Contributions to the Earth Observation Community

A core principle behind GODAN is that a solution to Zero Hunger lies within existing, but often unavailable, agriculture and nutrition data. Earth Observation data plays a key role in helping us find solutions for the overarching Zero Hunger aim, hence GODAN is working closely with the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) to champion global collaboration around improved application of Earth observations for the benefit of humankind.

Over the past few years, GODAN has actively participated in the GEO Program Board (from 2018-2020) and contributed to GEO activities.

GODAN participates and contributes expertise to various GEO Working Groups. Chief Scientist Dr. Suchith Anand is an active member of the GEO Data Ethics Subgroup, the first meeting of which was held on 15 December, 2020.

Additionally, GODAN organised Think Tank in October 2020 to explore ideas for supporting EthicalGEO and the Benchmark Initiative to develop the Locus Charter: An international charter on the broader issue of ethical use of location data.

Data Ethics is a key area in which GODAN is contributing expertise to GEO. As part of our continuing work on agricultural data rights, GODAN hosted a Data Ethics Workshop in December 2020, focusing primarily on our Agricultural Data Codes of Conduct Toolkit. The Toolkit is a joint project with the CTA and GFAR that has put us at the forefront of the Agricultural Data Ethics debate. Workshop participants were encouraged to contribute input to our collaborative work on Data Ethics as we take it forward.

GODAN is aligned with the Group on Earth Observations’ global priorities, including supporting the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

During GEO Week 2017, GODAN organized a successful Think Tank in Washington on open geo data and open tools to achieve food security and sustainable agriculture for UN SDG 2030. The Think Tank brought together stakeholders from public institutions, private sector, and NGOs to discuss ideas and develop partnerships for expanding capacity building to support global food security. Based on outputs from the GODAN Washington Think Tank, links and resources for free and open tools for AgriGIS were made available online and included in our capacity development activities.

Sharing such resources will further aims to make data findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable, helping reduce the risk of digital feudalization, and ensuring all actors that could benefit from open data have access to the appropriate tools to build upon. Access to the right tools and information will allow grassroots capacity development to grow and flourish.

Capacity Development activities started at the 2017 event have been taken forward through GODAN’s Online Learning programme (translated into multiple languages) , Webinar series and training programmes through our vibrant Capacity Development community, which counts over 3000 members globally. On the basis of this, GODAN has supported and mentored several initiatives in 2020, including the Nairobi Inspire Hackathon and the Filaha Innovation Program.

GODAN recognizes the power of open earth observation data and open innovation in helping solve global food security challenges.  Open Earth observations and open geospatial information are key in supporting and achieving the UN 2030 Agenda for Global Food Security.