Improving agriculture and nutrition with open data

Improving agriculture and nutrition with open data

How can we improve agriculture, food and nutrition with open data?

 In this discussion paper, the Open Data Institute highlight examples of how open data is being used in different agriculture and nutrition contexts to:

1. Enable more efficient and effective decision making
2. Foster innovation that everyone can benefit from
3. Drive organisational and sector change through transparency 

Through the presentation of these use cases they argue that open data has great potential to further alleviate today’s pressures on a strained food ecosystem and build necessary mechanisms to support a food-secure future. However they identify a number of challenges around data management, licensing, interoperability and exploitation that require action and call for the evolution of better policy, practice and ethics around open,shared and closed data generally.

The authors propose establishing demand-driven projects and initiatives that start with real-world problems, and engage with problem owners to identify how data can provide actionable information that helps to address needs. To achieve this, they set out five steps for pursuing solution-focused open data initiatives for agriculture and nutrition:

1. Engage with the growing open data community to identify the challenges that open data can help solve.
2. Build open data strategies and projects with a focus on finding solutions to these agriculture and nutrition problems.
3. Develop the infrastructure, assets and capacities for open data in relevant organisations and networks.
4. Use open data and support users of relevant data.
5. Learn through ongoing evaluation, reflection and sharing to ensure we can all continue to improve our practice.

The paper has been produced in collaboration with the Global Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition initiative – a network which focuses on building high-level policy, and public and private institutional support for open data in agriculture and nutrition.

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