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A new learning publication that captures the most recent findings from the Digital Agrifood Collective on digital governance and informed consent has been published. Based on research carried out by NFP and reflective workshops with DAC members, the publication presents insights from current literature, defining and exploring the connection between data governance, (informed) consent, and data sharing. Based on these insights, and in consultation with DAC members, NFP knowledge brokers drafted a visual training guide to aid discussions on informed consent with (smallholder) farmers in LIMCs.

The Importance of Data Governance

Digitalization offers significant potential for farmers and businesses but also comes with risks. Farmers sharing their data face vulnerabilities if it falls into wrong hands, leading to potential exploitation. Effective data governance and stewardship can help mitigate these risks by focusing on ethical aspects like access, control, and consent. Equitable governance models should prioritise farmer participation and guard against misuse, ultimately fostering more responsible data sharing.

Defining Informed Consent

In the context of digitalization and data sharing, informed consent refers to the voluntary agreement given by individuals—such as farmers or users of digital services—after being adequately informed about the purpose, scope, and potential risks associated with sharing their data. It requires clear communication and transparency regarding how data will be used, ensuring that individuals have the necessary information to make informed decisions about granting permission for data collection and sharing.

Data Governance and Data Sharing

A key reason for adequate data governance is to facilitate data sharing, underscoring the importance of consent for data exchange. Data sharing is integral to effective data governance, ensuring that it enhances rather than impedes the benefits for farmers and customers. Collaboration among service providers and enablers is essential because no single organisation can meet all farmers' needs. Data sharing helps prevent farmer overload and maintains manageable data collection costs, while allowing more services to reach farmers.

Visual Guide for Discussing Informed Consent

Based on reflections during an initial DAC workshop, members opted to build a Pilot Training for farmers on Informed Consent, spearheaded by Yielder. During a follow up workshop led by NFP, DAC members co-created the content for this training. In collaboration with an illustrator (Het Lab) the training got accompanying visualisations to aid farmers with differing levels of literacy. Yielder then used the training materials during a training of 2000 farmers, to understand the impact of such an exercise.

Learn more by accessing the publication and the accompanying visual training guide.

About the Digital Agrifood Collective

The DAC is one of the initiatives supported by NFP. Together with Bopinc, NFP has been facilitating this group to exchange learnings and align strategies to make sure that the digital revolution in agriculture benefits the thousands of agribusinesses and millions of low-income producers (and consumers) in Lower and Middle Income Countries.


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Sasha Al Busaidy

Knowledge Broker

Photo Rojan Bolling

Rojan Bolling

Knowledge broker

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