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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.
  • 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

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 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 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  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 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

INGSA2020 Announcements – Keynotes, Get Involved, Registrations open!

Conference Announcements

2020 is just around the corner. Not only will this mark the start of an exciting new decade, it heralds a time of great change as citizens and their governments manage and adapt to a complex array of current and emerging challenges.

INGSA is proud to be hosting its 4th International Conference in Montréal Canada, to continue to interrogate and inform the critical (and contested) intersections between evidence, policy, and society.

Under the conference theme of Evidence in Context – Expanding the Dialogue, INGSA2020 will convene policymakers, politicians, academics, and science advice practitioners from all over the world.

We are excited to be able to announce our line-up of keynote speakers, to open pre-registration for the conference, and to give the members of the INGSA network their chance to suggest sessions and satellites for the meeting. All this information below!

Introducing our Keynote Speakers

  • Her Excellency the Right Honorable Julie Payette
    • The Governor General of Canada
  • Her Excellency Aminata Touré
    • President of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council of Senegal, former Prime Minister of Senegal
  • His Excellency Cheick Modibo Diarra
    • Chair of the Africa Legal Network and former Prime Minister of Mali
  • Prof Naomi Oreskes
    • Professor, History of Science at Harvard University
  • Sir Patrick Vallance
    • Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of the UK
  • Dr Soumya Swaminathan
    • Inaugural Chief Scientist of the World Health Organization
  • Prof Daya Reddy 
    • President of the International Science Council

Suggest a Session or Satellite – Get Involved

If you’ve got a good idea for an interactive parallel session, or a satellite event that will support the goals of INGSA2020, then we want to hear from you now!

For more info, or to download the application templates, see the Get Involved page.

Journals and SuppliesPre-Registrations Open Now!

Did you know that INGSA doesn’t charge conference registration fees?
If you would like to attend INGSA2020, fill out the pre-registration form now to receive more information as it is released.

Register for INGSA2020 now!

Conference Website Now Live

The INGSA2020 official conference website is now live and will continue to be updated with information for delegates.

See it now for more information and to register.

Go to INGSA2020 conference website

Abstract submissions open for PV2020 (Preserving & Adding Value to Data)

The PV 2020 Conference welcomes you to its 10th edition, to be held 12th – 14th  May 2020 at CERN, the European Centre for Nuclear Research.

CERN is operating the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and is working on a strategy (as part of the general European Strategy for Particle Physics) that foresees a timeline out until the end of the current century. Some 300PB of data are currently stored in the on-site archive – including data from previous generations of experiments, such as the Large Electron Positron collider (LEP) that took data from 1989 to 2000 – with additional copies at collaborating High Energy Physics institutes around the world.

In contrast to other conferences and workshops on related topics, the PV series has a particular focus on scientific data, often from large scale, multi-national facilities. However, one should not forget that at least a number of the challenges faced are shared with many other disciplines, as is the need for effective collaboration and sharing of ideas and even solutions.

With respect to previous conferences in this series, and whilst maintaining the overall thrust, additional goals for PV2020 include:

  • Attracting more scientific communities
  • Broadening information exchange, sharing of experiences, tools and even services
  • Keeping in step with (or ahead of) funding agencies / policy makers in their push for Long Term Data Preservation and Open Data

As usual, there will be four sessions, this time focussing on the following outline areas:

Session 1: Ensuring long-term data and knowledge preservation (the “P” in PV);

Session 2: Adding value to data and facilitation of data use (the “V” in PV);

Session 3: Short – medium term issues related to policy, technology, guidelines, FAIR / TRUST principles, certification;

Session 4: (Very) long term issues.

A new session (for the PV series) will be a set of “lightning talks” that will have a light-weight review process and for which the call for mini-abstracts will be sent to registered participants after the formal review process of the full abstracts for posters and papers has completed.

Further information can be found here.

