CCAFS has developed a Data Management Strategy and it aims to support and guide researchers and partners in producing and sharing high quality data outputs, while at the same time enabling a variety of data management procedures and good practices at project level. Much of this process is being guided by the CCAFS/CIAT Data Management Support Pack. The pack provides resources for researchers to produce well managed, high quality and well documented datasets that are easy to use, both now and into the future. 

Various data portals, including Dataverse, GCM Downscaled Data Portal (CCAFS-Climate), CCAFS Analogues, AgTrials Database, and CGSpace all serve as entry points for accessing the data that is being produced. A number of other data products are hosted through the CGIAR Centers themselves and not just through the above portals. These portals have been specifically designed for common types of data where researchers can publish their data. These significantly increase the accessibility and visibility of scientific outputs to the global community. 

Goal and Guiding Principles 

The goal of CCAFS Data Management Strategy (DMS) is for CCAFS information and data products to be available for long-term use by partners and the scientific community.  

In defining the DMS, the following principles were adopted:  

  • Accessibility 
  • Ease of use  
  • Ethical use and sharing of personal and private data  
  • Provision of support for data generators 
  • Ensuring that credit and visibility go to data generators 
  • Adherence to international standards for data storage 

The objectives of this strategy are as follows:  

  1. To guide CCAFS in designing and implementing support mechanisms to reach the goal.
  2. To make available high quality data to potential users now and well into the future.
  3. To encourage appropriate levels of standardization, adoption of international standards and harmonization so that data from separate research activities can be brought together to enrich our understanding of processes, outcomes and impacts in the areas of the world where CCAFS Works.
  4. To promote the production of FAIR outputs. 

Coordination and decision making  

The development and implementation of the CCAFS DMS is coordinated by the CCAFS Knowledge and Data Sharing team at CIAT. Decisions are closely coordinated with the CCAFS PMC as well as the monitoring, evaluation and learning team (MEL). Strategies and other key decisions go to ISC for approval. To ensure the adherence to common standards CCAFS collaborates closely with the Knowledge and Data Management teams of CIAT, System Office, CGIAR Centers and key partners (e.g. System Management Office and Stats4SD). 

Promoting CCAFS DMS Implementation  

Three key elements are essential to the implementation of this strategy:

1. Establishing a process

A clear process for data sharing and management must be established, from legal agreements through to operating and reporting principles. This conveyor belt is implemented by CCAFS through an online ICT planning and reporting system that identifies the information and data products that are being generated, and ensures that products are made publicly available within the timeframes agreed upon with partners.

  • Legal Agreements
    The Program Participant Agreements (PPA) established with CGIAR Centers and other partners stipulate that data is to be made freely available and set up the timeframes for data publishing by scientists involved in CCAFS research activities. 
  • Operating and Reporting Principles
    The CCAFS Data Management Strategy and The CGIAR Open Access and Data Management Policy. 

2. Supporting compliance

Support and encourage the design and implementation of data management plans and repositories that enable projects to comply with the CGIAR OADM Policy. 

  • Data Management Process 
  • Result-Based Management 
  • Increase the Accessibility and Visibility of CCAFS Scientific Outputs 

3. Enabling a data culture

CCAFS developed and implemented an internal communications strategy that deals with a spectrum of users and activities, including:  

  • Training Open Access Ambassadors from CCAFS Flagships, Regions and Centers. 
  • Presence on CCAFS Intranet and website of open access guidelines, tips and tools. 
  • Annual statistics report of CCAFS information and data products. 
  • Content from CCAFS repositories automatically fed to CCAFS website to showcase information and data products and raise awareness of the repository and its uses.  
  • Communications staff share new products and publications via social media and other channels in order to enhance dissemination and generate enthusiasm for information and data products 
  • Participate in a CIAT-led community of practice of data managers and focal points for data management, and in CGIAR-wide communities of practices on Knowledge Management, Open Access Implementation Working Group and Data Management Task Force.  
  • Inclusion of Open Access and Open Data targets in internal performance management indicators, to monitor progress on targets.  
  • Develop awareness amongst key CCAFS people of CCAFS policies and guidelines.