31 October 2013 – CABI has joined the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), which seeks to support global efforts to make agricultural and nutritionally relevant data available, accessible, and usable unrestricted worldwide.

As an organisation working at the intersection of agriculture, international development, scientific publishing and knowledge management, CABI is delighted to be a founding member GODAN. Focusing on building high-level policy and public and private institutional support for open data, this initiative encourages collaboration and cooperation among existing agriculture and open data activities, without duplication, and brings together all stakeholders to solve long-standing global problems.

Open access to research, and open publication of data, are vital resources for food security and nutrition, driven by farmers, farmer organisations, researchers, extension experts, policy makers, governments, and other private sector and civil society stakeholders participating in ‘innovation systems’ and along value chains. Lack of institutional, national, and international policies and openness of data limits the effectiveness of agricultural and nutritional data from research and innovation. Making open data work for agriculture and nutrition requires a shared agenda to increase the supply, quality, and interoperability of data, alongside action to build capacity for the use of data by all stakeholders.

The GODAN initiative is a voluntary association brought together around a shared purpose. Launched today at the Open Government Partnership in London, the initiative welcomes all those who share this purpose to join as members and to participate in shaping coordinated activities that can deliver on the potential of open data for agriculture and nutrition. Together, initiative partners seek to support this initiative through the following guidelines and principles.

In line with global movements for open data and open access, the initiative seeks to:

• advocate for open data and open access policies by default, in both public and private sectors, whilst respecting and working to balance openness with legitimate concerns in relation to privacy, security, community rights and commercial interests; and

• advocate for the release and re-usability of data in support of innovation and economic growth, improved service delivery and effective governance, and improved environmental and social outcomes.

With a focus on open data for agriculture and nutrition, GODAN looks to:

• advocate for new and existing open data initiatives to set a core focus on agriculture and nutrition data;

• encourage the agreement on and release of a common set of agricultural and nutrition data;

• share learning and guidance: by increasing widespread awareness of ongoing activities, innovations, and good practices;

• advocate for collaborative efforts on future agriculture and nutrition open data endeavours; and

• advocate programmes, good practices, and lessons learned that enable the use of open data particularly by and for the rural and urban poor.

Martin Parr, Programme Manager at CABI, said, “We’re excited to be a founding partner of GODAN. CABI is a significant global player in the generation and management of agriculture and nutrition research data. Through our organisation’s international membership, we’re in a good situation to support the mission of GODAN, helping developing countries overcome the significant challenges they may face in the generation and use of open data.”

To see the full list of current partners, go to