This paper begins by locating the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition project (GODAN) in the context of wider debates in the open data movement by first reviewing the literature on open data (OD) and open data for agriculture and nutrition (ODAN).
The review identifies a number of important gaps and limitations in the existing literature. There has been no independent evaluation of who most benefits or who is being left behind regarding ODAN. There has been no independent evaluation of gender or diversity in ODAN or of the development outcomes or impacts of ODAN. The existing research on ODAN is over-reliant on key open data organisations and open data insiders who produce most of the research. This creates bias in the data and analysis. The authors recommend that these gaps are addressed in future research.
The paper contributes a novel conceptual ‘SCOTA’ framework for analysing the barriers to and drivers of open data adoption, which could be readily applied in other domains. Using this framework to review the existing literature highlights the fact that ODAN research and practice has been predominantly supply-side focused on the production of open data. The authors argue that if open data is to ‘leave no one behind’, greater attention now needs to be paid to understanding the demand-side of the equation and the role of intermediaries. The paper argues that there is a compelling need to improve the participation of women, people living with disabilities, and other marginalised groups in all aspects of open data for agriculture and nutrition. The authors see a need for further research and action to enhance the capabilities of marginalised people to make effective use of open data.
The paper concludes with the recommendation that an independent strategic review of open data in agriculture and nutrition is overdue. Such a review should encompass the structural factors shaping the process of ODAN; include a focus on the intermediary and demand-side processes; and identify who benefits and who is being left behind.