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“Global Index of Women’s Power” by BigThink


BigThink ( is a NY-based online knowledge forum, famous for posting interviews with many high-profile experts from a wide range of fields (think of it as TED in interview format; my favorite is the one with Jason Fried: and timely bits of radical ideas (follow @bigthink).

They have a special discussion topic going on now, and it’s about “Women and Power”. As one of the posts on the website, today they posted a global dataset (country-level) of the “Global Index of Women’s Power”.

From the post (

In consultation with leading universities and research groups, Big Think has created a composite country-by-country index by equally combining data from three recent international studies dealing with women’s power:

·         The World Economic Forum’s “The Global Gender Gap Report,” an index which measures national gender gaps using economic, political, education and health criteria.

·         The Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Women’s Economic Opportunity Index,” which measures women’s economic opportunity and their ability to participate equally in the workforce.

·         The United Nations Development Programme’s Gender-Related Development Index (GDI) and Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM), which rank countries based on gender-specific criteria like adult literacy, life expectancy and estimated income.

The numerical Power Quotient, which averages the results of these studies, is on a scale from zero to 100—with 100 being the best possible numerical score for female empowerment, and zero the worst. Yemen, the country where women have the least power according to the survey, received a score of 24.02 on our scale. Meanwhile Norway, which got a score of 88.75, was found to be the country where women have the most relative power.

Along with the Google Visualization implementation, they also posted a raw data in CSV format (but they forgot to put country code; could somebody please attach ISO code column and share around for your lazy colleages? :p):

Global Threats to Human Water Security and River Biodiversity – Maps and Data





FYI, yesterday’s Nature has a cover story on the Global threats to human water security and river biodiversity by C. J. Vörösmarty (CCNY) et al (doi:10.1038/nature09440). Following that, this story has been posted practically everywhere on the media by now, including BBC.

On their project website (, you can find/download their published data and maps (0.5-deg, global) of four water “threats” as well as 23 (!) drivers in PNG, ESRI ASCII, NetCDF, and KML.

·         Main article: (login required)

·         Methodology: (freely accessible)

·         Data and maps:

Coming up: “Agriculture – Dirt Poor: Seeking solutions to poverty from the ground up” session at the Global Land and Poverty Summit (28 Sep 2010)


As was announced at the earlier Africa Agriculture GIS Week 2010, the Global Land and Poverty Summit will be held in Washington, DC, next week (28 Sep 2010). The summit, organized by ESRI, focuses on how to use geographic technology to help solve diverse problems faced by the poor.

We (CGIAR-CSI) are organizing a breakout session “Agriculture – Dirt Poor: Seeking solutions to poverty from the ground up” in the afternoon, led by Stanley Wood (CSI Global Coordinator; IFPRI/HarvestChoice). See more about the session at:

The Agriculture session will highlight on-the-ground success stories from the CGIAR and its partners that demonstrate the impact of land-based improvements in the well-being of poor farm households and the quality of the natural resources on which future rural livelihoods depend. It will emphasize the growing reliance on geo-referenced information and location-specific analysis to improve the targeting, design, monitoring, and evaluation of agricultural interventions. Scheduled presentations in the session include:

·         Stanley Wood (IFPRI): Overview of GIS/RS data/methods used in the CGIAR system

·         Sibiry Traore (ICRISAT): Seeing is Believing – West Africa (SIBWA)

·         Philip Oshano (ILRI): Payment for ecosystem services for removing enclosures on rangeland

If you’re planning to attend – great, let’s all catch up. If not – no worries; we’ll give you updates on the summit and the presentations afterward.


PS. On twitter? Follow the hashtag #glpsummit

IITA Banana Production Areas Editor at

FYI, even if you’re not one of the Banana People, you may find IITA’s effort to crowdsource banana production information inspiring. Hein and his colleague are developing this site using full OpenSource stack (GeoServer + PostGIS + GeoExt / WordPress) at impressively fast phase, on the infrastructure provided by CGIAR-CSI (hey, who else!) and HarvestChoice. Please see Hein’s message below and provide any feedback to the team.

