"2016 was a most exciting year for GODAN; one could say it was the year when it for the first time, the organisation became truly global, establishing partnerships all the way from Argentina to Australia, South Africa to Norway. Most important, the partnerships established within the GODAN network spoke of substance, innovation, progress and of course, food security. Often for the first time, farmer associations spoke with satellite experts, research organisations, universities, governments and the private sector alike, united by the common desire to work together to create something better for everyone: a world better fed, a world better off, a better future for all.As a result, the most creative, talented minds are combining their skills and expertise into paving new innovative paths that constitute the next data revolution.So we already look at 2017 to build on these initial foundations to bring in more voices from end users, consumers and farmers alike -- those for whom the GODAN partnership was ultimately created for.This is our challenge, our opportunity, and our future." - Andre Laperriere, Executive Director, GODAN
GODAN in 2016: A Year in Review
2016 was a year of tremendous growth for GODAN - we grow both in scale and profile. The size of the network has more than doubled to over 430 partners, exceeding our expectations and targets, and reaching into more regions, specifically Latin America, India, China and Australia.
Throughout this time the small GODAN Secretariat has been very active. The inception phase for its Secretariat concluded in January with the release of an Inception Report, a paper on governance and a meeting of the Donor Steering Committee.
GODAN Summit 2016, held in September in New York, was the first global conference that advanced the role of open data for agriculture and nutrition in addressing long-standing issues in the sectors. The Summit brought together world leaders, researchers, farmers, students, international media and others – public, private and non-profit united around a collaboration on agriculture and nutrition data openness.
The dual goals of the Summit were to raise awareness about open data as a means to advance SDG2 in order to change policies, and to illustrate best practices and needed changes to facilitate making agriculture and nutrition data available, accessible and usable in all sectors and all nations. Coverage of the event in global media was comprehensive, leading to millions being exposed to the importance of open data, many for the first time.
GODAN had a high profile convening role at a number of key meetings and summits aside from its own this year including IODC16 and RDA Tokyo; and presentations and panel discussions have been made at a further 25 events, leading to building membership in every continent and major linguistic group in the world.
Participation in high level fora at the G20 MACS meeting and convening of its High Level Forum (HLF) at the GODAN Summit ensured that GODAN received government support at the highest level. For example, ten countries (US, UK, Kenya, Netherlands, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Ghana, Canada, Burkina Faso and France) explicitly endorsed GODAN at the Summit HLF within the UN Headquarters.
The three GODAN donor governments, the US, UK and The Netherlands have continued to be vocal in their support of GODAN in their own different ways. USG has featured GODAN in White House press releases and in statements given by Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and Under Secretary Woteki both inside and outside the context of the Summit. UK DEFRA chief scientist Ian Boyd supported the Summit and blogged on open data and GODAN. The Netherlands also supported the summit and has held events in the Netherlands to broaden support for GODAN within different ministries and interfaces with the European Commission.
Whilst the Secretariat focused on building partnerships and high level engagement, a ‘sister’ initiative called GODAN Action was launched in mid 2016 to research a better understanding of what causes impact from open data initiatives, and to build capacity in the network, addressing digital divides.
Communication with partners and beyond has been a big focus in 2016. The new GODAN website, released in early 2016 acts as a repository of stories, case studies, and papers that partners can draw upon and the site is complemented by other owned channels for social media engagement, all of which have substantially increased their reach during the course of the year. Online readership of stories was substantially increased around the Summit by use of mainstream media channels to reach out to a readership of around 5 million, with a similar or greater order of readership achieved through social media.
Throughout the year and in particular around the summit, the key messages shared with partners were informed by evidence collected by the Secretariat and Partner researchers. Case studies of the impact of open data were published on the website and compiled into a booklet of success stories or featured in a documentary web series.
The GODAN Secretariat attended the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) in Abu Dhabi in February. It was a great opportunity to discuss innovation in food security with open data as the way forward. Furthermore, it was a space to share open data for agriculture and nutrition experiences with the region, and promote the GODAN partnership, public and private alike.
GODAN Executive Director Andre Laperriere highlighted the role of GODAN partners – governments, universities, research institutions, CEOs, CSOs – all united by the notion of being stronger and more efficient by innovating and working together, than by working alone.
As a result GODAN forged new partnerships with ADFSC (Abu Dhabi Farmers’ Services Centre), GPC Group, DzSmartFarm, and Alesca Life Technologies.
To learn more about GODAN at GFIA, watch Mr Laperriere’s recap of the first day’s highlights and events. For more information on GODAN’s participation at GFIA, click here. Also, read our piece on Open Data for Agricultural Challenges in the Middle East.