Call for Proposals – Open Repositories 2020

The 15th International Conference on Open Repositories, OR2020, will be held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, from 1-4 June 2020. The organisers are pleased to invite you to contribute to the program. This year’s conference theme is: 

Open for all

In today’s world, access to knowledge by all is viewed by some as a fundamental freedom and human right. In our societies, open knowledge for all can enable sustainable development and growth on many levels. How well do repositories support knowledge in the service of society? How well do they enable local knowledge sharing and support not only academic use, but also use in education and practice?

Invitation to participate

OR2020 will provide an opportunity to explore and reflect on the ways repositories enable openness for all. We hope that this discussion will give the participants new insights and inspiration, which will help them to play a key role in developing, supporting and sharing an open agenda and open tools for research and scholarship.

We particularly welcome proposals on the overall “Open for All” theme, but also on other administrative, organisational or practical topics related to digital repositories. We are particularly interested in the following sub-themes:

1. Equity and democratization of knowledge

  • Accessibility of repositories and their content
  • Equity and democratization of knowledge
  • Inclusion of marginalized and underrepresented voices
  • Local knowledge sharing
  • Moving beyond traditional academic content and services, supporting educators and practitioners
  • Supporting knowledge in the service of society, encouraging non-academic use
  • Enabling access to governmental publications/data
  • Addressing language barriers

2. Beyond the repository

  • Integration with other open knowledge resources (e.g. Wikimedia and Wikidata)
  • Next Generation Repositories, Pubfair
  • Convergence and integration with other types of systems (e.g. current research information systems, digital asset management systems, publishing platforms, ORCID)
  • Interoperability vs integration
  • New models for scholarly sharing
  • Data mining, artificial intelligence and machine learning

3. Open and sustainable

  • Local systems vs repository as a service
  • Securing long-term funding for open infrastructures
  • Open business models and governance for open infrastructures
  • Sustaining community-based infrastructure

4. Policies, licensing and copyright laws

  • Impact of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), POPIA (Protection of Personal Information Act) and copyright laws
  • Publisher policies, embargoes and rights retention
  • Licenses and re-use of content
  • Compliance and impact of funder policies (e.g. Plan S) on repositories

5. Discovery, use and impact

  • Data/metadata visualization
  • Open access discovery, research data discovery
  • Tools for researchers and practitioners, interfaces for machines
  • Measuring impact particularly outside of the academic context.
  • Supporting use by practitioners.

6. Supporting open scholarship and cultural heritage

  • Providing access to different types of materials (e.g. research data, scholarly articles, pre prints and overlay journals, open access monographs, theses and dissertations, educational resources, archival and cultural heritage materials, audiovisual materials, software, interactive publications and emerging formats)
  • Repositories as digital humanities and open science platforms
  • Inclusion of marginalized and underrepresented voices

Submission Process

The Program Committee has provided templates to use for submissions (see below for links). Please use the submission template, and then submit through ConfTool (link coming soon) where you will be asked to provide additional information (such as primary contact and the conference subtheme your submission best fits).

Accepted proposals in all categories will be made available through the conference’s website. Later, the presentations and associated materials will be made available in an open repository; you will be contacted to upload your set of slides or poster. Some conference sessions will be live streamed or recorded, then made publicly available.

After the completion of the conference, we will solicit full papers from a selection of presentation  in order to be published in the OR2020 proceedings (open access, no article processing charge) in cooperation with a scholarly publisher. If you are proposing a presentation or panel, you may want to consider whether it could be turned into a full paper.

Submission Categories


Presentations make up the bulk of the Open Repositories conference. Presentations are substantive discussions of a relevant topic; successful submissions in past years have typically described work relevant to a wide audience. These typically are placed in a 30 minute time slot (generally alongside two other presentations for a total of 90 minutes). We strongly encourage presentations that can be delivered in 20-25 minutes in order to leave time for questions and discussion.

Presentation proposals should be 2-3 pages.


Panels are made up of two or more panelists presenting on work or issues where multiple perspectives and experiences are useful or necessary. Successful submissions in past years have typically described work relevant to a wide audience and applicable beyond a single software system. All panels are expected to include diversity in viewpoints, personal background, and gender of the panelists. Panels can be 60 or 90 minutes long. If 60 minutes, the panel may be combined in a session with a presentation.

