Research data is fundamental to research, and therefore data issues are of great relevance to the CGIAR system.
In April this year, Kwesi Atta Krah (DDG-Research at Bioversity) challenged the Directors of Research in the CGIAR System with the three following questions:
1. How concerned are you with issues of research data quality from within your own Centre?
2. How satisfied are you that your Centre does have a functional mechanism for data management and storage, ensuring for instance, that data is not lost when scientists leave the organization?
3. Would you like to share knowledge and learn from other Centres?

The result was overwhelming…there were issues and challenges among all centers around research data management and all were willing to do something about it. It was clear that this was not a new issue nor one which individual Centers were not already trying to address. Examples of research data management processes and tools were there but what seemed to be needed was greater system-wide sharing. Subsequent to the invitation from Bioversity to come together to share this information and determine ways to move the issue forward, nearly all CGIAR Centers plus the Science Council, CAS-IP, the ICT-KM Program, ILAC and the Alliance Office met at the Bioversity headquarters in Rome for three days (9-11 June) .

Research data managers, IT managers, scientists, science council secretariat members came together to address five objectives:
1. Understand the links between research data management and management of the research cycle
2. Identify common research data management problems and interest in working towards common solutions in CG centres
3. Share experiences with different approaches and tools
4. Agree on a framework for exchange of  material and collaboration
5. Agree on specific tasks that will be undertaken by centres willing to contribute

In the words of a participant: “The workshop was among the best I have attended in recent time. I am glad I have much to look forward to after the workshop.  “

The time was ripe to seriouly look at research data management issues and how these fit in the research agenda of the CGIAR.  Clear action items were agreed upon….more info soon.