Facilitation of Information Sharing on Agricultural R&D in the SADC Region
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Presentation on "Facilitation of Information Sharing on Agricultural R&D in
the SADC Region: Experiences and Experiments" made at the 2nd IAALD Africa Chapter Conference, 15 - 17 July 2009, Accra, Ghana

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  • 1. Facilitation of Information Sharing on Agricultural R&D in the SADC Region: Experiences and Experiments! 2 nd IAALD Africa Chapter Conference 15-17 July 2009 Krishan J Bheenick Information, Communication & Training Officer ICART project, SADC Secretariat
  • 2. The Southern African Development Community Region
    • 15 Member States
  • 3. Current Programmes of the FANR Directorate of the SADC Secretariat
    • Agricultural Research and Development
    • Crop Development
    • Livestock Development
    • Natural Resources Management
    • Environment and Sustainable Development
    • Agricultural Information Management System (AIMS)
  • 4. Implementation and Coordination of Agricultural Research and Training (ICART) project
    • EDF supported € 15 million; 2006-2010;
    • Project is located within the FANR Directorate under the AR&D Programme
    • The AR&D programme also implements FARA-led projects e.g. DONATA, SCARDA & RAILS as well as the SADC-Multi Country Agricultural Productivity Programme (MAPP)
  • 5. ICART Project intervention areas
    • Steering Committee (representation of Research, Extension, Universities, Private Sector, Farmer Associations)
    • Strengthen capacity of SADC-FANR to coordinate AR&D and Training
    • Management of competitive funds for (i) Research (ii) Training at MSc level
    • Management of funds to support regional networking activities on AR&D (networking of stakeholders of research)
    • Establishment of an information system on AR&D
  • 6. The Agricultural Information Management System (AIMS) of SADC
    • In 2003, as part of re-structuring of the SADC, Secretariat mandated to establish an integrated agricultural information system consisting of existing and upcoming information systems
    • However, insufficient funds and human resources mobilised to implement AIMS (study on process involved by FAO in 2005)
    • Meanwhile, implementation of donor-funded projects e.g. ICART, Land & Water Management, PRINT etc. with information system components and with goal of being sustainable systems
    • Thus, as from 2006, through technical and financial support of these projects: the conceptualisation and prototyping the AIMS (System)
    • To date, the AIMS has been conceptualised, has a functional prototype with a common interface. Feasibility study of major AIMS implementation phase for funding under the 10 th EDF to be launched end of 2009. Implementation as from 2011.
  • 7. ? From 2006 to 2009 RAILS FSCBRC FMD TADS
  • 8. March 2007 Consultation meeting between Member States representatives, International Cooperating Partners and SADC FANR Projects on AIMS concept
  • 9. Numerical Data e.g. Production, Social, Climate, Trade, Stats Spatial/GIS Information & Display e.g. Natural Resources use, production, climate, disease Directories and Information object repositories Institutions, People Documents, Protocols Metadata Content Management System and Communication & Networking Tools AIMS CONCEPTS–Aug 07 (revised 2009) The AIMS consists of 4 different categories of information systems
  • 10. Numerical Databases GIS information Directories & Info Object Repositories Graphical Interface, Content Management & communications tools Using a visual and graphical user interface to access information User Information Producers
  • 11. Guiding principles – Focus on:-
    • THE INSTITUTIONS AND THEIR STAFF: Work as a network of institutions and of their staff involved in agricultural information management
    • THE CONTENT - quality, availability, timely
    • ADOPTION OF STANDARDS: - use international information exchange standards being developed
    • USES: – Respond to national and regional information needs
    • FUNCTIONALITIES: - defined by the stakeholders
  • 12. PSTADA RAILS & DONATA Platforms for information exchange, technologies learning teams; Ma ize , Sorghum, or others; 6 MS; 2008-12 ICART Projects Platforms and general IS on AR&D and Training; 15 MS; 2006-10 L&W Platform and GIS on R&D et training on Land and Water Management; 10 MS; 2003-08 PRINT Livestock sector, (production, health, marketing); LIMS; 15 MS; 2005-09 FMD Livestock Sector, Animal Health (Foot and Mouth Disease); 3-4 MS TADS Livestock sector, animal health, 4-5 MS; 2008- SSSN Seed Production sector, network of 14-15 MS, -2008 (possible 2009-) FSCBC Food Safety; SPS & Trade – (2008-11) RRSU Agrometeorology; Remote sensing; GIS (continued programme) RRVA Vulnerability assessment; Food Security EWS Early warning System; Food Security; Forecasts (-2005) Trans-B Environment & Natural Resources Management AR&D L IV CrP FSEC ENV Projects – duration and scope FANR-programme
  • 13. PSTADA ICART Projects L&W PRINT FMD TADS SSSN FSCBC RRSU RRVA EWS P-Trans FANR Sector R&D L IV CrP FSEC ENV Info Syst. Procedures CommonInterface Integration of IS Integrated AIS AIMS Portal website Member States Integrated Information System at Regional and National level AIMS – funded under 10 th EDF 2011-2015 The approach to the development of the AIMS as a fully integrated Agricultural Information System in the SADC
  • 14. Consultative workshop on AIMS in June 2008 after the development of a prototype June 2008
