At the District of Columbia (D.C.) lies the capital of the United States of America, the beautiful Washington D.C. And it is there, at the World Bank Group headquarters, where a number of great minds will meet on October 14th, to decide on the next steps for developing an information sharing infrastructure that can help the world scale up food safety capacity building activities.

As part of the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP), the international public-private network that the World Bank facilitates, the Knowledge & Learning Systems Working Group (WG) will come together once more to plan ahead on the way that the various components and services of this information infrastructure should be implemented.

Agro-Know will be there, of course. We have been one of the core members of this group, significantly contributing to the design of this infrastructure. We were the ones strongly recommending designing it following an open and federated architecture, rather than a simple software platform. We have introduced  the initial concepts, as well as developed the first demonstrator of a GFSP Information Discovery service.

And we will continue doing so: next week I will travel to Washington D.C. to join forces with colleagues from institutions and companies like Massey University, Global CCCET, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST), Centricity, Alchemy Systems, the Science & Education Foundation of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and others. I expect us to prioritise the targeted audiences, define specific food safety information types (especially in relevance to capacity building and professional development), and to decide on the online services and components that each one can develop.

Scaling up food safety capacity building: an effort that requires the public and private sector to join forces

My intention is to expand on the initial demonstrator and propose using, the product powering the data processing behind FAO’s AGRIS service, in order to create a global online map of food safety institutions, actors, capacity building initiatives & interventions, training offerings & courses, educational materials & OERs. I will demo the GFSP landing page that we have created for this purpose, explain how the back end information aggregation & indexing mechanism works, and position it in the overall information sharing infrastructure.

But I will also take advantage of this visit to the capital of the USA, in order to meet some more interesting people, explore additional opportunities, but also sit next to the heart-moving memorials of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King.

“I had a dream, as well”