On July 26th 2018, Conservation International Vital Signs Programme organized a partner’s meeting at the Holiday Inn Hotel, in Dares Salaam. The meeting discussions centered on how data science tools can drive sustainable development, and increasing the application of Vital Signs tools (Resilience Atlas, and Trends.Earth) to guide policy and practices towards increased sustainable production in Tanzania.
In attendance were representatives from the DFID, Tanzania’s National Land Commission, WWF, Tanzania Forest Conservation Group, MJUMITA and CI-Vitals Signs among others. Presentations were made on key results from the Vital Signs data, and the application of Vital Signs tools (the Resilience Atlas and Trends.Earth), in other CI projects including: the GEF funded Food Security and Resilience, Integrated Approach Pilot project ($120million in 12 countries); the GEF Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency (Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda); Packard foundation (Resilience Atlases for Ethiopia and the DRC; and the Data Integrating dashboard that integrates data from 11 institutions, hosted at Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.
Data sharing practices and tools that promote free sharing and use of research data remains key to uptake of updated research findings into policy, investments and other decisions. During the meeting, concerns were raised about the data sharing restrictions from policy and practices in the country. Participants called for harmonizing of Vital Signs tools with tools that are in use in Tanzania, and recommended further engagements and training of stakeholders to apply the Resilience Atlas and Trends.Earth. They commended Vital Signs tools on the providing online open source tools but expressed the need to have the platform provide data that is ready for uptake by policy makers, extension workers and communities to enhance its application. They also called for more integration of spatial and non-spatial data and requested that Vital Signs reaches out to the Tanzania Forest Service (TFS) to train TFS personnel on measurement of the UNCCD targets using the Trends.Earth tool