Capacity Development in Agricultural Data Management - Updates from the RDA IGAD Pre-Meeting in Montreal

The two-day Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD) pre-meeting took place on 17-18 September 2017 in Montreal prior to the 10th Research Data Alliance (RDA) Plenary meeting (19 - 21 September 2017). The Capacity Development Discussion Group met in order to discuss their Case Statement for becoming a RDA Working Group.


Fig 1 - IGAD pre-meeting in progress

There is a recognized need for capacity development in the area of agricultural data management. A number of different organizations are attempting to address this, however there does not appear to be a coordinated approach to adequately identify training gaps and make recommendations. Language is another obstacle for identifying and evaluating existing resources.  

The IGAD Pre-Meeting P10 in Montreal provided an excellent opportunity to build upon the ideas from the IGAD Pre-Meeting P9 in Barcelona, where an initial meeting of those interested in capacity development in the context of agricultural data management took place.

The objective of the Capacity Development in Agricultural Data Management group is to synergize efforts between existing education and training activities and in the long run to support the achievement of food security and sustainable agriculture for the SDGs 2030.

During the meeting in Montreal, the discussion group for capacity development in agricultural data management developed a Case Statement that will be submitted to RDA as a first step to become a RDA working group. The need to form a focussed working group for building synergies in capacity development has already been formulated at the last IGAD pre-meeting in Barcelona as well as its potential contribution to the realization of the SDGs.

Once the Capacity Development Working Group will be endorsed, it will aim to develop a landscape assessment to identify existing gaps and training requirements. Building synergies with existing training efforts and institutions, the group intends to build a network and in particular a collaboration with GODAN and GODAN Action. Furthermore, the group will develop a case study to identify good practices for capacity development and advocacy. Feedback from existing training programs and lessons learnt will be shared for the benefit of future programs.

Another aim will be to initiate ideas for joint training programs in agricultural data for agriculture practitioners, researchers and policy makers.  

Main contributors to the development of the case statement in Montreal have been Suchith Anand (GODAN, UK), Fan JingChao (CAAS, China), Richard Ostler (Rothamsted Research, UK),Boniface Akuku (KALRO, Kenya), Imma Subirats (FAO, Italy), Karna Wegner (FAO, Italy), Patricia Rocha (Embrapa, Brazil), Devika Madalli (Indian Statistical Institute, India) and Diana Maria Silva Gaitan (CORPOICA, Colombia).


Fig 2 - Capacity Development session

The group is working to submit the final case statement to RDA in October 2017 with plans for presenting a draft report on the current state of play with emphasis on a selected case study group to the IGAD community in the next IGAD pre-meeting in Berlin in March. More details will be announced on the IGAD website. Please join us and be part of the activities.

Here you can find further information about the IGAD pre-meeting P10 in Montreal: