Strategic Programme 4 : Animal Resources Information and Knowledge Management

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To improve creation, dissemination and utilization of knowledge for effective animal resource development.


Information and knowledge management are important features of AU-IBAR's strategic niche. They constitute a critical basis for evidence-based policy and decisions making processes. The major challenges to knowledge management are cultural, technological as well as process and architectural.

Cultural: Knowledge and learning come from people and their relationships with each other and their experiences. The real challenge, therefore, comes in the form of developing a culture that embraces record keeping, learning, sharing, changing, and improving. Other challenges include poor access to/use of technological advances and innovations, and the transboundary nature of some resources coupled with the restriction in the movement of people across national borders.

Technological challenges to knowledge management include inadequate integration of existing databases, limited inter-operability and limited adoption/utilization of knowledge management tools. Process and structure challenges to knowledge management include inadequate documentation exacerbated by lack of management guidelines, inadequate integration of knowledge into planning systems, inadequate application of innovations and research findings and inadequate standard methods of measuring knowledge and impact.

Key Result Areas

1. Data and information management systems, tools and technologies strengthened

The existence of different sources of animal resources data at the national level and outside the ministry responsible for animal resources, which could be used by the latter for enhanced planning, constitutes an opportunity if functional linkages are established between the different sources of data. AU-IBAR started modernizing its information management capacity through one of its earlier projects (PACE) by introducing ICT infrastructure, systems and, more recently, the Animal Resources Information System (ARIS). With the RECs and MSs, AU-IBAR has the necessary channels to obtain data and to disseminate information and knowledge to end-users.

This results area, therefore, will include:

  • Strengthening data and information management technologies (e.g.ARIS) and tools, and deploying for effective use at continental and regional levels. This could include mechanisms for continued adoption and use of innovations in ICT, particularly the widespread adoption and use of ARIS at the national and regional levels.
  • Develop and establish open source tools and platforms for sharing of data and exchange of information with national and regional organizations/research institutions on animal resources in the continent.
  • Encouraging more investment for establishing or strengthening national databases. Producing relevant, timely, reliable, independent, data on animal resources by MSs.
  • Strengthening ARIS at AU-IBAR level, including making the system inter-operable with other information systems at the national, regional, continental and global levels.
  • Strengthen AU-IBAR's knowledge management capability through upgrading and strengthening of the intranet and continuous modernisation of the AU-IBAR library system.
  • Developing analytical tools and methodologies to generate quality information on disease situations, animal production, fisheries, marketing and trade, the contribution of animal resources to livelihoods and GDP, as well as tracking the level of investments by MSs and the private sector.

2. Capacities for data and information collection analysis and sharing enhanced

Under this result area, AU-IBAR will support and strengthen the capacity of MSs and RECs for data collection, compilation, and analysis. AU-IBAR will also strengthen the capacity and mechanisms for dissemination of information and sharing of lessons learned with decision and policy makers.

Specifically, AU-IBAR will:

  • Provide technical assistance and training to MSs and RECs on quality data collection, collation and analysis;
  • Build clients' (MSs, RECs, field staff) capacity and awareness to improve the quality and timeliness of data gathering and reporting;
  • Build capacity to document success stories, lessons learnt, including information from M&E to improve knowledge management;
  • Build capacity for the use of novel information sharing mechanisms including community of practice.

3. Information and knowledge on African animal resources enhanced and shared

Knowledge management, connected to clearly defined approaches for data generation, information and communication sharing, aims to provide reliable support to planners and policy and decision makers. Therefore, the basis for this KRA is to facilitate the decision-making capabilities of RECs and AU MSs by supporting access to and exchange of information, technologies and innovations on issues that will enhance resilience, control
of animal diseases, promote livestock production, wildlife management, fisheries development and trade and marketing.

The following actions will be undertaken:

  • Support or conduct regular data collection, collation and analysis;
  • Support or conduct analysis of trends to inform policy, interventions and investment in animal resources;
  • Regular and timely production and dissemination of AU-IBAR animal resources publications;
  • Strengthen the collaboration/partnerships with national, regional and international technical, research and academic institutions to catalyse generation and sharing of data, information and knowledge on animal resources;
  • Collect and share best practices with relevant partners through information sharing platforms, forums and networks (e.g. ALive, UNCCD-TPN3, LDIP, etc.).

4. African veterinary and animal sciences educational institutions supported

The African veterinary and animal sciences institutions of learning need to revisit and update and expand their curricula regularly with advances in technology and innovations. This will include expanding curricula to incorporate wildlife health, aquatic animal health and fish diseases, bee management and diseases, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, animal welfare and other such specialised subjects for which needs may arise from time to time.

The objective of this results area is to ensure that veterinary and animal science institutions generate technicians and professionals informed with current issues, perspectives and technological developments, and that they are sufficiently prepared to deal with them.

To achieve this, AU-IBAR will carry out the following:

  • Foster partnerships with the relevant institutions of learning and research as sources of expertise, knowledge and innovation, civil society organizations and producer organizations, and national and international institutes of policy research.
  • Distribute the animal resources yearbook and the animal resources bulletin to institutions of learning.
  • Facilitate the convening of a periodic forum for heads of the relevant institutions of learning, with a view to exchanging information and knowledge on current developments, innovations and issues in the animal resources sector, and consequently using these to arrive at common approaches on updating their curricula.
  • Facilitate exchange visits by academic staff and students among the institutions of learning.

Outcomes and Impacts

The successful delivery of this programme will result in the following:

  • Enhanced quality of decisions and policies in the animal resource sector, resulting from improved delivery of quality data, information and knowledge.
  • Increased understanding of the status of animal resources on the African continent, with the resulting enhancement of the perception of the state of animal resources on the continent.
  • Well-qualified and focused veterinary and animal science graduates, capable of efficiently delivering appropriate services to the animal resource value chains.
  • Expanded sharing and learning of knowledge at the continent level and beyond.