GODAN Action - Enabling practical engagement with open data in agriculture and nutrition

Published on
August 4, 2016

As the world’s population grows, global demand for food is predicted to nearly double. The number of people at risk of hunger in the developing world is estimated to grow to more than a billion people by 2050. New data-driven solutions in agriculture and nutrition are increasingly being seen as a way to tackle this challenge. GODAN Action is a three-and-a-half-year programme led by Alterra and funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID). It aims at building people’s capacity to engage with open data, thus contributing to increased farmers’ yields, improved nutrition for consumers and better evidence based policy making.

GODAN Action is the research and capacity building part of the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative, which seeks to support global efforts to make agricultural and nutritionally relevant data available, accessible, and usable worldwide. GODAN focuses on building high-level policy support for open data in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. GODAN encourages collaboration and cooperation among existing agriculture and open data activities, and brings together stakeholders to solve global challenges.

The activities of GODAN Action will focus on three focal areas:

  1. Standards - Enhancing data standards and promoting best practice in agriculture and nutrition to improve interoperability.
  2. Research - Identifying and improving tools and methods for evaluation of the impact of open data usage in initiatives and investments in agriculture and nutrition.
  3. Capacity - Building the capacity and diversity of open data users, leading to more effective use of data in tackling key agriculture and nutrition challenges.

The project will work on six thematic areas:

  1. Support to land data sharing: harmonisation of fragmented data while contextualizing to local conditions.
  2. Support to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP): building capacities in organizations for working with data and data journalism, inclusion in civil society.
  3. Global Nutrition report: data interoperability supporting the “nutrition data revolution”
  4. Climate and weather data: catalysing business development and capacity development towards improved food security.
  5. Genetic Resources: sharing lessons over communities of practice as a driver for crop improvement and diversification in developing countries.
  6. Food Safety: open data for discovery, early warning and risk assessment and evaluation of food borne diseases.