Understanding the issues that programmes face
Lots of programmes means lots of information
Agricultural researchers all over the world are working hard to eradicate hunger and malnutrition by boosting crop production in regions such as Africa. And, because it’s important to approach complex problems from lots of directions, a wide range of different approaches are being used to achieve related goals such as increasing yields, and boosting pest and disease resistance and tolerance to drought.
The problem is that these programmes produce a huge amount of important information and knowledge. Difficulties handling, storing and sharing the large volumes of information and data are issues that affect most programmes. And since information and knowledge are only really useful if they are shared, knowledge management and communications are incredibly important to this work.
Sharing knowledge isn’t easy
Unfortunately, efficiently sharing the information and knowledge produced by complex programmes is difficult for a whole range of reasons. It’s not enough to simply give people tools for sharing information, for example, you have to teach them how to use them and then build their trust in them.
Even well-established pathways for dissemination, such as publishing in journals, can be problematic. There is tremendous competition when publishing in high-impact journals, for instance. Plus, publishing any article requires considerable coordination between authors, which can be difficult when busy teams are spread across different regions.
Understanding the role of AgShare.Today
AgShare.Today is working to help specific programmes to overcome the issues that they face when managing and sharing information. And, as with any complex problem, we’re approaching this one from a variety of directions.
The work being done by the AgShare.Today project therefore ranges from initiatives to help programmes to take advantage of the latest communications and data management systems, to work to gather and make available useful resources such as key reports, grey literature and open access journal articles. Meetings are being arranged to train teams and bring them together to share ideas and information.