Scholars and early career scientists drawn from Africa, United States of America, China, France, Japan, Russia, and the United Kingdom converged Monday August 4, 2014 at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology for two-day training on Open Data for Science and Sustainability in Developing Countries.
The training aims to build capacity of participants in long-term preservation, archiving of and access to scientific and technical data to suit the dynamic needs of research in developing economies. Besides induction into global best practices in Open data, participants will also be equipped with requisite skills on data analysis and data applications, particularly those involving geospatial data of huge importance for environmental and developmental research of various kinds.
Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga who flagged off the training noted that despite huge data sets generated locally, Kenya is yet to benefit from scientific insights that come with such data due to knowledge gaps.
Prof. Imbuga thus urged the trainees to maximize learning so as to drive big data research and application in their respective countries. This, the Vice Chancellor added, would contribute to informed decision making due to availability of and access to quality data.
ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) Executive Director Dr. Simon Hodson opined that data is the natural resource for research, hence the need for accurate timely and complete data for meaningful progress in research into on every facet of human life.
“We hope to understand the experiences of developing countries in terms of access, quality and re-use of data; to share our knowledge and collaborate where possible,” Hodson averred.
The training which precedes a three-day workshop at the United Nations Offices in Nairobi is jointly organized by: Communication and Information Committee, World Federation of Engineering Organization (WFEO-CIC); Ministry of Communication and Information of Kenya (MCIK); United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), together with other partners including JKUAT.