Panel proposals should be 2-3 pages.

24×7 Presentations

24×7 presentations are 7 minute presentations comprising no more than 24 slides. Successful 24×7 presentations are fast paced and have a clear focus on one idea. 24×7 presentations about failures and lessons learnt are highly encouraged.

Presentations will be grouped into blocks based on conference themes, with each block followed by a moderated question and answer session involving the audience and all block presenters.

Proposals for 24×7 presentations should be one page.


OR2020 will feature physical posters only. Posters should showcase current or ongoing work that is not yet ready for a full 30 minute presentation. Instructions for preparing the posters will be distributed to authors of accepted poster proposals prior to the conference. Poster presenters will be expected to give a one-minute teaser at a Minute Madness session to encourage visitors to their poster during the poster reception.

Proposals for posters should be one page.

Developer Track

The Developer Track provides a focus for showcasing technical work and exchanging ideas. Presentations are 15-20 minutes and can be informal. Successful developer track presentations include live demonstrations, tours of code repositories, examples of cool features, and unique viewpoints.

Proposals for the developer track should be one page.

Workshops and Tutorials

The first day of Open Repositories 2020 will be dedicated to workshops and tutorials.

Workshops and tutorials generally cover practical issues around repositories and related technologies, tools, and processes. Successful workshops include clear learning outcomes, involve active learning, and are realistic in terms of the number of attendees that can actively participate in the workshop.

Workshops and tutorials can be 90 minutes, 3 hours (half-day), or 6 hours (full day).

Proposals for workshops should be no longer than 2 pages.


The OR2020 proposal templates help you prepare an effective submission. Please select the submission type below to download the templates. Templates are available in Microsoft Word, Open Document Format and Plain Text. Submission in PDF format is preferred.

Submission System

The system will be open for submissions by the end of November,  and the link will be on the conference website (

Review Process

All submissions will be peer reviewed and evaluated according to the criteria outlined in the call for proposals, including quality of content, significance, originality, and thematic fit. The program committee makes the final decisions on inclusion in the conference. If you would like to volunteer to be a reviewer, please contact the program committee below.

Also, please note that the program committee may accept a submission with the requirement that it move to another format (a presentation to a poster, for example). In such cases, submitters will have the opportunity to make a decision on whether to accept or decline such a move.

Code of Conduct

The OR2020 Code of Conduct is available at We expect submitters to hold to the Code of Conduct in their proposals, presentations, and conduct at the conference.

Fellowship Programme

OR2020 will again run a Fellowship Programme, which will enable us to provide support for a small number of full registered places (including the poster reception and conference dinner) for the conference in Stellenbosch. The programme is open to librarians, repository managers, developers and researchers in digital libraries and related fields. Applicants submitting a proposal for the conference will be given priority consideration for funding, and preference will be given to applicants from the African continent. Full details and an application form will shortly be available on the conference website.

Key Dates

  • 13 January 2020: Deadline for submissions
  • 20 January 2020: Deadline for Fellowship Programme applications
  • 10 February 2020: Submitters notified of acceptance of workshop proposals
  • 10 February 2020: Registration opens
  • 17 February 2020: Fellowship Programme winners notified
  • 9 March 2020: Submitters notified of acceptance of full presentation, 24×7, poster and developer track proposals
  • 20 April 2019: Close of Early Bird registration
  • 1-4 June 2020: OR2020 conference

Program Co-Chairs

  • Iryna Kuchma, EIFL
  • Lazarus Matizirofa, University of Pretoria
  • Dr Daisy Selematsela, University of Johannesburg


Local Hosts

Website and Social Media

Building of a terminology for the skills required to make and keep data FAIR

Major steps forward taken in the building of a terminology for the skills required to make and keep data FAIR.
DANS headquarters, The Hague, October 16-18, 2019.

What did we do?

On 16-18 October 2019, representatives of the research data community met at the DANS headquarters in The Hague to continue to build a terminology to describe FAIR stewardship skills (the skills necessary to make data FAIR and to keep them FAIR): the tag #terms4FAIRskills was used on Twitter during the event.

