Henry Mibei: Report on attendance at CODATA conference

Name: Henry Mibei
Designation: Operations Manager Mobile, Africa
Organization: CAB International

CODATA 2019 conference: Towards next-generation data-driven science: policies, practices and platforms


CODATA exists to promote global collaboration to improve the availability and usability of data for all areas of research. CODATA supports the principle that data produced by research and likely to be used for research should be as open as possible and as closed as necessary. CODATA works also to advance the interoperability and the usability of such data: “Research data should be intelligently open or FAIR”. By promoting the policy, technological and cultural changes that are essential to make research data more widely available and more usable, CODATA helps advance ICSU’s mission of strengthening international science for the benefit of society. The conference, themed, ‘Towards next-generation data-driven science: policies, practices and platforms’  was organized by CODATA and CODATA-China with support from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of P. R. China, China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), and National Natural Science Foundation of China. The conference attracted more than 300 participants from six continents and representing 45 countries.

Objective of the Conference

This conference provided a significant opportunity to survey and examine developments in open data policies from a global perspective.

My Objectives

  • To present a The paper was accepted for publication in the Data science journal. http://datascience.codata.org/.
  • To build networks with academics and experts and to share thoughts on advances and technological breakthroughs for future business
  • To increase visibility of CABI the organization I work for, and CODATA who sponsored my attendance in the conference

Science globally is being transformed by new digital technologies. At the same time addressing the major global challenges of the age requires the analysis of vast quantities of heterogeneous  data  from multiple  sources.   In  response,  many  countries,  regions  and scientific domains have developed Research Infrastructures to assist with the management, stewardship and analysis. These developments have been stimulated by Open Science policies and practices, both those developed by funders and those that have emerged from communities. The FAIR principles and supporting practices seek to accelerate this process and unlock the potential of analysis at scale with machines.

Benefit to attending the Conference

Attending the conference gave me an opportunity to showcase my research findings in open science space. Networking and exposure also gave me an opportunity for future collaboration. It was an opportunity to increase the visibility of CABI and CODATA.

  • Interacting with researchers and experts in this International forum was a good way of increasing CABI’s visibility in the data science space, a current and trending area for business
  • CABI as the current host of the GODAN secretariat, which advocates for open data and open access policy as well as release and reusability of data for improved environmental and social outcomes needs to be more represented in similar forums to showcase our strengths in data science as we week new partnerships in the My attendance to the conference was a benefit to CABI.
  • CABI’s research is diverse and large quantities of data are gathered and generated therefore maintaining a good relationship and publishing in the CODATA science journal and other affiliated journals gives CABI more options to publish data science related work in a wide array of journals improving knowledge access and

Title of Presentation(s):

Session Title: Building resilience on food security and nutrition through Open Data https://conference.codata.org/CODATA_2019/sessions/143

Beijing – China Kenya – Nairobi
Room No. 10, Friendship Palace Date: Sept. 20, 2019

Time: 11:30 am – 13:00 pm

Time: 14:00 pm – 15:30 pm

Room: KALRO Hqts Board Room Date:  Sept. 20, 2019

Time: 6:30 am- 8:00 am

Time: 9:00 am – 10:30 am


  Session Introduction

143: Building resilience on food security and nutrition through Open Data

Facilitator: Henry Mibei  

Onsite Presentations

1 407: A governance and data stewardship framework for FAIR agricultural data: The Paul James Box Paul.j.box@csiro.au Paul James Box , Kerry Levett , Bruce Simons , Megan Wong


  Agricultural Research Federation

(AgReFed) – an Australian research infrastructure case study

2 476: User-centered design in development of Decision support tools: Lessons from the development and deployment of a Fertilizer Optimization tool for fertilizer use by smallholder farmers in Africa Henry Mibei  h.mibei@cabi.org Henry Mibei, Harrison Rware
3 479: Agricultural Sector Transformation: Mobile Applications for Smallholder Farmers# Simon Mutuku Mulwa simon.mulwa@kalro.or g Irene Wambui  Kimani, Simon Mutuku Mulwa, Boniface Akuku
4 514: Manipulation and Handling of genomics big data to next generation data Science Muhammad

Abdul Rehman Rashid  rashidpdg@hotmail.co  m


Abdul Rehman Rashid

Remote Presentation Audio- Kenya KALRO HQTs Boardroom
1 458: Improving Agricultural Policies and Decisions in Kenya using Data Cube Architecture Boniface Okelo Akuku  boniface.akuku@kalro.  org Boniface Okelo Akuku, Boniface Okelo Akuku, Kenneth Mubea, Brian  Killough
2 527: Communicating Data: Evidence from Lessons and Experiences of Agricultural Science and

Technology Indicators

Virginia Wangari Ndungu Virginia Wangari Ndungu, Irene Wambui Kimani
3 484: Small Holder Farmers Reap Big: Kenya Agricultural Observatory Platform Irene Wambui Kimani  irenewarui@yahoo.com Irene Wambui Kimani, Boniface A Akuku, Joseph Wafula
4 515: Mitigating the effects of climate change through early warning and monitoring systems: A case of the small holder farmer in Kenya Morris Gatheru morris.gatheru@kalro.o rg Morris Gatheru, Boniface Akuku, Irene Kimani
Closing remarks- Way Forward, All

This session was primarily chaired by Henry Mibei where eight papers were presented, four papers onsite and four presented remotely. Henry noted that resilience building will require the use of timely and accurate data/information that leverages on technologies that build on agro-ecological knowledge and the entire agricultural value chain layers comprising farmers, environment information and agricultural practices. Henry presented a paper on designing user-centered decision support tools for agriculture outlining the lessons from the development and deployment of a fertilizer optimization tool. HM outlined that any digital product should be developed considering user’s requirements, objectives and feedback. “If we don’t solve real problems for our users, they’re not going to give us business. Design has to do with intention and that intention is always to solve a human problem. Successful systems and products begin with an understanding of the needs and requirements of the users”.


  • Information ranging from climate and rainfall patterns, droughts, trends in crop pests and diseases to the number of farmers in a particular area should be put in the public domain so that it can be easily accessed to facilitate decision-making
  • There is often too much information available to make a clear decision, with so much data to sort through, you need something more from the There is a need then to think about the capacity to analyse data and to apply that information to decision-making.
  • Open data is crucial in modernizing food production systems and governments in particular should strive to make it accessible especially to the smallholder
  • Question on sustainability of donor projects emerged e. being able to perform and deliver project benefits to the primary target group after the funding from a donor terminates. What should be done? Sustainability requires long term planning to facilitate diverse donor engagement and to improve institutional capacity of the target population. It is important to integrate sustainability aspects in the project right from the beginning. This will help to develop partnerships and relations with relevant stakeholders at an early stage of project development and ensure that once the primary funding terminates there is a strong support to continue delivering project’s objectives. It is also important to involve key stakeholders in program development. As part of the project activities initiate multi-stakeholder dialogue workshops should be conducted to involve relevant people in the project.

Benefits/Value add to CODATA

Delegates at CODATA 2019 Conference, Friendship Hotel Beijing China, 19th September 2019


Conveners: CODATA, CODATA China
Supporter: Minister of Science and Technology (MOST), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), NSFC
Local organizer: Computer Network Information Center, CAS; National S&T Infrastructure Center, MOST