A number of countries are taking initiative with ASTI data collection and outreach--institutionalizing the data collection process, disseminating the results, and embedding the data in national policy and decision-making platforms to maximize their use and accessibility.
Recent activities in India, Colombia, and Ghana highlight some of these successes.
In India, the National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM) has adjusted the standard ASTI survey to meet the demand and data needs specific to the country, and, in 2016, produced its own research report analyzing and disseminating the national survey results.
At a NAARM meeting a few weeks ago, agricultural research leaders discussed plans for further institutionalization: to establish regular ASTI-type data collection, embed the data in existing monitoring and evaluation tools and platforms, and sustain these efforts by collaborating with existing information and agricultural research projects.
In Colombia, a partnership between the national agency for agricultural research, Corpoica, and the national science and technology institute, the Observatorio Colombiano de Ciencia y Technologia (OCyT), offers a model for other countries. This partnership has allowed Corpoica to streamline its collection of ASTI-type data by including it in OCyT’s existing the data collection process. In addition, Corpoica created an online system for agencies to update their data and held a series of workshops throughout the country to explain and train agencies on the data collection process. The country now collects agricultural research indicators, along with additional indicators based on demand, on an annual basis. Corpoica’s collaboration with OCyT provided high quality data for ASTI’s time-series datasets and international visibility for both agencies.
Last month in Ghana, our partners at the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (CSIR - STEPRI) convened a stakeholders’ dissemination workshop to present the achievements and outcomes of the ASTI surveys over the past few years to stakeholders in the Ghanaian agriculture sector, including the agencies who provided the data.
The workshop offered representatives of agricultural research and higher education agencies an opportunity to give their feedback on the data collection process and results, and allowed policy makers and the Ghanaian public to understand current trends and critical challenges to agricultural research in the country. Most importantly, the workshop increased awareness of the need for evidence, such as ASTI data, for analysis and decision making related to agricultural research.
The event attracted a good deal of media coverage, from the TV3 and United Television evening news to stories in the Ghanaian Times, Ghana News Agency, and online media organizations.
Other countries are on their way to similar successes in country ownership and institutionalization of ASTI data collection and outreach – a goal that ASTI is aiming for in all the countries where we work.