By the way, be careful! This site is currently still in development and being actively reviewed by the Banana People/Community; please don’t just try to test drive with arbitrary edits. We all know that the key to success in this crowdsourcing business is the control of data quality, right?  🙂



From: Bouwmeester, Hein (IITA-TZ)
Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2010 2:34 PM
Subject: Banana Production Editor

Dear banana people,

In the past weeks we have been working on an online editor of banana production zones in Africa. It is a continuation of the banana mapping exercise that was launched at banana2008 in Mombasa. The goal of the project is to make spatial and reliable information on banana production available to whoever is interested.

The Editor is still in its development stage and there is lots of room for improvement. This is why we ask some of your time and help to improve our tool and make information available on an undervalued crop in a data-poor environment. Please take a look at The homepage is a blog with all specifications and a link to the tool (the editor). To ensure data quality you will be asked to register.  The blog offers many possibilities to leave (public) comments but we also respond to direct comments per email.

For those of you with imperfect internet connections, please be patient as the tool is bandwidth sensitive. We tried to limit this but unfortunately spatial data has its restrictions.

Best regards,

and we look forward to your comments,

Hein Bouwmeester ( and Philippe Rieffel  (

Poverty and Agriculture (again)

Post from Andy Nelson (


I’ve made a start on a dataset that relates to the poverty / agriculture question and which should help us to get a little closer to a commonly agreed methodology for linking poverty numbers to agricultural production/consumption for the MP proposals and many other applications. I’d like to get things moving here and am happy to receive offers of collaboration/data/advice/condolences.

Following on from previous work by Stan et al in the PAGE report and David Raitzer in SE Asia, I have made an updated Value of Production grid at 10km resolution which represents the summed value (in USD) of production for around 120 crops per hectare.

  1. I used the 10km resolution Monfreda crop yield and area data for 175 crops (no livestock or timber products) to compute production in tonnes per 10 x 10 km pixel for the year 2000.
  2. I then took the FAO national level production data for 2005 – matched them to the Monfreda layers as closely as I could and thus corrected the Monfreda data to get a 10km resolution production map for 2005 for 159 crops.  There were 16 crops where I could not find a match between FAO and Monfreda.
  3. Then I took the FAO internationally comparable prices for the top 20 agricultural commodities per country. This includes livestock. These prices are described as follows “International commodity prices are used, to calculate the total value of each commodity produced by each country and subsequently used in the ranking of commodities and countries. They are applied in order to avoid the use of exchange rates for obtaining continental and world aggregates, and also to improve and facilitate international comparative analysis of productivity at the national level.” 
    The cross tabulation of prices against countries results in lots of gaps since we only have 20 prices per country.  To resolve this, I summarized the data into 22 UN regions and computed the median price for each region based on the available country prices.  If there were no countries in that region with price data for a given commodity I further aggregated to 5 UN super regions (continents) and computed median prices again.  If there were no countries in these super regions with prices, I simply computed a global median price. These regional, super regional and world median prices were used to fill the gaps in the commodity / country cross tabulation, using the finest level of available price data.
    The prices are very constant across countries in a region so I feel that this is a reasonable method. However, I would much prefer real price data for all crops.  I used median prices to limit the effect of outliers on the regional price (eg. Camel meat is 1400USD per tonne everywhere except Kuwat where it is over 5000USD per tonne).
  4. These 2005 international prices were multiplied by the 2005 production to give USD value of production per crop per 10km x 10km pixel. This was done for 122 crops.  Not all crops appear in the FAO price data.  Note that we have price data for most livestock products (23 in total) but do not have raster maps of livestock production to multiply them with.  Does ILRI have such data that we could plug into this?
  5. We now have 10km x 10km maps of yield, area, production and USD value for 122 crops globally. These can be summed to give a total value of crop production (VofP) per pixel, even though we miss the livestock and timber products. They can also be used to compute the % contribution of each crop to the total value.

