Sunlight for Growth: AidData Joins GODAN Action to Open Up Data in Agriculture and Nutrition

On August 2nd, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative announced the launch of a program to bring useful agriculture and nutrition data out of closed silos and into the open light. GODAN Action will seek to leverage open data to increase crop yields, improve nutrition for consumers, and promote evidence-based policymaking. AidData, which was already one of over 330 GODAN Network partners, now joins GODAN Action as a sub-awardee.

Photo by Lukas Budimaier.

Over the course of the three-and-a-half-year program, AidData will develop new tools and methods to evaluate the use and usefulness of open data in the agriculture and nutrition sector. In particular, AidData will leverage its 2016 omnibus survey of development policymakers and practitioners in 126 low- and middle-income countries to shed light on how agriculture and nutrition data can be used to support policymaking and programming at the country level.

“By 2050, the number of people in the developing world at risk of hunger is estimated to grow to more than a billion,” said Brad Parks, AidData Executive Director. “Investing in open agriculture and nutrition data, and next-generation tools and methods to analyze those data. will enable decision-makers to more effectively target and assist the populations who need help the most. We’re excited to work alongside GODAN to provide data, tools, and analysis that can help the international community reach the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal of ending hunger and achieving food security.”

GODAN brings together stakeholders from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to build high-level policy support for making agricultural and nutritionally relevant data available, accessible, and usable worldwide. The 2016 GODAN Summit, the largest event ever planned for open data in agriculture and nutrition, will take place this September 15-16 in New York City, and bring together leaders from the UN, the US, and world governments.

“GODAN is about impact,” said Martin Parr, Programme Manager at GODAN. “It’s about finding the open data practices that work and using them to advocate for more open data in agriculture and nutrition. We’re using a data revolution to drive innovation in agriculture and nutrition, which ultimately means improved livelihoods for farmers, especially those in the developing world, and the ability for more people to feed themselves.”

GODAN is funded by the governments of the US, the UK, and the Netherlands, and multilateral institutions such as: the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), CABI, the CGIAR Consortium, CTA, and the Open Data Institute.

Led by Wageningen UR, partners on the GODAN Action program include: AidData, Agroknow, CTA, the FAO, the Institute of Development Studies, Land Portal Foundation, and the Open Data Institute.