GCARD endorses CIARD

A session at the Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD2) on “Access, Sharing and Transformation of Agricultural Data and Information” featured CIARD.  Several members of the CIARD Advocacy Task Force and representatives of CIARD partners attended in the session, as chair, panelists, facilitators, and participants.

In terms of resource materials, the new CIARD policy brief was provided to all participants.  Links to newcountry case studies prepared by various national colleagues and regional partners were made available.

Introduction to “Access, sharing and transformation of agricultural data and information" breakout session

Enrica Porcari (CGIAR), the session chair, gave the context of the session on opening access and enhancing use of agricultural information and data, with reference to the G20 and G8, as well as ongoing policy shifts by major agencies such as the European Commission and the CGIAR. 

Framework for Data and Information Sharing

A major background presentation was provided on “Framework for Information and Data Sharing” by Krishan Bheenick (CTA) describing the progress made under the CIARD movement to develop and bring forward a coordinated series of actions to enhance access and use of information and data. 

Panel Discussion

Then, two panels of three experts made short presentations on key topics. 

  • In the first panel, Myra Wopereis (FARA) spoke on the roles  for regional organizations in opening access and improving use and the main opportunities and challenges, Eija Pehu (World Bank) described the key opportunities and challenges in the Bank’s role in fostering investment in knowledge sharing approaches, and William Dar (ICRISAT) analysed the most important opportunities and challenges the CGIAR faces in sharing research data and information with its stakeholders.
  • In the second panel, Mary Bohman (USDA-ERS) described the most important priorities for policy and practice for opening access to agricultural information and data in the USDA, Feng Dongxin (CAAS) talked about the policies and actions has CAAS taken on opening agricultural information and data in China, and Joel Sam (CSIR) covered the principal opportunities and challenges opening the outputs of research in Ghana to farmers.

Discussion on key actions

After these panel presentations, the participants broke into groups to look at three action areas

  • to improve investment through introduction of sound policies and coordinated approaches;
  • to develop the information-sharing capacities of organizations, and foster the formation of networks; and
  • to make data and information accessible by promoting open content and common standards and tools that support sharing of agricultural information. 

Priority actions were identified at national, regional, and global level, which relate to actions identified by the CIARD partners in 2011 in the CIARD Technical Issues Paper.

Three recommendations for action

The message sent forward from the session to the final plenary, and presented by Enrica Porcari, comprised three recommendations for action for all GCARD stakeholders to:

  • continue to engage with the CIARD movement to enhance the coherence and effectiveness of access and use of agricultural information and data
  • call on managers and policy-makers to lead the development of enabling strategies and policies for more effective access and use of information and data
  • to collaborate on development of methodologies and indicators for measuring the outcomes of enhancing access information and data

More information