See maps below for total crop VofP per hectare (2005) and % of VofP from rice ? Again, there are no livestock or timber products here, just crops.

Possible next steps
  • Locate better price data to avoid filling in gaps for crops that fall outside the top 20 in each country. Does anyone know if FAO has more data than they present on the FAOSTAT website?
  • Locate spatial livestock production data and add to the analysis. FAO has national livestock production data.  If there are no global production maps, can we instead distribute the FAO production based on livestock farming systems?
  • Locate spatial timber production data and tabular timber value data(?)
  • Any other commodities to add?
I think that this method is straightforward and plausible.  We only need to improve the input data or fill in gaps to make a more comprehensive map of V of P. The following points are more problematic.
  • Link this data to poverty.  How to assign a share of the production value to the rural poor in each pixel? The crudest method is to multiply the total value by the poverty rate and then divide by number of poor to give USD of production per year per person in poverty per pixel.  It would be far better to break out the value based on knowledge of farm size distribution / crops typically cultivated by the poor etc. etc. in each country.  
  • The output of this should get us much closer to an idea of the contribution or importance of each crop to the poor in each country/farming system/aez.
  • What about consumption data?  This current method only accounts for production and the rural poor. We may need a totally different approach for consumption and the urban poor. Any thoughts?
  • What about costs? We only look at the production value. We should try to subtract the land rent, input costs, labour costs etc.  Does anyone have any data that we can bring to bear on this?
  • What about fat/protein/calories per commodity per capita? Can this be usefully mapped? This seems straightforward. Do we have the data ?
And, here are two attachments:
  • analysis_steps.xls (27 KB) 
    Details on the input data and where I think improvements can be made
  • poverty_and_crops.xls (956 KB) 
    The results so far in terms of value of production by the poor (production per pixel x poverty rate per pixel) and poverty weighted value of production by the poor (production per pixel x % of the global poor per pixel).  The results are summarized as graphs per continent showing the crop value, ranked from most valuable to least valuable.
Look forward to your comments.
Andy Nelson


[Sneak Preview] AAGW 2010 Presentations

Finally, we just finished uploading all the presentations made last week at the AAGW 2010 in Nairobi to the cloud. This will be officially informed to all the participants shortly (Francesca is busy compiling the mailing list). In the mean time, as a valued CSI blog/twitter follower, we’d like to give you a special pass to preview them. Enjoy!

Re: 2010 Africa Agriculture GIS Week – Navigating the Change

Navigating the change-Note to CSI reps_presentation guide.doc
Download this file

Dear All,

Thanks a lot to Stan for the introduction and warm welcome back to the CSI community. I am really happy and excited that I have the opportunity to work with you all again, as I find the CSI community to be one of the most vibrant and active ones in the CGIAR.

So in the run up to the AAGW I plan to be communicating with all of you to share what we are planning and to give support on making this an event which is fruitful for all.

As Stan indicated in his email, we are working on the agenda for the week and details of the various sessions. Wednesday is dedicated to CSI and to hearing all about what you have been doing, achieving and learning. Given the time in which we find ourselves, we thought we would use the time and space together to look at ‘navigating the change’ as a theme. In this way we would like you all to target your presentations towards this theme, using the guidelines provided(find attached again).

In short the presentations should give us:

  • headlines of what has been done and achieved—things that will be useful for others as well as tools, methods, ideas which could be offered to future megaprograms, partners and other efforts
  • an advertisement for your unit, your services, your ideas etc—what could be offered as services (what have you already been asked to do for megaprograms or other new CGIAR structures?)
  • and a Centre page spread on what your thoughts and ideas for the future of CSI units and the overall CSI could/should be-what could such services look like?

We don’t want just a blanket report on any- and everything that has been done in your centre. We hope that you will think carefully about what you present in light of the changes we are all going through with the new CGIAR and what things can be useful for taking forward on this journey. I hope that it is clear. I am happy to answer any questions, provide ideas for presentation formats etc, review presentations, discuss and more—please feel free to contact me.

