Background: Ensuring healthy, safe and nutritious food for everyone is a global concern. Accessing the information to make the correct decisions regarding food security can be challenging. Open data has been shown to help solve practical problems related to agriculture and nutrition, enabling effective decision-making. In order to create a global data ecosystem that benefits everyone, a wide range of stakeholders must be included in the conversations. The GODAN initiative involves a network of over 500 partner organizations committed to open data in agriculture and nutrition. Methods: We analysed data from a survey of the partner organizations, with 225 respondents, to determine open data activities, including challenges, use of open data, stakeholder involvement and future directions. Respondents were asked a variety of free text and multiple choice questions. Results: 160 partners had at least one open data activity, 65 did not, or did not know. Of the 160, 36 had a second activity. Overall, GODAN partners are developing 200 open data activities. Agriculture is the most common focus for an open data activity. Nutrition-only activities are strongly underrepresented. The most frequently mentioned challenge was cost, which is linked to data governance, management, and human capacity; many do not have the funding to begin or maintain open data activities. Conclusions: The most common challenges were the ones related to the data itself, including how to access it, manage it, and how to keep the sensitive data secure. GODAN is already focusing on these issues through the Responsible Data and Data Ownership pieces. Capacity building, and empowering partners with the tools they need to act, is one of the most effective actions available for GODAN. Funding for open data, as well as research to create more sustainable business models, should be the focus of the open data agenda.
- Open data