The knowledge generated through agricultural innovation systems is vital in the struggle to improve the productivity, nutrition, food security, and environmental conservation on which the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in developing countries depend. However most of that knowledge is not nationally or globally accessible to important actors at all levels from farmers to policy-makers . The knowledge is often difficult or impossible to access in collections of printed documents (e.g. in libraries), in databases and intranets behind firewalls, on personal computers, and in the heads of scientists.

We must 'open up' this existing and future agricultural knowledge for all - make public goods truly public!

If you are reading this, then you probably believe in what was said above already.  But unfortunately there is too little action to support this principle. Not everyone is making the right decisions and taking the right action to make this happen. So you may have to advocate to raise awareness and change behaviour, and to do that you will need to prepare a supporting argument that outlines the possible benefits and incentives> that would be applicable, and provides some supporting evidence.

And to help you with this exciting task, this Advocacy Toolkit has been compiled to provide the necessary resources, tools and methods, a community to share and interact with, and overall motivation to support your advocacy activities!

This Toolkit has been assembled to support organisations’ and individuals’ efforts to advocate for, influence others towards and raise awareness around the need for and value of ‘opening up agricultural knowledge for all’. This Toolkit is filled with information, ideas, tools and resources to provide support to activities to raise awareness, promote and push through activities to opening access to agricultural knowledge.

Who could/should make use of this Advocacy Toolkit?

This Toolkit may be used by...

  • Information/Communication professionals
  • Researchers/Scientists
  • Managers
  • Anyone with an interest in opening up agricultural knowledge to all! advocate to...

  • Policy-makers/ Decision-makers in national or local government
  • Senior Management e.g. Director Generals, Rectors of Universities, Management Teams/Boards
  • Researchers/Scientists in their own or other departments
  • Information/Communication professionals
  • Management/staff of other/partner organizations

How to use the Toolkit

We understand that visitors to this Toolkit may be at various stages of developing and undertaking advocacy and may require different support and information to support their advocacy work. Therefore we offer you ten 'tools' in the Toolkit that you may take and use, and you can navigate through the Toolkit as best suits you and your needs.

This toolkit has been compiled and is housed by the global movement on Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development (CIARD). This movement is working to make the outputs of agricultural research publicly available and accessible to all. This means working with organisations that create or hold knowledge and information – to help them disseminate it more efficiently and make it easier to access. The CIARD partners coordinate their efforts to promote common formats for information sharing and exchange, and adopt open information systems approaches. Creating a global network of truly accessible outputs of research and innovation greatly increases the chance that they can be put to use, locally, nationally and globally.