Understanding the value of open data and having the skills to practically engage with it are key to tackling agricultural and nutritional challenges.

The 2015 United Nations report on the potential of data for sustainable development - A World that Counts: Mobilising the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development – recognised the need to improve human capacity in data literacy and access in order to remove barriers between people and data. In that context, GODAN Action’s third focus was on developing and strengthening the capacity of potential open data users (researchers, ICT professionals, journalists, policy-makers…) to understand the worth of open data and be able to use it on a practical level. Previous studies of e-skills revealed that many users struggle with access to and usability of data. The usability of open data is often related to the quality of the data provided, often causing further reluctance to publish open data.

A variety of approaches were used to address and provide solutions to the potential bottlenecks faced in the using and sharing of open data:

  • Conducting a skills requirement assessment

  • Developing a curriculum aligned with core open data principles that could be disseminated and relayed within farming communities

  • Delivering a modular online course based on new and existing e-learning content

  • Delivering face-to-face open data training courses

  • Establishing and supporting the GODAN Capacity Development Working Group

  • Establishing and supporting a Training Network

    A collaborative approach was taken to develop a curriculum and online course on “Open Data Management in Agriculture and Nutrition”. The course has five modules including open data principles, using open data, making data open, sharing open data, and copyright and open licensing. Six (6) courses have been delivered to 4448 participants from 148 countries, and feedback has been very positive. The audience, of whom over 32% were women, were mainly researchers, infomediaries and policy-makers.


    Through the GODAN Working Group on Capacity Development, which has a global membership of over 4100, GODAN Action (in collaboration with the Secretariat) produce a monthly Webinar series on various open data topics.

    Communities of Practice

    To encourage uptake and use of the training material, GODAN Action uses communities of practice as a vehicle to support replication of the training across member institutions. A mini-grant programme was introduced in 2018, through which 8 applicants were awarded funding to develop and pass on open data knowledge within their communities through local training initiatives.


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