The meeting was kindly supported by FAIRsFAIR. This meeting was a follow up to the first terms4FAIRskills meeting held at the CODATA headquarters in Paris in 19-20 May 2019.

Why is this important?

This effort is building a formalised terminology that describes the competencies, skills and knowledge associated with activities involved in making data FAIR and keeping it FAIR. We have focussed initially on two important use cases, namely:

  • determining what FAIR-related skills are covered by a set of training materials;
  • searching for relevant FAIR-related courses and learning paths.

These will be important in enabling the training of FAIR-related skills for researchers, data stewards and data managers.

Other possible use cases such as developing FAIR-related job descriptions and domain-related searches in topics such as the Life or Social Sciences could also be developed. At the end of the Paris workshop we had a spreadsheet developed with 245 rows of terms based on the FAIR4S table.

What did we achieve since Paris?

Definitions and relationships for each term were developed by our annotation teams. The FAIRsharing team then clarified and added further information to the spreadsheet to enable conversion into an OWL file, which is one of the standard formats for expressing knowledge engineering data sets such as this. Details of this process can be found at

What did we achieve in The Hague?

At the meeting in DANS, the following was achieved:

  • the terminology was remodelled to more precisely distinguish activities from pedagogical concepts such as Knowledge, Skills and Aptitudes.
  • Talks were presented by the collaborations SSHOC, ELIXIR and FAIRsFAIR, which provided insights into how the terminology could be used and extended for their purposes.

What next?

We will continue to atomise and refine each class and build relationships collaboratively using the WebProtege web tool. The terminology will soon be tested against the initial use cases. We plan to make the terminology available in the near future for initial inspection and comment.

Read more.

The Open a GLAM lab book – and collections as data

A Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) Lab is a place for experimenting with digital collections and data. It is where researchers, artists, entrepreneurs, educators and the interested public can collaborate with an engaged group of partners to create new collections, tools, and services that will help transform the future ways in which knowledge and culture are disseminated. These Labs play a significant role in the transformation of large digital collections into data.

So far there was no systematic guidance on establishing GLAM Labs. In September a team of 16 international experts wrote the book ‘Open a GLAM Lab’ in five days during a booksprint and now this book is available under a CC0 licence on  and also accessible from the website of the International GLAM Labs community,

We are sharing with the CODATA community where many colleagues may be interested in the collections as data aspects of this work.

Data sharing from policy to practice: moving beyond national to global

This post was written by Rebecca Lawrence, Managing Director of F1000. She was a session organiser at the CODATA 2019 Conference in Beijing, China 

Scholarly research is a global enterprise, often requiring researchers to collaborate with relevant experts across the world. The data generated during research is a valuable commodity, and researchers are increasingly required to share the data created during their research endeavour. 

However, institutional and funder data sharing policies are typically developed at organisational or national level. Meanwhile, researchers are often funded by several research agencies, working as part of a collaboration and/or with a myriad of data-related outputs.  This makes adherence to the different data sharing policies complex, burdensome and time consuming.  Furthermore, the practical ability to share data – in reputable repositories, with adequate metadata, in usable formats, at economic cost – can be onerous and in some case prohibitive for researchers.  There also remain real cultural, social and economic barriers for many researchers to share their research data openly and in a timely manner.

The session at CODATA Beijing brought together experts representing many different parts of the world to discuss how we can work better together towards harmonisation of policies and incentives for researchers to share their data so that we can fully realise the benefits of making research data more available. Panelists were Jean-Claude Burgelman (European Commission), Rebecca Lawrence (F1000; chair), Xiaoxuan Li (Chinese Academy of Sciences), Erik Schultes (Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences), Daisy Selematsela (University of South Africa (UNISA) Library and Information Services) and Nick Shockey (SPARC).

