Knowledge sharing on best practices for managing crop genebanks

longtermsingularInternet and Web Development

Dec 4, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Knowledge sharing on best practices for
managing crop genebanks


Authors:

MA JORGE, G CLAESSENS, J HANSON, ME DULLOO, E GOLDBERG,

I THORMANN, S ALEMAYEHU, E GACHERU, A AMRI, E BENSON,

D DUMET, N ROUX, P RUDEBJER, R SACKVILLE HAMILTON,

I SANCHEZ, S SHARMA, S TABA, HD UPADHYAYA and I VAN DEN HOUWE

IAALD XIIIth World Congress, Scientific and Technical Information and Rural Development

29 April 2010

Presented by Geert Claessens

The Crop Genebank Knowledge Base (CGKB)

http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Outline


Background


Why develop

CGKB
?



Approach to development


Results


Challenges


Conclusions

http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

1800’s: Farmers in USA growing
7100

varieties

Today:
6800

of those are extinct

Lost varieties with potential
resistance or tolerance to
diseases or stresses?

Photo: www.bestliquidvitamins.com

Background

(Info from TED talk Cary Fowler)

http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Background


Safeguarding the world’s crop genetic
diversity = extremely important resource to
meet food production challenges



Plant breeders
&

farmers use diversity
directly or to develop new varieties that are
resistant to stresses (pests
&

diseases,
drought, salinity...)



Storage rooms of this diversity = Genebanks



First genebanks established over 50 years
ago to conserve threatened crop diversity



Lately, however, new technologies and
better practices are developed for more
effective and efficient conservation



Photos: CGIAR

http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Background


People looking for this information turn more
and more to the internet to find information
instead of using traditional sources i.e.
publications, encyclopedias



But genebank management guidelines for
different crops are scarce and hard to find



Or inaccessible in the public domain






A real need to

make information on genebank
practices accessible online to genebank holders


http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Background

Several online crop
-
related knowledge bases were developed in
recent years

Global Knowledge Center on
Crop Biotechnology (ISAAA)

Food Security & Agricultural
Production Knowledge Forum (FAO)

Cereal Knowledge Bank on rice,
maize and wheat (CIMMYT/IRRI)



None of these KB’s focuses specifically on conservation crop
genetic resources

http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Why develop

CGKB
?


A website to give access to user
-
friendly and up
-
to
-
date information on
germplasm management and
genebank procedures



A website that facilitates sharing of
practices between genebanks



A website that can be used as a
training tool for technical staff in
genebanks

Photos: CGIAR

http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org


Development of the website was an initiative of the System
-
wide
Genetic Resources Program (SGRP) of the Consultative Group on
International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)






Part of a large 3
-
year project on collective action for crop genetic
resources



Project first focused on 9 crops conserved and managed by
minimum 2 International Agricultural Research Centers (IARCs)

Approach:
Framework

http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org



Contacted crop experts from genebanks worldwide to collate
and develop content



Engaged training & communication specialists as well as
selected users for technical and editorial reviews

Approach:
Setting up partnerships


http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org


Website structure and layout were
developed with the involvement of
genebank experts



4 themes were selected to cover the
content of the website



Every theme contains a number of
menus and submenus



Names, content and layout for all
menus were regularly fine
-
tuned and
adjusted to ensure a simple and
logical flow


Approach:
Website structure



http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org


Design and navigation features were fine
-
tuned based on feedback
from user questionnaires

Approach:
Website design

2008

2009

2010

http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org


Contact person to keep the
information updated and to respond
to queries



Key contributors



Best practices with images, flip
books, videos



Image attributions



References with links to full text or
other websites for further reading



Common layout structure for the
different pages makes it easy


for the user to locate information


for the editor to add new information

Approach:
General page layout

http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org


CMS


software that helps to organize
web pages, menus as well as content
such as, photos, video, documents...



