Open Access at CTA supporting agricultural development in ACP states

Laureene Reeves Ndagire

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) has a long tradition of supporting ACP agricultural and rural development institutions to improve management of their information and communication processes, and is now engaging ACP institutions to support integrated knowledge management both at organisational level and within their networks.

The CTA is collaborating with various international partner organisations, networks and communities of practice in the field of knowledge management to achieve these objectives. The challenge is now to better understand how the convergence of technologies, services and channels, as well as the increased mobility of the stakeholders will influence the provision of services by the future agricultural knowledge resource centres (KRC). Such an exercise will require taking stock of the current trends, the potential solutions offered by new technologies and collective reflection on how the future agricultural KRC functions to address the evolving scenarios for the future.

For Open Access week ’14, CTA held an expert consultation on the future of agricultural knowledge resource centres”,  inviting its partners across the diversity of disciplines, technologies, tools and approaches to a joint consultative meeting to brainstorm on how  open access knowledge resource centres in the ACP regions will facilitate knowledge management processes.  As a result of this consultation, CTA hopes to be able to identify clear areas of interventions in the field of information, communications and knowledge management in ACP regions, in collaboration with its partners.

The meeting brought together participants from various backgrounds e.g. research, extension, farmer organisations, policy organisations, value chain actors, librarians, information systems managers. Participants shared their interpretation of the term ‘AKRC’ – through a  before and after comparison of personal definitions which indicated a change in personal interpretation. A group volunteered to work on a reference document on the topic, which may result in a policy brief.

On the technical side, around 8 ideas were proposed for joint initiatives to explore together with partners –some of them more specific, targeting a call for proposals which will be launched  to more strategic approaches such as capturing local or indigenous knowledge and making them accessible.