Thinking Big - Livestock Data Community sets sights on the future

In October 2020, the LD4D Community met to outline future pathways

By Vanessa Meadu and Karen Smyth

Since 2017, the Livestock Data for Decisions (LD4D) Community has worked to drive better livestock decision making through improved data and analytics. The community brings together data producers and data users to work on collaborative solutions to shared challenges. LD4D also acts as the Livestock Data community of the CGIAR Platform Big Data in Agriculture. Now that LD4D is nearing the end of its first phase of work, community members gathered for a virtual meeting on 19 October 2020 to take stock of achievements and agree on a roadmap for the next phase of work (2021 and beyond).

Watch the meeting recording

Meeting highlights (jump to clip)

Next steps

  • Get funded! LD4D is funded under the Supporting Evidence Based Interventions (SEBI) project which comes to an end December 2020. SEBI have applied for Phase 2 funds which would ensure LD4D can continue its work, and a funding announcement is expected by the end of 2020. Look out for updates!
  • Set up a LD4D steering group. The LD4D community demonstrated support for the creation of a LD4D steering group. This group would help to shape the scientific direction of LD4D and represent the breadth of disciplines within the community. The initial LD4D Steering Group members would be selected by the LD4D Secretariat, and subsequently by the LD4D Steering Committee.
  • Emerging working groups. Through the course of the LD4D meeting, two ideas emerged for potential working group. One topic was raised by Alan Duncan around feed baskets and the other by Anni McLeod on the development of a livestock modellers charter. We are exploring how the Secretariat can support the development of both these ideas and early discussions have uncovered useful thinking on this topic from within the community. We will also support the continuation of existing working groups such as Livestock Fact Check and Livestock Ontologies.
  • Rising to the challenge. Community members shared their wishes and visions for the data future (watch part 1 and part 2). People proposed a number of challenges. Stan Wood (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) highlighted our need to engage with the next generation of in-country livestock data specialists and providing greater access to physical data. Paolo Tizzani (OIE) raised the issue of standardising disease names and making data interoperable. Plans will be developed with the Steering Group to address challenges going forward.
  • meeting your needs. The community offered positive feedback on our shared data and evidence platform The Secretariat, which runs the website on behalf of the community, will endeavour to continue to listen and react to your needs and support the promotion of your work.

We want to hear from you!

Did you miss the meeting? Do you have anything to add? Please get in touch with the LD4D secretariat. To join future meetings and get updates LD4D, please click here to sign up to our mailing list.

Vanessa Meadu is the Communications and Knowledge Exchange Specialist and Karen Smyth is Deputy Director at Supporting Evidence Based Interventions (SEBI). SEBI facilitate the Livestock Data for Decisions (LD4D) Community of Practice. SEBI is awarded to the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

Header photo: Livestock keeper in Khulna, Bangladesh. Photo: F. Clay Duckrabbit (source)