Can have multiple editors around the
world (Montpellier, Rome, Addis Abeba,
Mexico city)



Joomla content management system
(
www.joomla.org
)


Requires minimal specialized skill or
knowledge to set up and manage


Yet great extensibility (forum, video
player, forms, etc.)


Freely available (open source)

Approach:
CMS

Joomla editor and admin window

http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Wiki (Wikispaces)
to post, edit and
discuss possible
content

Approach:
Collaboration tools

Comments
boxes

Blog (WordPress)
for informal
communication
about work
progress/activities


Form to upload
contributions


http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Enriched with multimedia such as


images


flipbooks (sequence of images to illustrate steps of a process)


video clips

Approach:
Multimedia tools

Images

Flipbooks

Videos

http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Made use of Flickr and YouTube to facilitate downloading of
all CGKB images and videos


Approach:
Multimedia tools

CGKB Flickr photostream

CGKB YouTube channel

http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Website traffic is monitored and recorded using Google analytics
(
http://www.google.com/analytics/
)

Approach:
Webstats

http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Results:
Home page



Information about


website and its features


contributors


copyright policies


contacts for maintenance and queries


form to upload new best practices



Entry point to


forum


blog


RSS feed on genebank news (from
agrifeeds.org)


editor login


wiki work space


http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Results:
Crops


Provides crop
-
specific
information on recommended
procedures for 9 crops (initially)



For each crop detailed
information about conservation,
characterization, regeneration
and safety duplication


http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Results:
Procedures





Describes all the genebank
procedures in general

(not crop specific)



Explains why, when and how
they should best be followed



Can be printed and used as
handouts for training purposes

http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Results:
Management

strategies


Provides information/advice on
management of a genebank


Risk assessment


Quality management


Policies


Safe transfer of germplasm


Performance indicators


...

http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Results:
Learning resources



Aims to strengthen capacity of
genebank curators and
technicians


Gives teachers and learners
access to a one
-
stop library:


Publications (training modules,
handbooks, manuals etc.)


Multimedia (videos, slide
shows, a photo database)


Glossary and acronym list


Relevant links to websites



Website also available on DVD



The training component of the website was
validated in a genebank training course in Korea

Photo: CGIAR

http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Challenges:
Collaboration


Multiple partners in many locations; Discussing the site structure,
content and design by email with people across the globe was often
difficult and complicated



Higher transaction costs and delays than expected because of writing
and reviewing the content by subject experts




Partly solved by f
ace
-
to
-
face meetings, skype calls, workshops and
genebank visits to create awareness, prompt contributions and collect
visual materials and make complex or difficult decisions


http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Challenges:
Tools and Training



Learning curve for editors to use the CMS



Most collaborators were unfamiliar with web tools like wikis, blogs or
Google shared documents so these were not used as extensively or
effectively as hoped for




T
raining tutorials were developed to facilitate learning for editors



http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Challenges:
Content



Much of the content was submitted at the very end of the project



Templates were prepared to collect structured information but needed
adjustment because of different interpretations by the experts (level of
depth or details, visual aids)



Converting text
-
based information into meaningful web content



Reviewing the layout of each web page for consistency was time
consuming




Negotiated an extension of the project with the donor to finalize content


http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Conclusions


This paper/presentation describes the process of developing a one
-
stop platform about best practices on crop genebank management



Synergies were created by many experts worldwide who gathered
and transformed scattered information into knowledge about
conserving crop diversity



An interactive platform that can be expanded, updated and used by
the genebank community



Communication and collaboration mechanisms have been
established to promote networking



http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Conclusions

This is not the end but the beginning.

We hope the CGKB will contribute to narrowing
knowledge gaps, help to create communities of
genebank practitioners and strengthen their capacity to
be effective custodians of the world’s crop diversity for
food and agriculture in the future.

http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org

Acknowledgements

World Bank for funding the development of the CGKB

Wide range of experts who spent their valuable time and
contributed significantly to improving the content, layout
and navigation of this website.

Contact email:
cropgenebankknowledgebase@gmail.com


Thank you