27 July 2015 – André Laperrière has been appointed Executive Director of the Secretariat for Global open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN). CABI hosts the secretariat of GODAN. Mr Laperrière will take up his post on 1 September 2015 and be based in Wallingford, UK, at CABI’s head office.
During his career Mr. Laperrière has led numerous large-scale projects on behalf of private corporations and also within the United Nations. He has extensive work experience in Africa, the Americas, Caribbean, Europe and Middle East, in particular in developing countries and in conflict and post-conflict environments. Mr Laperrière has held various senior management positions in the United Nations Common System, including Executive Director in the International Criminal Court, Director of Administration and Finance Division in the World Health Organization and Oil for Food coordinator for UNICEF. Before joining GODAN, Mr. Laperrière was Deputy CEO of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
GODAN emerged from a series of G8 meetings in 2012 and 2013 and was formally launched at the Open Government Partnership Summit in London in October 2013. The GODAN initiative aims to bring together agricultural, nutritional and open data fields and actors in order that:
- the use of open data is stimulated and implemented on farmer level and within policy making;
- the successes in GODAN are understood & replicated in other sectors and in other open data work;
- GODAN can learn from the successes elsewhere;
- GODAN benefits from some of the innovative work practices emerging in the Open Data field, and vice versa.
Talking about the challenges ahead, Mr Laperrière said:
“In the next 50 years, the world will need to produce 70% more food. To meet this challenge, we need to change our collective thinking and do things differently. Until recently, food security was a matter of national security and commercial competition, but now food security has to become a world security issue, and one of international collaboration.”
“By sharing agricultural data and knowledge, we will collectively be in a much better position to address the challenges ahead. We can pool our efforts, work together, become more efficient, more effective, and develop new, better ways to feed the next generation, and also our brothers and sisters who are currently malnourished. This is GODAN’s challenge, duty and mission.”
To support GODAN as a network, a Secretariat has been established, hosted by CABI that will enhance community ownership.