RDA Seventh Plenary Meeting - Tokyo
For the first time, GODAN participated at a plenary meeting of the Research Data Alliance (RDA). In collaboration with the Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD) and Tokyo University, GODAN hosted a two-day session on advocacy for open research data and on interoperability activities by GODAN partners.
Together, the organizations co-organized a pre-meeting to discuss the latest developments of research data management in agriculture in Asia. The pre-meeting showcased and discussed rice research data in the context of open data.
For highlights from the first and second IGAD outbreak sessions click here.
NNedPro International Summit: advancing open data for nutrition - Cambridge
Attended by representatives of the academic community and supported by the private sector, GODAN took part in the discussion which spoke to NNedPro’s mission to establish nutrition as a core requirement for training in the medical professions.
GODAN attended the event to bring the concept of open data into the context of this scientific environment and was successful in articulating the need for open data. The response from the participants from the Summit was a great agreement that the need for data in these fields was a given.
GODAN Summit 2016, held in New York City in September, was the first global conference that advanced the role of open data for agriculture and nutrition in addressing long-standing issues in the sectors: most notably that nearly 800 million people struggle with debilitating hunger and malnutrition in every corner of the globe.
The Summit brought together world leaders, researchers, farmers, students and others – public, private and non-profit united around a collaboration on agriculture and nutrition data openness.
The goals of the Summit were to illustrate the opening, the use, and the importance of agriculture and nutrition data to seek high level support for the key principles of GODAN, and to put the debate very firmly in the public arena.
This two-day event featured 34 high-level speakers in plenary format, a hackathon and 12 breakout sessions that covered a range of subject areas on agriculture and nutrition open data, including: data rights, funding mechanisms, precision agriculture, SDG2, the agricultural package of the open data charter, nutrition, open data in Africa, and a research symposium. Over 40 organizations operated exhibit booths throughout the two days.
On the final afternoon of the event, high level participants attended the GODAN High-Level Forum at the United Nations Headquarters, ECOSOC Chamber , which was broadcasted live and featured, among others, keynotes from US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Kenya Minister of Agriculture Willy Bett and special advisor to the Secretary General Jeffrey Sachs.
Along with Global Citizen, GODAN set up an online petition that called on international governments, the private sector and civil society to provide open data on agriculture and nutrition and end world hunger. The petition was handed over at the high level forum having reached over 20,000 signatures by the time of the Summit.
The Summit saw the release of four major publications from the GODAN Secretariat and GODAN partners. Three of which were outputs of collaborations through working groups:
Several new working groups were announced at the event, which will be active in 2017: these will focus on well-defined thematic areas: soil, rice, capacity building and data infrastructures. Two working groups concluded their work at the GODAN Summit, the precision agriculture and nutrition working group respectively.
As part of the GODAN Open Data Challenge, all finalists attended the Summit. Policy and ‘Maker’ challenges were judged and awarded, and in the ’Maker’ category, five of the six finalists have elected to go on to participate in the next stage of the challenge to be in with a chance of winning the final $5k prize and an opportunity to pitch their project at Thought For Food (TFF) and PUSH Summits in 2017. Four of the six will also participate in the GODAN Mentoring Program powered by TFF in the intervening period.
The GODAN Hackathon was also led by TFF and PUSH and was launched at the same time as the GODAN Challenge. It was designed to provide a practical demonstration of the energy and innovative potential of young innovators (19-26 year-olds) at the Summit.
It presented an opportunity for students and young entrepreneurs to develop products and services and expand their skills whilst potentially winning an opportunity to participate in the next phases of the GODAN Open Data Challenge. Eight teams competed over two days of the event. The Hackathon winners were ‘FarmTrade’ (1st place), which aims to create and sustain an online marketplace for biofortified crops, enabling a marketplace based on nutritional quality and not just yield.
The Summit was a commitment made by five visionary GODAN partners that planned and organized the event with the GODAN Secretariat: the Governments of the United States, United Kingdom and Kenya, and the ONE Campaign and Presidents United to Solve Hunger (PUSH).
International Open Data Conference (IODC) - Madrid
GODAN Action led an hour-and-a-half long slot at the International Open Data Conference 2016 in Madrid. The event was chaired by Muchiri Nyaggah (Local Development Research Institute) and Ruthie Musker (GODAN Secretariat), Laura Meggiolaro (Land Portal), Onno Roosenschoon (Wageningen), Isaura Lopes Ramos (CTA), and Fiona Smith (The ODI) sat on the panel.
The panelists discussed GODAN Action and the needs, incentives, and barriers to capacity building for open data in the sector.
GODAN Secretariat Executive Director Andre Laperriere chaired a session on Data + Agriculture, which included panelists Cristina Perez (IFPRI), Stephane Gigandet (Open Food Facts), and Theodoris Kontogiannis (Agroknow).