  • 15. Major developments 2007/08
    • Land & Water Management Information System (L&WMIS) – & AIMS Portal prototype
    • Livestock Information Management System (LIMS)
    • Spatial Data & GeoNetwork development
    • Situation analyses of Livestock sector, Agric Research & Training, best bet technologies
    • AIMS implementation earmarked for funding through the 10 th EDF by 2011
    • Capacity building of stakeholders (L&W, LIMS, ICART ARD)
  • 16. THEMES MEMBER STATES Thematic Network National Network Planning FAO-L&W L&W Land & Water IPPC SSSN ! Crops 14 FSCBRC ! SPS Other… FAO-STAT S Unit ! Stats WMO, RRSU ! Agromet OIE, FAO PRINT,TADS ! Livestock FARA, CORAF, ASARECA ICART, P-STADA ! Res. & Dev. ICP SADC 13 12 11 10 09 08 07 06 05 04 03 02 01 Themes WI, FAO, CGIAR, RAILS AIMS-ICT ! ICT-KM
  • 17. Functionalities of the AIMS portal
    • http://aims.sadc.int
    • To present spatial and non-spatial information
    • To develop directories of institutions (and experts) – information exchange standards
    • To carry out customised search for projects, technologies, people, institutions, publications
    • To establish electronic networks- thematic & national, using tools for communication (dgroup forums), collaboration (wiki) & dissemination (mailing lists, photos, audio, video)
    • To devolve content generation to level of information producer
    • To aggregate national news/events at regional level using Web 2.0 tools such as RSS Feeds
    • Social bookmarking and group ‘tagging’ (e.g. del.ic.io.us)
    • To host Learning tools and materials for distance or face to face mode or both
  • 18. Options for info management
    • Shared responsibilities
    • Coordination Unit at SADC
    • Facilitated interactions
    • Face to face meetings
    • E-mail contact; group e-mails
    • Use ICT-tools for collective interactions… e.g. Web tools
  • 19. Examples of collaborative tools for info exchange & management
    • Discussion forums & mailing lists
      • Dgroups enables above via e-mail
    • Wiki
      • Wikipedia-like; Collaborative editing
    • News feeds
    • Social Bookmarking (tagging)
    • On-line brainstorming / learning
    • Available through the AIMS portal
  • 20.  
  • 21. ICART Information System integration into SADC information System
    • ICART website as part of the SADC FANR website
    • The ICART project has integrated its system development with that of the Agricultural Information Management System (AIMS) programme of the SADC FANR Directorate
    • ICART has facilitated the conceptualisation of the integrated system, supported discussions with AIMS stakeholders, contributed to the development of a functional prototype of the AIMS portal and is now building capacity to use the portal
  • 22. Establishment of an information system on AR&D
    • Mid-Sept08: Stakeholders’ Assembly Discussions
    • End Sept 08 - Regional Workshop (repr. Agric Research and Extension/Information Services) on the establishment of a platform for information exchange on AR&D
    • Methodology for Information Needs Assessment, Capacity building on AIMS Portal/ Networking among peers/ Strategy for implementation
    • 15 SADC MS including the 6 MS involved in RAILS
    • Collaboration in implementing RAILS national workshops in the SADC region
  • 23. Consultations with Stakeholders (mid Sept08)
  • 24. Consultations with Stakeholders (mid Sept08)
  • 25. Workshop with R&D Info Managers (24-26 Sept08)
  • 26. Workshop with R&D Info Managers (24-26 Sept08)
  • 27. Workshop with R&D Info Managers (24-26 Sept08)
  • 28. Consolidation of the SADC Network of AR&D Information Managers
    • Establishment of dgroups forum (AIMS-ARD, RAILS e-discussions)
    • Joint efforts in AIMS and e-RAILS development
    • Regional consultation on the Development of Agricultural Information, Communication and Knowledge Management (AICKM) Strategies (May 2009)
    • Regional workshop on Open Access, Open Archive (June 2009 – expanding the Network to include Documentalists)
  • 29. Current Experiment: Bonding of the Network – through more work?
    • Collaboration among Network to update the Regional Directory of AR&D Institutions
    • Within 5 weeks, preparation of 10 papers with joint authorships on issues of AR&D Information Management from the SADC region
    • Presentation of Pre-conference workshop at the 2 nd IAALD Africa Chapter Conference –– experiences shared with the RAILS Network across Africa!
    • The results?
  • 30. Some papers presented by the Network
    • Presentation of initiatives for development of agricultural information management to policy – makers: a case study from Mozambique
    • Institutional linkages in agricultural information and knowledge sharing in Tanzania
    • Potential for web tool applications to support innovation platforms in agricultural technology: implications for Malawi
    • The process of setting up a national learning team – applying the lessons learned from Madagascar in the Seychelles context
    • Should an agricultural research and development information manager in the sadc region have a Google account? A discussion paper
    • An approach to sharing of news and events in the agricultural research and development sector in the SADC region
    • Building a Google customized search engine on agricultural research & development for the SADC region
  • 31. SADC Network of ARD Information Managers SADC sub-regional Learning Team on ARD CIARD Champions in the SADC region SADC Paid-up Members of IAALD 2009-2010
  • 32. See you online!