End of year reflections from the LD4D community

Date
Author
Vanessa Meadu

As 2021 winds down we look back at this year’s achievements, and offer a preview of what’s to come 

By Karen Smyth and Vanessa Meadu 

When the Livestock Data for Decisions (LD4D) community of practice launched in 2017, with a mission to drive better livestock decision-making through improved data and analysis, we focused our efforts on building relationships and finding common interests. We were lucky to have five face-to-face meetings before the Coronavirus pandemic pushed us into a completely virtual approach. Two years into the pandemic, we have harnessed some of the new opportunities that come with online community-building and have connected with new individuals and organisations around the world.  

The second phase of LD4D has gotten off to a flying start in 2021. Within the first year we put in place a Steering Committee, created a Theory of Change and Theory of Action, hosted a series of Summer Learning Sessions, collaborated on a livestock and climate resilience map for COP26 and wrapped up the year with a virtual community meeting on 9 December. 

In case you missed it, or want to revisit discussions, you can now catch up on all aspects of the community meeting, and watch videos for all sessions.  

Sharpening our focus and identifying priorities 

A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to set the stage for 2022. The LD4D Steering Committee advised that a Livestock Sectors Decision Makers Data Needs Assessment was required to help direct the Community’s work. In response, SEBI-Livestock, which hosts the LD4D Secretariat, has commissioned the Busara Centre to perform this assessment.  

SEBI-Livestock has also commissioned a strategic review to help guide LD4D’s work priorities going forward and sharpen our delivery of LD4D and livestockdata.org. We would be very grateful if you would contribute to this review by completing a questionnaire which will be circulated in the new year. 

In 2022, we also want to open a community conversation focused on gender and livestock data and we are delighted to have gender and livestock expert Dr Beth Miller guiding us on this. Stay tuned! 

Finally, we are reviewing ideas and suggestions made by you all during the LD4D meeting and select key themes to focus on in the year, including potential sub-communities of practice and topics for 2022 discussions. We will be in touch in January with further details of our plans and hope you can join us at various points in the coming years. 

As always, we thank our members for your support, trust and collaboration! We remind you that the LD4D community – and the livestockdata.org data and evidence platform – are designed to be for you,  so please don’t hesitate to get in touch to share your work or ideas.  

We wish you a peaceful holiday season and look forward to connecting in the new year! 

Stay in touch


Karen Smyth is Deputy Director of SEBI-Livestock, the Centre for Supporting Evidence Based Interventions in Livestock, which facilitates the LD4D community. Vanessa Meadu is Communications and Knowledge Exchange Specialist for SEBI-Livestock.  

Header photo: Children play in the background of a herd of sheep and goats in Borana, Ethiopia. Photo credit: Z. Sewunet (ILRI) (source)

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