CIAT with lead guest editor Megan Zandstra coordinated the Volume 13, Issue 2 of the KM4Dev Journal on ‘Open research, open data, and your development organization: best practices in information and data management for development’. Guest Editors were Megan Zandstra, Simone Staiger-Rivas, Leroy Mwanzia, Abby Clobridge, Iryna Kuchma, Abraham Azubuike, Michelle Willmers and Nilam Prasai.

From the editorial

Data and information management are key components of enabling a knowledge-sharing environment in the development sector. Improved physical and virtual availability, accessibility, and applicability of data and information increases the chances of it reaching intended audiences and providing them with new insights, evidence, or confirmation of assumptions. In this Special Issue of the KM4Dev Journal: Open research, open data, and your development organization: Best practices in information and data management for development we present six cases of open access and open data management approaches in diverse institutional settings around the world. Novel open data management tools and practices aim to support the discovery of solutions and answers to some of the world’s most complicated problems; the data for which were previously hidden in numerous unpublished data sets with restricted access. There is increasing evidence that data quality increases as data collection is automated, and its analytical methods improved; therefore many organizations are currently addressing the technical and organizational challenges of open data management, trying to provide the components that will strengthen data curatorial and analytical capacity. From the digitization of documents for the Greek Parliament to the management of data and information for a large network of bean research organizations in Africa, we share how institutions of all types are working to make information openly available, accessible, and applicable for the purpose of global development. Read more about the articles in this issue

Two articles co-authored by CIAT staff

A case is written by Medha Devare et al., including Leroy Mwanzia and Megan Zandstra. Entitled “Open Access and Open Data at CGIAR: Challenges and Solutions”, it provides insight into efforts of a global agricultural research partnership (CGIAR) to make data and other research outputs findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable, and interlinked, in order to accelerate innovation and tackle global challenges around food and nutrition security. The paper outlines the organization’s strategic approach in terms of working with its 15 global centers to implement the CGIAR Open Access and Data Management (OADM) Policy and strive for better cohesion in terms of curatorial workflows and localized center-specific policy development. Highlighting technical as well as community issues, the paper highlights some of the challenges around the level of capacity and infrastructure development required for implementation of the OADM policy.

Another case study is authored by Muthoni et al. (including Simone Staiger-Rivas, Koen Beelen, Krishan J Bheenick) and discusses how the Southern African Bean Research Network developed a knowledge management approach (KM) for an agricultural innovation system in a five-step pilot exercise. The team applied a KM scan, comprising of a survey and a face-to-face participatory validation of the analysis, which resulted in the formulation of new KM work plans for the regional network. The bean network combined participatory approaches to propose best suited knowledge management (KM) interventions for its member countries. A five-step exercise used existing elements of the alliance’s strategy, a KM survey and a face-to-face participatory validation of the analysis, to identify gaps in current KM approaches and to collectively point to immediate opportunities for improvement. The KM survey, also referred to as a scan, provided a neutral space for reflection. Its conclusions through the workshop process were crucial in confirming the network’s strengths and weaknesses specific to KM. Feeding back the results into existing work plans provided concrete opportunities for country members to implement ideas that had been discussed. The approach to and the outputs of this exercise were extrapolated to formulate a theory of change on KM for the alliance.

See the issue here: http://journal.km4dev.org/index.php/km4dj

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