Getting started

There are four simple steps to share your data on agriculture and food security projects in a way that will support:

  • Better collaboration between donors;
  • Improved targeting of resources;
  • Discovery and mapping of local partners;
  • Easier evaluation of interventions.

Over 2017 you can get support from the Initiative for Open Ag Funding to work through these steps. Contact us for more information.

Step 1: Identify your agriculture and food security projects

Open Ag Funding is about publishing enhanced information on investments in agriculture and food security.

Finding your activities

Search your project or investment database or lists for any activities or investments with a focus on agriculture or food security.

If you currently classify your activities using the OECD DAC Sector/Purpose codes, we have prepared a list of relevant codes you may wish to check.

DAC Sector Codes

Code Title
12240 Basic nutrition (under 120 HEALTH/122 Basic health)
14040 River basins development (under 140 WATER AND SANITATION)
31110 Agricultural policy and administrative management
31120 Agricultural development
31130 Agricultural land resources
31140 Agricultural water resources
31150 Agricultural inputs
31161 Food crop production
31162 Industrial crops/export crops
31163 Livestock
31164 Agrarian reform
31165 Agricultural alternative development
31166 Agricultural extension
31181 Agricultural education/training
31182 Agricultural research
31191 Agricultural services
31192 Plant and post_harvest protection and pest control
31193 Agricultural financial services
31194 Agricultural co_operatives
31195 Livestock/veterinary services
31210 Forestry policy and administrative management
31220 Forestry development
31261 Fuelwood/charcoal
31281 Forestry education/training
31282 Forestry research
31291 Forestry services
31310 Fishing policy and administrative management
31320 Fishery development
31381 Fishery education/training
31382 Fishery research
31391 Fishery services
32161 Agro_industries (under 321 - INDUSTRY)
32162 Forest industries (under 321 - INDUSTRY)
32165 Fertilizer plants (under 321 - INDUSTRY)
43040 Rural development (under 430 - Other multisector)
520 Developmental food aid/Food security assistance
52010 Food aid/Food security programmes
72040 Emergency food aid

If you have a large number of agriculture and food security activities, you may wish to pilot the Open Ag Funding framework with a sub-set, focussing on a single country or value-chain.

Step 2: Map your current data practices & plan for updates

Our data quality framework may require you to:

  • Review activity titles and descriptions;
  • Add additional classifications;
  • Add additional location data;
  • Check that partners are clearly listed; and
  • Include information on results;

for each of the activities you identified in Step 1. Each item in the quality framework has been designed around the data that is needed to improve support improved coordination and funding impact.

Creating improved data will need input from:

  • Programme or investment officers - who will have the knowledge to provide additional activity information;
  • Technical staff - who can adapt databases, or data production workflows, to store and publish enhanced data.

The approach to this step will depend on whether you already publish data using the International Aid Transparency Initiative standard or not.

IATI publishers

Check whether the database or workflow that is used to produce your IATI data includes the fields requested in the Open Ag Funding framework.

Identify whether new fields can be added to the database information is first stored in, or whether new data will have to be included 'downstream'.

New publishers

You will need to decide on an approach to producing IATI data. This may involve mapping your systems against the wider IATI Standard, as well as against the Open Ag Funding framework.

Publishers generally split between (a) building direct integrations with a project database; (b) exporting data periodically into CSV, and converting the data into the IATI XML format.

In an upstream approach you would modify the main database or system you use to create your IATI data to directly include Open Ag Funding fields.

Upstream data production
We are working with creators of common IATI tools to add support for Open Ag Funding fields to their tools, supporting improved upstream publishing.

In a downstream approach you would continue current data production practices, but add in a step that works with the exported data to add extra fields.

Downstream data production
We are working to develop simple spreadsheet templates that can be used to create or annotate IATI data with the Open Ag Funding fields. Get in touch if you would like to pilot use of these templates.

Step 3: Enhance your data

There are two choices to make when planning how to enhance your data:

(1) Automated vs manual

It is possible to use auto-coding tools to apply additional classifications to activities using project descriptions and documents, and in some cases, automatic geocoding is also possible.

However, such approaches are not 100% reliable, and how successful they will be depends on your current data quality.

On the other hand, manually updating activity descriptions and classifications may require programme officer time and expertise, and may be more difficult to apply to past activities, rather than future activities.

(2) Periodic vs ongoing enhancement

Providing enhanced data could be part of the everyday business process of the organisation, or it could be carried out as part of a periodic exercise (e.g. once a quarter) that is designed to not only capture data, but also support in-house knowledge-sharing and collaboration.

The guidance here will be updated after our tool development workshop.

Step 4: Validate, publish & use

The guidance here will be updated after our tool development workshop.