There was considerable discussion around making sure that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the road towards Open Access (OA) but rather that we learn from it. With data sharing, there was agreement that it is especially important that it is built on a Commons and not allowed to be built by a small number of commercial closed entities. This is especially important given that ownership of data can be far more powerful and restrictive than ownership/copyright of publications. There was also agreement that much of the slow progress towards OA has been caused by confusing and lenient policies. With data sharing we have the opportunity to ensure early on that clear and stringent policies are put in place to ensure that a middle-ground does not emerge along a similar vein to the ‘hybrid’ approach now prevalent in article publishing.

There was also much discussion about the significant, and growing, gap in data sharing practices between the global north and the global south. We need to not just talk about the positives that data sharing can bring but also (and maybe especially importantly in the global south) about the risks of doing nothing. We need to consider carefully the impact on equity and inclusion before we build data sharing systems, not after when it is too late to make a tangible difference. This is especially important when considering the business model for these infrastructures to ensure that approaches don’t develop that will cause further imbalance and inequity.

The importance of ensuring that researchers not only understand what data sharing is about but also why it is important and the potential positive impact it can have on them and their research should not be underestimated. We need to debunk the many myths about it and recognise that this process is going to take considerable time and effort to achieve. 

Having said this, a significant shift towards greater data sharing will only come about if the rewards and incentives system starts to fully recognise the value of such activities and shifts away from the traditional sole focus on publications in high-impact venues. However, during such a shift, we also need to be alert to potential unintended negative consequences of any new system or approach.

Such a shift in incentives can be achieved not only by dangling ‘carrots’ but also by reducing researcher burden.  For example, the increasing use of automated workflows and data capture was highlighted as potentially creating an incentive for researchers to share their data by removing the considerable time burden in capturing and curating the data and associated methods, whilst also increasing the likely level of FAIR-compliance of the resulting data.

There was a sense from the panel that like the early Internet, the current infrastructures being built globally to support data sharing are going to become another revolutionary global infrastructure that can ultimately be used by everyone. Like then, we don’t yet know what this infrastructure may become or what it may enable. But once we can demonstrate the possibilities and potential brought about by open data policies and implementation by working through a few pilots on a multinational scale, this will mobilise the international community very quickly, and help us to bring about the crucial alignment needed around core elements of data sharing policy and implementation. 

SAVE THE DATE: Announcement of CAFDO 2019

Francophone Open Data Conference

17 – 19 December – Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Conscious of the importance of data to build sustainable development, the Francophone African Community on Open Data (CAFDO) in collaboration with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire through the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry host of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), organizes the second edition of the Francophone Open Data Conference (CAFDO 2019) from 17 to 19 December 2019 in Abidjan at the Palm Club Hotel.

The theme of this second edition is ” Open Data: From Principles to Action “. It is placed under the very high patronage of His Excellency the Prime Minister, Head of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire.

The objective of the conference is to promote the openness and reuse of data in French-speaking Africa. Specifically, it will:

  • Advocate at the political level for more openness of data produced in ministries and public institutions;
  • promote good practices on models of openness and exploitation of data;
  • identify common challenges and propose actions for a better contribution of data in building a sustainable economy in member countries.

It is expected at this conference, actors from government, civil society, development organizations, research centers, universities, digital communities (Open Source, Open Data, Open Government, etc.).

Read more

August 2019: Publications in the Data Science Journal

August 2019:  Publications in the Data Science Journal

Title: Development of a Climate Forcing Observation System for Africa: Data-Related Considerations
: Johannes Beck, Ana López-Ballesteros, Wim Hugo, Robert Scholes, Matthew Saunders, Jörg Helmschrot
Title: Practical Application of a Data Stewardship Maturity Matrix for the NOAA OneStop Project
Author: Ge Peng, Anna Milan, Nancy A. Ritchey, Robert P. Partee II, Sonny Zinn, Evan McQuinn, Kenneth S. Casey, Paul Lemieux III, Raisa Ionin, Philip Jones, Arianna Jakositz, Donald Collins
Title: NASA’s Earth Observing Data and Information System – Near-Term Challenges
: Jeanne Behnke, Andrew Mitchell, Hampapuram Ramapriyan
Title: Research Data Publication: Moving Beyond the Metaphor
: Sarah Callaghan
Title: Teaching Research Data Management for Students 
: Cord Wiljes, Philipp Cimiano
Title: Application of Natural Language Processing Algorithms to the Task of Automatic Classification of Russian Scientific Texts
: Aleksandr Romanov, Konstantin Lomotin , Ekaterina Kozlova

