Crop science data workshop

As one of the primary food sources in the global south, cassava is on the menu when it comes to talking about food security. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has funded large research projects aimed at breeding cassava varieties that can withstand varied growth conditions and pests.

Collaborative Capacities were engaged to facilitate a two-session online workshop where delegates from nine countries came together to discuss and share data, results and policy decisions.

Designing and facilitating the conversation between the groups was a rich experience in and of itself. There was a wide breadth of research focus points, ranging from deep molecular studies to farming practices. Domain experts in bioinformatics were recruited into the project to design a data sharing platform that could be used by the most number of researchers in all participating countries. At the same time, participants needed to remain engaged to discuss potential uses for the data, and the formats that would be helpful to them once the data is shared. 

The sessions took place over Zoom and discussion was captured on bespoke Mural whiteboards.

Over the space of the two sessions, an enormous amount of data was gathered and helpful information shared within the group. The outputs were shared with all delegates, and the there were tangible outcomes that were agreed on, including the need for further conversations around data integration and use.

“I wanted to express my heartfelt gratitude for the fantastic meeting you organized. Your exceptional organization made it a truly outstanding experience for me. I must admit that I’ve rarely encountered such a well-structured and inspiring meeting, and I gained a tremendous amount from it. The interaction between the groups was so nice, and it motivated me to reach out to [colleagues] with the suggestion of organizing another meeting on a different topic. Thank you again for your outstanding efforts, and I look forward to future discussions organised by you .” – Dr Samar Sheat, Germany  

It was a very well organized and expertly facilitated  workshop, bringing together researchers from diverse backgrounds in an interactive online discussion” – Michael Kanaabi, National Crops Research Resources Institute, Uganda  

“Thank you again for your wonderful work on this contract !” – Senior Program Officer, BMGF