Agricultural Development - Open Data and the Sustainable Development Goals


While we are very clear about the role of policy reforms, finance for development and technology transfer as part of the means of implementation for sustainable development, other critical means are sometimes not highlighted. One of those means is data for decision making and more specifically open data. In Africa, the role of data in informing national investment plans and associated multi-stakeholder consultations has been a clear part of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) with the African Union working with partners to put in place a Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) on the continent for this purpose. As implementation of CAADP's current results framework enters its third year and the SDGsbecome mainstreamed in national agriculture strategies, it is now more important than ever to ensure stakeholders have access to the data and information that would allow them to participate in decision-making and hold each other to account.

Open data in agriculture and nutrition allows African governments to punch far above their weight by leveraging the wisdom of national experts in proposing adjustments to strategies and policies, and also empowering stakeholders to design, implement and scale interventions that contribute to national targets. However, this requires the sharing of more data and information than that which is available from the national level SAKSS. It also requires, in some instances, changes to how data and information is managed, curated and shared within the public sector and beyond. How do we start strengthening open data initiatives to respond to this emerging reality and what would a roadmap look like?


About the Panelists

Muchiri Nyaggah serves as the Executive Director at the Local Development Research Institute (LDRI), an action-oriented think tank supporting efforts of African Union member states to end extreme poverty, end hunger and reduce inequalities. LDRI’s work is focused on the role of agricultural transformation in these efforts, especially the capability of states to have available to them, and share openly, data and statistics for decision-making.

He also a Senior Fellow at the Results for Development Institute where he provides guidance on data for decision-making projects. His work contributes to the strengthening of efforts to leverage data and data-informed strategies to solve real-world problems.

Muchiri has worked in technology and innovation consulting for twenty years, six of which have been spent focusing on open data and open government in Africa as a driver for improving development outcomes. He has keen interest in the implementation of Africa’s development agenda, its impact and how developmental states can deliver better outcomes for African people.