources to provide support to activities to raise awareness, promote and push through activities to opening access to agricultural knowledge. Supporting evidence of current initiatives to open up access are also being collected, and good practices and benefits are also being documented from different countries in the form of case studies. (For instance: EMBRAPA in LAC). These will bring together evidence and experience from other contexts that can support organizations and individual advocacy approaches. institutional and organizational issues ; Guidelines are available for organization to use in capacity development, in the form of CIARD Pathways. These provide an introduction for organizations to the many ways in which agricultural research knowledge/information/data can be made more accessible to those who need them. In addition, CIARD offers a Virtual Fair as a facility where people and organizations can share and learn about the ways to make their information and knowledge more accessible, and find organizations which provide products and services that can facilitate that. Targeted e-learning programmes are available to support skills development. Data and information flows in agriculture-related areas will be enhanced and supported. Technical issues and technologies. A set of open services -such as the CIARD.RING- and tools are available to promote information and data sharing, and open standards are continuously being developed and applied.
2012 08 CIARD Opening Access (VI FORAGRO - Peru)
Opening Access to Agricultural Knowledge Photo Credit: TelefónicaUsing information to power innovation presented by Dr. Mark Holderness (Executive Secretary, Global Forum for Agricultural Research) www.ciard.net at VI International FORAGRO Meeting. Peru (22/08/2012) Presentation under CC License.
Knowledge Sharing in Agricultural Innovation AI is knowledge intensive and depends on access to info/knowledge Access to research outputs is essential to address problems Greater use of info. accelerates economic development in rural areas Effective access enhances use of information, and stimulate effective research and enhance innovation within and among communities New partnerships requires greater information sharing/exchange But often ‘public’ information is like this We produce results, but what happens to them? It seems that much useful data and information never get published and the farmers don’t seem to benefit
Agricultural Research Outputs Photo Credit: natura-medioambiental.com “Information and data power innovation,restricted access represent a barrier to farming innovations.”
Communicating Agricultural Research GLOBAL SURVEY 2011 (HIGHLIGHTS)Preference for traditional ways- Scholarly publishing, conferences and seminars (3/4)- Training materials (1/2), practical demonstrations. (1/3)Main barriers:- Lack of resources/time and funding- Weak linkages between researchers and end users- Lack of enabling institutional policies Strong demand for support and training - Web based social media - Participatory research methods & communications skills (e.g. audio/video)
Communicating Agricultural Research (some issues for farming innovations)Investment in communication- Many research organizations invest only a small fraction to communicate results and ensuring they are well adapted to rural needs.- Most of them provides <10% of their available info. on the Internet. Image credit: FMartin/FAO Digital Technologies- Have transformed agriculture and rural dev. in many ways, with mobiles reaching family farming and even rural poor. (households w/mobiles in LAC= 84%)- Still lack of info. in right format to exploit these digital media. Photo credit: esoko.com
Communicating Agricultural Research GLOBAL SURVEY 2011 (SUMMARY)
WHAT IS NEEDEDAn integrated two-pronged approach ofgood policy and practiceCapacity development – a cornerstoneA collective effort - adopt proven practicesand toolsA coordinated approach will reduce costs and guide, train and motivate staff in research organizations
PRIORITIES AREAS IDENTIFIEDTo improve investment through introduction of sound policies and coordinated approaches To develop institutional capacity through encouraging self-sufficiency and empowerment;To make data and information accessible by promoting open content and common standards
THINK GLOBAL – ACT LOCAL A Global MovementCoherence in Informationfor Agricultural Research for Development
A GLOBAL MOVEMENT 15 Founding Partners and +150 other organizations participatingall working to ensure that information become more accessible to those who need them CIARD was introduced and endorsed at GCARD 2010
support for overcoming the Challenges in Research Communication Our institution has no policy on We don’t have time to communicating adapt our results into the its outputs what extensionists wantWe have no systems Other scientists willand tools for Internet publish our results if wedissemination share them There are no staff with the skills in digital technologies www.ciard.net
A framework for info/data sharing Championing change in policy and practice Advocacy Toolkit Collection of evidence, benefits and good practices (i.e. CIARD Checklist) Institution/organization: Guidelines (CIARD Pathways) E-learning programmes Information Technologies: Open services such as CIARD.RING, tools and standardsAchievements to be reported through GCARD 2012
Led by Routemap to Information Nodes and Gateways A Global Registry to share info related to agric. research and innovation for development - 345 information services in agriculture 164 information provides registered their services -123 document repositories with over 4 million accessions, -822,000 full text documents -222 other services registered CIARD Ring provides the missing route map to the existing services ring.ciard.net
THE WAY FORWARDNational organizations:- Recognize that urgent action is needed to implement policies and practices on opening access to and enhancing use of agricultural research information and data to power innovations.- Create/Strengthen their research communication activities- Register their services in the CIARD.RINGRegional and International organizations:- Achieve even stronger consensus and support for CIARD- Develop regional knowledge management networks in order to leverage resources and capacities in support of opening access to agricultural knowledge, information and data.Donors providing research funds:- Support their grantees in communicating findings effectively.
Opening Access to Agricultural Knowledge Photo Credit: TelefónicaUsing information to power innovation www.ciard.netVI International FORAGRO Meeting. Peru (22/08/2012) Presentation under CC License.