Announcing GODAN Action: making open data work for agriculture and nutrition

By Will Gerry

The ODI is delighted to announce the launch of an exciting new project, GODAN Action.

This three-and-a-half year, £1.7m programme has been commissioned by the Department for International Development to explore how better access to and use of open data can improve agriculture and nutrition.

Among the key aims are to improve nutrition for consumers and develop better evidence-based policymaking. We will be focusing our efforts in developing countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

As a global centre of open data expertise, the ODI will co-lead the project alongside one of the world leaders in agriculture and nutrition research, Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

We will also lead two key pieces of work in the project, focusing on open data standards and innovative training products. Our deputy CEO Jeni Tennison and our Labs team will be researching how to address the existing gaps in open data standards in agriculture and nutrition, and provide recommendations on how to bridge those gaps. Meanwhile, Simon Bullmore and the ODI Learning team will be developing new online training courses, and novel methods to bring learning to a wider audience.

The project will also explore different methods of evaluating the impact of two types of initiatives: projects that aim to improve agriculture and nutrition, and interventions that trigger innovation.

This will complement the great strides being made by GODAN to build a partnership of over 300 organisations working with open data and agriculture and nutrition. At the ODI, we have been working on data in agriculture and nutrition for over a year, and this project will enable us to have a global impact with our work.

Following the recent World Bank report on the digital divide, this project will be crucial in ensuring those working in agriculture and nutrition in developing countries can benefit from open data. Given our mission statement – to ‘connect, equip and inspire people around the world to innovate with data’ – we are keen to develop new tools, standards and training products that can support farmers, infomediaries and policymakers to harness its potential.

GODAN Action is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development. Led by Wageningen UR, it includes: CTA, Open Data Institute, Agroknow, Land Portal Foundation, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Institute of Development Studies, AidData.

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Will Gerry is Junior Analyst at the ODI. Follow @williamdgerry on Twitter.

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