Through these partner presentations, the audience was exposed to very diverse and powerful examples of effective open data use for Agriculture and Nutrition across the world. This session strengthened GODAN's partnership with IODC, highlighting the importance of open data for agriculture and nutrition, and reinforced our place as the sector specialists.
The Agricultural Data Sector Package working group hosted a workshop during IODC 16, and focused on key sources for important agricultural datasets.
COP22 - Marrakech
GODAN took part in the 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22), which was held in Marrakech, Morocco in November. At the high profile event, GODAN focused on continuing to increase awareness of using open data as a way to address challenges related to food security and agriculture. Each member of the Secretariat advocated for the availability of weather data to empower change, including calls to:
Release existing non-digitized historical weather data for the improvement of existing weather prediction models and climate change models
Release operational weather data in support of weather services that inform farmers with weather predictions for day to day operations
Release climatic data that that can be used for the design of climate smart agriculture measure that are needed to respond to climate change.
Global Leaders in Agricultural Science and Technology (GLAST) - Hainan, China
The 2016 issue of the meeting of Global Leaders in Agricultural Science (GLAST) took place in Lingshui/Hainan (PRC) from December. Organized by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science and supported by FAO and CGIAR, the conference attracted 100s of decision makers in agricultural science from all over the world.
The GODAN Secretariat chaired the plenary session with contributions from country representatives and had a booth with the latest GODAN publications.
The delegates released the Lingshui declaration which states "efforts should be made to share data, information, knowledge, and skills to enhance application-oriented agricultural R&D; and to promote extension and rural services in those regions".
Others events and presentations
Andre Laperriere was a speaker at GFIA Africa in Durban, South Africa (December 2015), leading to a number of new African partners joining GODAN such as Rwanda, AAIN and others.
Johannes Keizer gave a webinar with more than 40 participants which was organised for US Land-grant Universities (May)
In February, GODAN spoke in a number of slots at GFIA in UAE, where more than 6500 delegates from across the world were present. As a result, GODAN's brand awareness and more generally the importance of open data for agriculture (including precision irrigation) led to engagement with UAE government, and a number of organisations from the region. On this occasion, contacts were made beyond the region, eventually leading to Australian regional engagement (through CSIRO) who have become partners and who have volunteered to act as GODAN ambassadors in the Pacific.
GODAN presentation made to to UPM and MARDI in Malaysia (March)
Participation by Ben Schaap in a panel session at a Symposium (related to the Dies Natalis of Wageningen University) on Big Data Governance in Agriculture and Food.
GODAN participated in the Presidency EU conference on Open Science in Amsterdam (April)
GODAN presentation to The Bayerische Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft (April)
The Secretariat participated on the CGIAR meeting on their big data platform and Martin Parr took part in 2 panel discussions (June)
GODAN featured at the Third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD3) conference in Johannesburg (April)
Andre Laperriere was a speaker at ICT4D Conference in Nairobi, Kenya (May)
The Secretariat organised a two day workshop together with Syngenta on Ecosystems for data in Agriculture and Food (May).
Presentation of GODAN from Martin Parr and Johannes Keizer at the Open Harvest meeting in Chania, Crete (May)
GODAN presented at the Forum for Agricultural Researchers in Africa (FARA) conference in Kigali, Rwanda (June)
Andre Laperriere introduced GODAN at the second global nutrition summit, held in Cambridge under the leadership of the NNEDpro network (June)
SDG2 Accountability Framework High Level Meeting took place in New York with Andre Laperriere as facilitator and speaker (July). In light of its leadership in the discussions held on SDG2, GODAN was asked to lead global consultations, ultimately leading to a paper on SDG2 accountability to be presented during the up-coming OGP meeting in Paris.
Andre Laperriere was a speaker at CABI Review Conference (July).
Focus group discussion with Barend Mons (Chair of the High Level Expert Group on the European Open Science Cloud) in Leiden with several core research partners and private sector organisations from GODAN including INRA, CABI, CGIAR, Wageningen University, Syngenta (July).
GODAN co-hosted an exhibit hall table with the USDA at the White House Open Data Innovation Summit (September)
Presentation of GODAN at the DG Agri Week in Brussels (September)
GODAN presented at the pre-cop Metrics Conference in Rabat, Morocco (October)
Participated in the JRC PEER workshop on Open Data Access in Brussels (October).
Ben Schaap and Janny Vos presented GODAN progress at a meeting with the Dutch Private sector at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, The Hague (October)
GODAN was invited to a workshop at IIASA, co-chaired by Jeffrey Sachs in Vienna (October)
Andre Laperriere presented GODAN at Cropworld in Amsterdam (October).
Johannes Keizer was a keynote at the Annual Assembly of the American Association of Cereal Chemists (October).
To keep up to date on GODAN’s upcoming events and actions, visit our Events page or follow us for the latest news on Twitter.
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