The generation, collection, storage, use and sharing of data can be time-consuming and expensive. Often, effort is duplicated, or the potential value of data is lost because the data cannot be found, accessed, used, or reused. Not all the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s data-rich work has met its potential because data has not been shared or assets have not been used in new contexts. The foundation is committed to unlocking the full value of data in agriculture and food systems through open and interoperable data ecosystems. In this project, CABI will address constraints in realizing the value of data in the foundation’s investments by increasing the capacity and capability of Program Officers, grantees and national systems to initiate and manage change processes towards FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable) and responsible data management.
The Bill & Melinda Gates foundation has made great progress in the past ten 10 years in exploring new and innovative digital soil mapping technologies and national soil information systems (SIS) in Africa and South Asia to help organise new and existing soil information. However, constraints within countries stop the SIS from being sustainable and adaptable. The foundation is now looking for ways to make the SIS more responsive to local demand. CABI is working with partners to identify what intervention approaches have worked, and which have not, which solutions work best and where to take innovation to scale for SIS development. The process will involve engagement with key stakeholders and decision makers in various countries through an iterative process.
Universities play an important and largely unfulfilled role in the well-being of small-scale farmers and the economic development of countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) supports universities to address this important role. Established in 2004, RUFORUM is a consortium of 46 African universities operating within 22 countries spanning the African continent.