Introduction to Open Data initiatives

Encouraging organisations and countries to develop open data policies and build a strong data ecosystem can prove difficult, particularly when no previous open data policy exists.
That is why GODAN has implemented several open data initiatives, with the aim of enabling policy change among partners and other organisations. GODAN is making key strides towards influencing policy change in academia and has just published the Open Access and Open Data at PUSH Universities Report. GODAN’s initiatives have successfully led to policy change in many organisations, notably: USAID, DFID, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, leading to GODAN and its partners being commissioned to advise on the development of new FAIR guidelines for open data in three countries.

How can Open Data play a role in Agriculture?

Growing populations and unpredictable environmental changes are putting pressure on global food systems. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of zero hunger and increase food security, governments and multilateral agencies are looking to data for answers.

How can Open Data play a role in Nutrition?

With over 500 million children undernourished, nutrition is a growing global problem. Good quality, comparable, timely nutrition data is vital for guiding government interventions, and for improving existing initiatives.


GODAN has built a robust global network of more than 930 partners, from national governments, non-governmental, international and private sector organisations.

GODAN Open Data initiatives include

The GODAN Ministerial Conference in Kenya 2017 One of GODAN’s most successful initiatives was the 2017

GODAN ministerial conference on Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition in Nairobi, Kenya. Organised by GODAN, the event brought together a number of nations to build efforts in Africa and the broader Global South to ensure full participation in achieving the 2030 goals through data. The outcome was a historic 16 article declaration from Kenya and 15 African Ministers from Sudan, Uganda, Ghana, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, the Republic of Congo and South Sudan in support of comprehensive open data collaboration.

Open Access and Open Data at PUSH (Presidents United to Solve Hunger ) Universities:

Another of GODAN’s initiatives was a study of the development, use and promotion of open data and open access in 99 PUSH Universities in partnership with PUSH.

Donor Work

GODAN and Open Data Institute (ODI) published a report on Donor Open Data Policy and Practice , which focused on jointly funded grantees from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Kingdom Government Department for International Development (DfID) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Government Open Up Guide for Agriculture

GODAN created the Government Open-Up Guide for Agriculture (previously known as the AgPack) in partnership with the Open Data Charter and Open Data Institute. The project began in 2016 and aims to guide governments to identify and publish data sets that may be relevant for the agricultural sector, and could catalyse sustainable agricultural production in support of Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger (SDG2).

The Nairobi Declaration

Alongside 15 African governments, including: South Africa, Congo, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Ghana; GODAN signed a declaration for comprehensive open data collaboration in the nutrition and agriculture sectors, to help combat the global food security crisis. This historic declaration was the first of its kind to form a ministerial level network focusing on open data in agriculture and nutrition. The Nairobi Declaration was signed during a Ministerial Conference, hosted by GODAN and the Kenyan Government, at the 4th Agritec Africa Exhibition on 16 June, 2017 in Nairobi. View or download the Nairobi Declaration HERE.

The GODAN/CAFDO Declaration

The CAFDO (Communauté Afrique Francophone des Données)/GODAN Declaration was signed in December 2019, bringing together high-level representatives from the Francophone African data community, alongside representatives of CILS member countries. The agreement sees the countries aiming to work together to further the open data agenda in the region, to help combat drought among other challenges to agriculture and nutrition in the region. View or download the GODAN/CAFDO Agreement HERE.

The Accra Declaration

The Accra Declaration was signed on 24 October 2019 during the Africa Geospatial Data and Internet Conference. Conclusions from the conference were discussed by African Ministers and experts, attempting to capture the best mechanisms, practices, and ideas arising from the event, and crystallize them into a formal declaration pledging joint action in maximising the use of data technologies (especially GEOdata) to the benefit of the region. The agreement was supported by numerous institutions, including SERVIR, FAO, GMC and the CTA, who jointly agreed to lend their expertise to the West African nations. View or download the Accra Declaration HERE.


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