The advent of big data heralds huge opportunities

This article was first published by the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Prof. Muliaro delivering his public lecture presentation

The advent and emergence of “Big Data” and its related technologies has brought with it immense opportunities which can be seized if a new era of openness that leverages on various technologies, institutional and organizational frameworks that are critical in harnessing data are developed.

This was revealed during a public lecture titled: Openness in Data, Science and Governance,  delivered by Muliaro Wafula, an Associate Professor in the Department of Computing, School of Computing and Information Technology and Director of the ICT Centre of Excellence and Open Data at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Monday, April, 15, 2019.

Addressing the audience that included the President of CODATA, Prof. Barend Mons and the Executive Director, Dr. Simon Hudson, Prof. Muliaro gave an exposition on the concept of Open data, Open science, and Open governance.

Prof. Mons makes his brief remarks

Characterizing open science as a combination of concepts, tools, platforms and media to promote creation and dissemination of knowledge in free, open and more inclusive ways Prof Muliaro stated that “the goal of open science is to accelerate scientific progress and discoveries to benefit all, guaranteeing that scientific outputs are publicly available and easily accessible for others to use, re-use, and build upon.

He identified what he termed as key open science challenges namely; lack of established best open science practices, competition among scientists, existing credit systems that favour closed science, non-disclosure agreements and copyright laws and intellectual property guidelines as some of the drawbacks against full realization of open science.

Citing the partnership that brings together Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, JICA AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project, IBM East Africa, CODATA and the Kenya Open Data Initiative (KODI), Prof. Muliaro said, the parties were working closely to promote the value of open research data through organizing hackathons on selected datasets of interest to the public in disciplines such as public health and agriculture.

Leveraging on their synergies, the initiative seeks to build, among others, “innovative mobile and web applications that make access and consumption of research data easy for the benefit of the society; encourage scientists to open their research data for public consumption and use, showcase open data capability in providing innovative solutions to societal challenges,” Prof. Muliaro stated.

Prof. Abukutsa delivers the opening remarks

He mentioned Smart Health Application based on indigenous vegetables data, Children Food Nutrition Formula Application based on local Kenyan foods, and Effects of Mugukaa on Health, as some of the key outputs under the initiative.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, in her opening message said, the journey towards embracing open data at JKUAT began five years ago when the institution established the ICT Centre of Excellence and Open Data (iCEOD) – which is expected to serve Kenya and Africa as a region, adding that the Centre had already taken its strategic role seriously, making contributions at the national and global level.

Prof. Ngumi further observed in the remarks read on her behalf by the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research, Production and Extension, Prof. Mary Abukutsa, that “JKUAT is among few leading universities that have taken a bold step towards creating an enabling environment for open data by formulating and adopting an Open Data Research (JORD) Policy in line with the CODATA – led Nairobi Open Data Principles of 2014.”

She however decried insufficient and poor public sensitization on issues such as open data, open science and open governance, arguing that “the tradition and culture for most people has been to be private by default.” Prof Ngumi called for a deliberate strategy to towards changing that mindset.

A section of the academic community including guests
who attended
the public lecture presentation.

The President of CODATA, Prof. Barend Mons, said Africa could lead the initiative to use data at the global level noting,  “data or knowledge is the new oil or gold and it could be more useful if it is shared,” while CODATA Executive Director, Dr. Simon Hudson, underscored the importance of data in implementing sustainable development goals by “creating and measuring data to make meaningful, mindful informed decisions.”

Present at the public lecture included; Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Bernard Ikua; Principal, College of Pure and Applied Sciences, Prof. David Mulati; Deans of Schools including the Dean, School of Computing and Information Technology, Prof. Stephen Kimani,  Heads of Departments and Faculty and students.