Advanced Data Exploration Tools to Enhance Data Analysis and Knowledge Management in Africa
Hawa - Fri, 02/02/2018

The Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) and the Development Advancements, Inc. (DAI) held a discussion during the ReSAKSS annual conference in Maputo Mozambique on Advanced Data Exploration Tools to Enhance Data Analysis and Knowledge Management in Africa.



The side event was an opportunity for ReSAKSS to present its web-based mapping tool, called the “ReSAKSS Country eAtlases (RCeA)”, that brings high quality and highly disaggregated data on agricultural, socio-economic, and bio-physical indicators from different sources into a centralized, user friendly, and highly interactive system. The eAtlases can be viewed as a GIS-based mapping tool to help policy analysts and policymakers access and use highly disaggregated data at subnational levels to guide agricultural policy and investment decisions.



The eAtlases serve as an important tool for policymakers, analysts, and other stakeholders by:



1)Providing an online, highly interactive and dynamic data environment rich with standard pre-processing and essential data analysis tools,



2)Assembling in one platform, data from a variety of domains necessary for effective policy design and targeting, and



3)Ensuring broad access to high quality data to facilitate inclusive review and dialogue processes. A recent publication, entitled “The Origins of Congo’s Agricultural Paradox”, illustrates the possibilities and richness of data underneath the RCeA mapping tool for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). After demonstrating the contrast between agricultural potential and nutritional outcomes, this analysis spatially maps and discusses the numerous idiosyncratic and structural causes of DRC’s underperforming agricultural production system, and how rural smallholders have tried to cope with these constraints.



During the side event, DAI presented as part of its work on climate-smart practices in the agriculture sector, its Farm-level Climate-smart Agriculture Assessment Tool (Farm CAAT) to assess the climate resilience of crop-based and dairy farm operations in Kenya, the Eastern Caribbean, and the United States. Climate change considerations include an assessment of adaptive capacity to climate change and extreme weather events, strategies for reducing on-farm carbon emissions, and strategies for increasing farmer productivity.



The presentation included the Farm CAAT tool’s development and its components - assessing farm vulnerability and adaptive capacity, the piloting that has been done to date, and where it could be useful to the agriculture sector. In sum, this discussion aimed at:




  • Introducing and demonstrating the use of ReSAKSS data and knowledge platforms (country eAtlases) in supporting evidence-based policy planning and implementation;

  • Introducing the DAI’s climate-smart agriculture assessment tool to policymakers and program implementers; and

  • Highlighting the importance of centralizing data services for researchers, policymakers and analysts.



 


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