Agriculture Data, Knowledge for Learning and Innovation

The TG will address aspect of visibility and accessibility of the agriculture and related data generated in most EA countries. Also data re-usaability in order to derive meaning from data that can contribute to impact on food security in the region. This is due to several reasons and challenges both at institutional and national levels. The TG aims to bring together stakeholders in agriculture to develop and implement strategies for knowledge sharing and improving the visibility and accessibility to agricultural data and science in EAC. This will bridge the widening gap between research and practice commonly inherent in difficulties of access, analysis, and publication of the East African agricultural research knowledge and statistics data needed for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 


Big data technologies and ICT techniques have potential to transform the data management and related challenges. Through creation of a virtual platform for data sharing, visibility, and available for access and re-use including analysis and publication will help all stakeholders at all levels. The platform will create an opportunity for access, reliability and management of agricultural research knowledge for the different stakeholders and initiatives, and strengthen collaboration between the multiple stakeholders in agricultural and rural development at the global, regional, national and local levels.

Expected outcomes:

Improved decisions skills, strengthened adaptive capacity and resilience of stakeholders on high  value and benefit of data uses and re-use, and further institute a practice-oriented research and collaboration culture among colleagues and wider public working together on similar initiatives. In addition, cultivate cohesion among the different groups leading to effective agricultural research knowledge utilization, strengthening partners’ capacities and enhance agricultural data visibility. CODATA can leverage on the enabling policy framework for open data and open science at the regional, national and institutional level, increase adoption open data and open science agenda as well as improve access, reliability, and management of agricultural research knowledge and data. Strong focus open data and open science initiatives will impact positively on the livelihoods of farmers and rural communities through utilization of agricultural research data and knowledge.  Additionally, commissioning case study research on the value and impact of open data on development including agriculture, innovation, governance, and accountability will add value to agricultural community in EAC and CODATA partners.

Task Group outputs 

The TG will identify, analyze and publish the findings on challenges facing data management in agricultural research space. As a result develop suitable approaches, polices and strategies on open data and open science to help solve the identified challenges. The results will advance explanation on the required processes that be used in practice by the individuals, organizations and countries whose data management challenges will examined.  The TG will further develop a framework for adoption and usability of agricultural research data and statistics, including elements on organizational, technology and environmental aspects.  Additionally the framework will be published and institutionalized in the relevant organizations, this will generate implications for organizations and countries in similar context. 

Task Group Activities

  • Two days meeting to consolidate the outcomes and recommendations of the forum on Open Data and Open Science in Agriculture held in Nairobi and Big Data conference in Seoul Korea. To continue the consultations and maintain the momentum that had been initiated and provide input for the September workshop, Aug-16
  • Workshop to review lessons learnt in Seoul Big Data Conference for application; Undertake country’s situation analysis with regard to county’s SPARS status; Identify strategies for strengthening the collection, management, and availability of agricultural research data and statistics in each of the EA countries; Review CAADP pillars, processes and goals with respect to GS, SPARS and CODATA workings to improve the quality, reliability, management and accessibility of data agriculture; Institute mechanisms for harmonizing key agricultural research data and statistics for the EAC; develop objectives for improving agricultural research data and statistics in EAC; develop the a Logical Framework and Matrix for strengthening agriculture research data and statistics; and Tentatively develop an implementation plan (Action plan), Sep-16
  • TG meeting to review the submitted workplan, outputs and make recommendations to accommodate emerging topics and initiatives, Nov-16
  • Contact institutions to advocate for enabling policy framework for open data and open science at regional, national and institutional level, develop a systems that encourage stakeholders/ researchers to undertake collaborative multi-disciplinary research work in adopting open data and open science, Dec-16
  • Identification of open data and open science themes in participating organizations and countries, derived from CODATA Strategic Plan 2013-2018 and CODATA’s overall mission on which specific outputs and deliverables will be pursued; Identification of existing scientific data sets assets, processes and practices upon which the TG activities will build incrementally to create the desired transformative actions on data science to enhance scientific research, Jan-17
  • Visit and encourage institutions to put in place strategies to digitize content that is still available in print format and implement information workflows to capture and archive data and other digital information resources, Mar-17
  • Advocate for and lobby policy and decision makers for increased investment to create research infrastructure that will support open data and open science initiatives Jun-17
  • Sensitize various stakeholders in agriculture research on Creative Commons licensing as one of the approaches to achieve open data and open science, and more specifically sensitize researchers on appropriate repositories for agricultural data. Aug-17
  • Undertake capacity building, training of scientists, stakeholders, and policies makers on open data policy, data management and analytics technologies for open data, need for data preservation, and the merits of open data and open science. This will include information through mobile data collection platforms 
  • Undertake open data readiness assessment of institutions to review the status quo of the agricultural research data, statistics and systems relative to the recommendations of the GS; Review the extent to which the SPARS for each country is adequate to deal with the current situation in each country – and revise/update the SPARS as needed; and On the basis of the above - identify the elements of a plan to move forward to strengthen the agricultural research data, statistics management system in each country; Take stock of progress to date in harmonization of reported open data; and On the basis of the stock-taking, establish a new plan for how this initiative would best be taken forward to be able to contribute to the CODOTA mission and goals. In addition, discuss the impact of the proliferation of sensors in agriculture in Africa and how open data, access and science strategies can help in addressing the challenges in order realize the desired goals these exercises, Sep-17
  • Institute specific approaches, systems, tools and methods needed to improve access and utilization of research data at all levels, Defines the individual and organizational cultural and behavioral changes needed for the implementation of open data and open science in member institutions and countries including necessary capacity development actions to be undertaken, Dec-17
  • Develop open data and open science strategy, protocols (standards) and policies to support the implementation of TG goals and in line with advances in agricultural scientific research space and emerging ICT technology pushes, Mar-18
  • Review and evaluate TG progress and performance with respective to data evolution and committed actions, Jun-18
  • Develop proposals for sustainability of the TG tasks and activities Jul-18
  • Institutionalize principles of agricultural research data, knowledge and innovation for learning in the member institutions and countries, using the power of digitization such as mobile application, big data concepts and crowd sourcing, August –September 2018


Boniface Akuku

Director, Information Management and Communication Technology, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO)

Boniface.akuku (at)     

Dr. John Kinyuru

Lecturer, Food Science and Nutrition, Jomo Kenyatta University of Technology and Agriculture (JKUAT)

jkinyuru (at)       

David Nielson

World Bank Washing DC, Lead Agriculture Economist- Agriculture Global Practice

dnielson (at)

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