Patti Kristjanson

Patti Kristjanson

A reaction to the CSI conference from Patti Kristjanson
Leader, Innovation Works Initiative
International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya

Governments, particularly in places like Africa, collect all this data. And they hang onto it. It’s starting to change, but it is still challenging even to find government data and maps in many African countries.

But now, through sites like GoogleEarth, everybody can put up spatial information and make it available to the world. People will actually know what’s going on and where.

This knowledge is power! When people see what’s really going on—the trends in water, in soils, livestock, farming, hunger, disease, and poverty–it will change the way governments function in Africa.

With CSI and collaboration across CGIAR centres, we have a great opportunity to bring together our spatial information on poverty and environment. Together, we can tell a truly powerful story on issues the world cares about–more powerful than we can do as individual centres.

Our comparative advantage lies in the analyses we do to address these tough challenges . And we can really take advantage of opportunities now offered to reach the world by putting our spatial analyses on GoogleEarth, MapMaker, HealthMap and others.

Google Earth is not doing any such spatial analyses, but sure doesn’t mind sharing our results!

More opinions from the participants in the CSI meeting can be found in this blog searching for CSI09