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As the world’s population grows, global demand for food is predicted to nearly double. The number of people at risk of hunger in the developing world is estimated to grow to more than a billion people by 2050. New data-driven solutions in agriculture and nutrition are increasingly being seen as a way to tackle this challenge.

The Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative seeks to support global efforts to make agricultural and nutritionally relevant data available, accessible, and usable worldwide. The initiative focuses on building high-level policy support for open data in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. GODAN encourages collaboration and cooperation among existing agriculture and open data activities, and brings together stakeholders to solve global challenges. Martin Parr, Programme Manager at GODAN, states: “GODAN is about impact. It’s about finding the open data practices that work and using them to advocate for more open data in agriculture and nutrition. We’re using a data revolution to drive innovation in agriculture and nutrition, which ultimately means improved livelihoods for farmers, especially those in the developing world, and the ability for more people to feed themselves.”

GODAN Action is a three-and-a-half-year programme launched by the UK’s Department of International Development. GODAN Action brings together agriculture and nutrition specialists and open data experts and will support GODAN in its mission by building people’s capacity to engage with open data. The project aims to contribute to increased farmers’ yields, improved nutrition for consumers and better evidence-based policy making. Achieving such impacts requires that individuals, organisations and communities feel confident in engaging with open data.

The activities of GODAN Action will focus on three focal areas:

1) Standards - Enhancing data standards and promoting best practice in agriculture and nutrition to improve interoperability.

2) Research - Identifying and improving tools and methods for evaluation of the impact of open data usage in initiatives and investments in agriculture and nutrition.

3) Capacity - Building the capacity and diversity of open data users, leading to more effective use of data in tackling key agriculture and nutrition challenges.

These focal areas will be supported by activities aiming for uptake of its results and monitoring & evaluation.

GODAN Action brings together a balanced mix of backgrounds and experience with a strong track record in agriculture and nutrition and open data. Led by Wageningen UR it includes: CTA, Open Data Institute, Agroknow, Land Portal Foundation, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), Institute of Development Studies and AidData.

For more information contact: Sander Janssen (GODAN Action project lead),

GFAR's role in the project:

  • Coordinate the creation, population and curation of the Map of agri-food data standards.
  • Coordinate all gap analysis studies in the area of data standards, focusing on weather data standards and farm management data in 2017 and on nutrition data and land data in 2018.
  • Contribute to capacity development activities, especially learning material on data sharing.
  • Contribute to outreach and impact assessment activities .