Moving GODAN Partners Together Towards Action

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Establishing working groups to address real world agriculture and nutrition problems by aligning Partner activities with GODAN Action Pillars

GODAN Partners and the Secretariat drafted an outline of how to address real world agriculture and nutrition problem with open data through a collective effort by partners. We would like all partners to:

1. Comment on this outline:  this will help create our working groups

2. Participate in relevant working groups 

GODAN Objectives:

GODAN aims to bring about initiatives across our partner network to improve the use of open data in agriculture and nutrition to help solve global problems and achieve food security. Partners recognize that it is important to start with real problems and engage with problem owners to reach the full potential of open data. Our approach is to build a data commons across our partners and apply open data to create tangible change and develop improved open data policies and good practice guidelines.

GODAN partners and its secretariat actively encourage partner activity that promotes cohesion.  We convene discussions and facilitate and host conversations around defined problem statements relating to the five pillars of the GODAN Statement of Purpose.  Our aim is to help partners build solutions and explore how the GODAN model of engagement works, strengthening and deepening the GODAN network as a result.

GODAN Secretariat Role:

This document sets out the Action Pillars, and how GODAN’s Secretariat may engage partners to participate in focused working groups around them.

GODAN’s Secretariat primary role in relation to the Pillar Working Groups is convening and supporting partner-led action. As part of these, partners might identify existing or new problems that they want the broader partner network to work on with them. They may have already identified funding, at least in part, to address these issues. GODAN’s Secretariat can help broker collaborations, but it is not in a position to directly fund project work beyond supporting convening and collaboration activities.

The GODAN Secretariat completes it’s inception phase in mid-2015.  For the remainder of 2015 the Secretariat and Pillar Working Groups will work toward tangible demonstrations of how the GODAN model advances the impact of open data activities in agriculture and nutrition at scale, addressing real-world problems.

Snapshot of GODAN’s value add to partners:

  1. Convening global partners across multisectoral
  2. Legitimacy: Recognized by leading governments as an organization that specifically targets cross-sectoral open data growth
  3. Monetary: Increases funding for open ag and nutrition data globally, introduces investors to social entrepreneurship sector, and in turn exposes social entrepreneurs to global resources.

Action Pillars:

From the GODAN Statement of Purpose and engagement with partners we have identified five Action Pillars. As a multi-stakeholder partnership, GODAN will:

  1. Advocate for new and existing open data initiatives to set a core focus on agriculture and nutrition data;
  2. Encourage the agreement on and release of a common set of agricultural and nutrition data;
  3. Increasing widespread awareness of ongoing activities, innovations, and good practices;
  4. Advocate for collaborative efforts on future agriculture and nutrition open data endeavors; and,
  5. Advocate programs, good practices, and lessons learned that enable the use of open data particularly by and for the rural and urban poor;

We will address these pillars through a series of working groups that may relate to one or more pillars. We will have a clear plan of action for each of these areas.  Each working group will operate on a targeted timeline to deliver against a specific problem, this might be anywhere from a few weeks to a few years.  Their focus will relate primarily to a single pillar, but as any progress in open data for global agriculture and nutrition is part of a larger ecosystem, relevance to other pillars will be evident.  Each working groups operations embody GODAN’s unique model and demonstrated value add to this field as a truly global network.

Guiding Principles:

In our work on these issues, we will be guided by the following principles:

  • Start with a real-world global problem of agriculture and nutrition. These should be problems that you are already working on or planning to work on. Articulate the problem and set out clear shared goals, agreed and understood by representatives of GODAN’s varied partner network including donor, government, multi-national corporations, entrepreneurs, technologists, and data scientists, smallholder farmers, health workers. This will need a clear processes for engaging partners in problem definition, and in ensuring we use the diversity of the GODAN network to fully understand the challenges open data can address. What facilitation role do we expect GODAN to do? Who can we broker access to? What initiatives?
  • Partner-led, inclusive working – ensuring diverse stakeholders from the GODAN network are represented in working groups, and providing extra support to ensure there is balanced representation of different stakeholders wherever possible.
  • Demonstrate impact – and the potential for wider impact – through tangible pilots, partnerships, prototypes, and storytelling that include documentation of successes, failures, and suggested improvements to bring best practices to scale.
  • Capture and share learning – with a focus on identifying and demonstrating how a global consortium can be an effective tool for open data impact, and understanding the contextual issues that affect the scaling-up of collaborative activities around open data.
  • Operate in the open – ensuring the process for decision-making is open, replicable, and available to real-time feedback.
  • Agree how the group would want to communicate and share progress.

Working Methods:

These can be developed initially through the upcoming pre-meeting of IODC, and subsequently through a Web Meeting and consultation with partners.  Once agreed through consensus of partners, the GODAN secretariat would work to support each of these Working Groups to deliver on its action plan.

Each working group should:

Be supported by a member of the GODAN secretariat, acting as coordinator;

  • Be co-chaired by GODAN partners;
  • Be open to participation from all GODAN partners;
  • Make efforts to represent all relevant stakeholder groups
  • Be supported by a small budget to support coordination and collaboration. The secretariat might support this in part but other options for funding should be considered;

Between now and June 15th, for each Working Group to be chartered, there should be:

  • A short plan of action, including:
    • A problem statement;
    • A list of potential members;
    • A list of milestones and actions;

We would like to receive opinions of GODAN partners on this outline, please use the below comment box for public commenting or contact Ben Schaap via e-mail.

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