So, the most important thing for us is our network and what it does.
And we are fortuniate that we have a good spread in terms of sector and geography.
GODAN has more than 370 partners, among them many governments, but also civil society organizations, private companies and research institutions. The GODAN steering committee is the group of 8 donors, (the UK government, the US government, the Netherlands government, FAO, GFAR, CGIAR, CTA and CABI as the Hosting Institution)
Some clarification on the difference between the Secretariat and GODAN as a whole…
GODAN is the network of partners and shouldn’t be confused with the Secretariat
CABI has hosted the Secretariat for the GODAN Network since 2015. It’s a small staff of around 5 full time equivalents based at CABI, and includes a number of secondments. Funded at this stage through to 2019.
The Secretariat is a facilitation mechanism to help partners move together to promote and innovate with open data, acting sometimes to advocate, sometimes as a think tank, but most often to promote knowledge networks.
We say the Secretariat has 3 primary functions –
1) to Convene (at events or through collaborative actions such as working groups) 2) To Equip (our partners with stories of what works and policy papers for vision or guidance) 3) To Empower (by helping promote action – helping get open data principles applied in policy or legislation, new innovation mechanisms promoted, new funding streams for research and capacity building kicked off)
What do we mean by open data? There are a number of frameworks that can help us...
Sir TimBL has made a comprehensive statement on openness of data creating a 5 star rating, starting with one star for opening up on the web and raising to 5 stars in an interlinked open data world. 5 star open data is still rare but this is a target to make data machine (and human) readable and linked to other data sets to make it more understandable
More formally this has recently been expressed (in part at least) through the FAIR Principles,
noting in this case unlike stricter definitions of open data (such as that from Tim BL and the Open Data Institute) the data here does not always need to be free at the point of use.
The bottom line for what we have in most cases at the moment published on the web is somewhere between the first and second star grading. We aim to move more to five.
Data must be accessible and curated, machine readable, and with a license that makes it possible to use them
To be fully accessible means that it is in machine readable code
Data should be in a form that is ‘interoperable’ so that it can be manipulated and aggregated with data from elsewhere to produce results that are of practical use for farmers and consumers
Data can be from a variety of sources - records of farmer harvests and land use, satellite data on local weather or even visualizations of crop damage
Data can help inform farmer decisions and work towards development of applications & services for improving food security and boosting economic growth
But before we go into the detail of we and the partners are doing we should ask this basic question….
So it’s all plain sailing then?
Do we always preach to the converted?
Not everyone shares an enthusiasm for open data.
We address challenges to move the open data debate forward through convening discussions, most notably through a number of thematic groups which focus on achieving solid deliverables – such as datasets released or development of think pieces.
This is one such example…
The Responsible Data in Agriculture Paper launched recently was well received and featured in a GODAN ECOSOC meeting on the fringes of UNGA
Thomas Gass VP of UN-DESA said…
High level support was received by 10 governments at this event, echoing the value to governments that the G8 and G20 Agriculture Meetings of Chief Scientists have placed on GODAN in official statements in the past years.
Like the other papers this paper was commissioned by our researchers, written with partners, informed by a working group of partners, given profile by being published by GODAN and promoted online, through social and mainstream media and at our events.
There are several such examples of collaborative action to deliver serious policy focussed research. These pieces are being catalysed by several partners and perspectives:
For example the papers here came out of discussions with Syngenta, CTA and University of Ottawa Law School.
In the coming period we hope to work with our partners, especially in private sectors and well funded foundations to help bring some of these vision pieces to fruition.
We also seek to foster innovation through data challenges and hacks, especially where they have a really applied focus.
We like to give our working group discussions, collaborative publications, innovation challenges, and most importantly and our partners a big stage to air their voices, most notably this was done at the recent GODAN Summit in New York where 800 delegates from around 200 GODAN partners gathered to give commitments and discuss the matters that concerned them. 70 presenters, 10 panel discussions, 4 plenary sessions, 12 breakouts, data hacks and data challenges, and an awful lot of profile raising for the issues of joint concern
Profile that was echoed in mainstream media – BBC, Reuters, Fox News, Huffington post (147 media outlets to date)
and on social media where on 15 September #GODANSummit trended in the East Coast US for 6 hours @ number 2, and #opendata trended worldwide. Reach of around 5 million on twitter.
What are helping tell through this communications activity is what Open Data can achieve in the way of providing solutions for real-world problems. Solutions readily fall into 3 categories…
and we have lots of examples that our researchers are collecting from our partner network and analysing….
And then using to tell the stories that can convert
SC2 Workshop 2: GODAN: Open Data for Food Security and Growth
Open Data for Food Security
29 Sept 2016Martin Parr, GODAN Secretariat & CABI
GODAN advocates that
important datasets and data
infrastructures in agriculture
and nutrition should be
considered global public
goods and made be available
Supports global efforts to make data relevant to
agriculture and nutrition available, accessible,
and usable for unrestricted use worldwide
Voluntary association of public and private
entities including donors, international
organizations and businesses who have agreed to
a joint Statement of Purpose
Rapidly growing, currently with over 370 partners
from non-governmental, international and private
sector organizations and national governments
More than 370
8 Donors in the GODAN steering group
• Data should be Findable
• Data should be Accessible
• Data should be Interoperable
• Data should be Re-usable
In practice means e.g. clear licence, metadata,
persistent, provenance, machine readable
Bottom Line on Open Data
● Be accessible and curated
● Be available in a machine-readable
● Have a licence that permits to
access, use and share it
Why Open Data?
• A world where knowledge creates power for the
many, not the few
• A world where data frees us — to make informed
choices about how we live, what we buy and who
gets our vote
• A world where information and insights are
accessible — and apparent — to everyone
• This is the world we choose
(open knowledge foundation https://okfn.org/)
Why open data in agriculture and
• For climate smart agriculture
• For efficient pest management
• For efficient fertilizer use
• For avoiding price crises
• For informing consumers on food contamination
• “Open data is good only for the big
• “Open data will create more data
monopolies and divides”
• “This research data is only meaningful
in specific context [and only I
GODAN Addresses these Issues
• group on data rights and
• group on data infrastructure
• group on better technical,
semantic and legal
“I went through this Responsible Data in Agriculture brochure that’s
online and it strikes me how much it applies, in concrete terms, to
the data revolution that is part and parcel of the 2030 agenda for
sustainable development.” Thomas Gass, UN-DESA