Let's talk science and bring data to life!

sep 20, 2014


Imogen Stuart (CCAFS)

Take a look at CCAFS contributions to the CGIAR Development Dialogues "Talking Science" and "Living Data" competitions and cast your vote! 

Next week, CGIAR will host the Development Dialogues event in New York, which will focus global attention on the fundamental roles of agriculture, livestock, fisheries, forestry, landscapes, and food systems – and demonstrate how these areas are fundamental to achieving the emerging UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Two competitions have been launched in the lead up to the event, Talking Science, developed to encourage CGIAR Center scientists to create engaging blog stories and share their research; and Living Data, developed to encourage the online public to find new, enticing and innovative online ways to present CGIAR research facts, figures and open data source. The competitions give people a chance to have their say and vote for the best science insights and creative data visualisations.
Here are some entries that highlight CCAFS work. 


Senegal: Climate information in action!

How can scientists help farmers cope with changing weather patterns that may be outpacing their traditional forecasting knowledge? 

The article, Senegal: Climate information in action!, written by Catherine Pomposi, a graduate student at Columbia University and submitted by Alexa Jay, Program and Communications Officer at CCAFS, defines the current, variable climatic situation in Senegal and illustrates the need for climate services, in terms of  food security and ultimately, survival of the local population.

80% of the local population relies on mostly rainfed agriculture and pastoralism for their livelihoods, these changes in seasonal precipitation totals can have great impacts on the population.

Interannual variability in wet season rainfall in Kaffrine, Senegal, showing large fluctuations from year to year.

Furthermore, it explains how the integration of scientific forecasting with traditional knowledge can empower farmers to cope with climate variability in the context of climate change. 

Read the full story here and cast your vote. 

Climate services for farmers: climate information in action in Africa and South Asia,

Dr. Arame Tall, a CCAFS scientist based at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) outlines 5 key steps towards sustainable national frameworks for climate services in their entry, Climate services for farmers: climate information in action in Africa and South Asia. They explain that the aim of these 5 steps is to map out an integrated approach for co-designing, co-producing, communicating and evaluating climate services that work for smallholder farmers. 


The 5 steps include

  1. Nurture partnerships between climate, agricultural research and farmers
  2. Give farmers a voice in the co-production of climate services
  3. Innovative communications channels to reach “the last mile”
  4. Targeting the most vulnerable
  5. Assessing service delivery 
Read the full story here and cast your vote.

Can social learning change the way we do research for development?

Is it time for researches to look beyond how they traditionally conduct their work? Can moving away from the traditional top-down approach result in innovations that stem from people’s true needs and interests? These are some of the questions Chris Jost, CCAFS Science Officer Linking Knowledge to Action, Wiebke Förch, CCAFS Science Officer Data & Tools, Joost Vervoort, CCAFS Science Officer Scenarios and Cecilia Schubert, CCAFS Communicator (CCAFS) attempt to answer in their collaborative entryCan social learning change the way we do research for development?, part of the The Climate Change and Social Learning (CCSL) initiative.

Together, they promote the idea of social learning as a means to... 

...create greater inclusion and communication, co-learning and continuous engagement throughout projects. In fact, we [CCSL] believe social learning can support a transformational change in how people normally act and respond to challenges that could help accelerate climate adaption and sustainable development. 

The article introduces social learning constructs such as 'learning loops', various social learning approaches and analyses living examples of social learning and how they can benefit climate adaptation and sustainable development.. 
Read the full story here and cast your vote.

Wheat: How “one degree more” is “10% less”…

The CCAFS Living Data entry from Carissa Wodehouse of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) uses data from the input post “Climate impacts on agriculture and food security” by (CCAFS) to illustrate wheats response to climate change. It explains that a 1 degree celcius increase in temperature could see up to a 10% reduction in yield. 

Read the full story here and cast your vote.

CGIAR Knowledge driving changing practices among rural farmers in East Africa

In the entry, CGIAR Knowledge driving changing practices among rural farmers in East Africa, James Kinyangi- Program Leader, John Recha- Participatory Action Research Specialist, Maren Radeny- Science Officer and Vivian Atakos- Communication Specialist of CGIAR Research Program on Climate, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) believe a new type of researcher is emerging.

They explain... 

Like, contemporary scientists, they [farmers] are curious about new knowledge and yearn to find solutions to their local problems...Together, they champion new crops and tend to new livestock breeds that will transform the ability of their communities to withstand increasing heat and drought resulting from variable seasonal rainfall.

Farmers in CCAFS Climate-Smart Villages are now keeping better livestock breeds such as gala goats (pictured); better adapted to the increasingly dry environment and emerging disease challenge.

These new researchers, a.k.a farmers, operate in testing and learning sites referred to as climate-smart villages (CSVs); an initiative run through and innovative partnership between CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), CGIAR Centers, development organizations, policy makers and national agricultural research stations. 

The article goes on to provide examples of climate-smart agricultural interventions, such as disease and drought resistant crop varieties and climate services, tested at CSV sites; and explains how these interventions can equip rural households with higher incomes and greater food security. 

Read the full story here and cast your vote.

Read all competition entries at the development dialogues website. For the latest updates follow #CGIAR_DD on Twitter. The event will be broadcast live from New York on 25 September. For more information and to watch the event live go to dialogues.cgiar.org