Also as usual the week will offer many opportunities for sharing, and we would like to invite you to bring posters and other materials you may have which can be displayed as part of other activities during the week.

I look forward to working with you all again and seeing you soon at the AAGW meeting in Nairobi.


“ Cofounder Paul English Plans to Blanket Africa in Free Wireless Internet” – Fast Company

Africa Internet graphic

Paul English, the cofounder of travel search engine, wants to blanket all of Africa with free and low-cost Wi-Fi. It’s a “big, big project,” one that will consume the next decade of his life, English tells 

JoinAfrica aims to bring a world of information to a continent whose population only has 8.7% Internet penetration right now. At the core of JoinAfrica is the belief that providing basic Internet is as essential to society as clean water and clean power.

Speaking of “Big Ideas”, this one should be on the top tier I guess. Good luck, Paul!

PS. By the way, if interested in the idea, subscribe JoinAfrica’s community at Already quite active/interesting discussions going on!

SRTM v4.1 is now in Amazon’s cloud!

From DevelopmentSeed Blog:

Making hillshades is a lot faster now!

“We’ve processed the complete world elevation SRTM 90m dataset from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission into an Amazon EBS. This SRTM data provides both high resolution and worldwide coverage of raw data that we use to make the hillshade components of our maps. Having the SRTM data as an EBS means that rendering a world map, including 80% of the globe with all the benefits of CGIAR’s processing, can be achieved by creating an EBS volume in seconds and attaching it to a cloud computer. We did this because it will save us time when rendering maps. Before, the process was quite a bit trickier – browsing and downloading the data individually is tricky to do and nearly impossible to automate. And the important and delicate steps of merging and re-projecting the data not only take processing time but also a significant amount of learning and setup to get going.” (Read more at

Rendered map of Ayacucho, Peru (by Tom MacWright, DevelopmentSeed):


ESRI and Google training sessions at the AAGW 2010

ESRI and Google training sessions at the AAGW 2010

Registrations are opened for the training day at the Africa Agriculture GIS Week 2010

, that will be held in Nairobi 8-12 June 2010.

The Training Day will take place on on Friday 11 June at the ILRI Campus in Nairobi, Kenya.

The program of the day includes parallel training sessions from ESRI and Google.

Google program:

A series of workshops  to learn how Google's geo tools relate to each other and can be used for scientific investigations, resource management, monitoring deforestation, and also as powerful communication tools.

Featured products will include

Google Earth
Google Maps
Google Map Maker
Fusion Tables
Open Data Kit.

All products will be presented in a context of applied agriculture in order to facilitate discussions in the spirit of the theme of the event.

ESRI program:

In this workshop you will learn about the new features coming with ArcGIS Server 10. You will learn how to use your data to make maps and share them with others by publishing them on a server.  ArcGIS offers several options for building web applications. You will learn how to quickly and easily use configurable web applications to leverage maps from as well as your own data. You will also learn about the different types of web applications you can build with the different ArcGIS APIs. The workshop will also focus on the new web editing capabilities of ArcGIS Server 10. This functionality will enable you to create a variety of web applications for collaboration.  The workshop will cover a complete step by step process: from authoring your maps effectively for web editing, enabling web editing capabilities in ArcGIS Server, and selecting the appropriate end client application to support different editing workflows.

Featured technology:

ArcGIS Server
ArcGIS Web Map for Flex
ArcGIS Explorer Online

ArcGIS APIs for JavaScript, Flex and Silverlight

Due to space limitations registrations will be accepted on a "first come first served"  basis,  and precedence will be given to those who have registered to attend other events of the AAGW 2010.

To register please fill the form here

Please note that a specific registration is required to attend the training and that the  AAGW  registration DOES NOT grant you access to the training sessions.

For further information please send an email to

2010 Africa Agriculture GIS Week – Navigating the Change

Navigating the change-Note to CSI Reps.docx
Download this file

Dear Colleagues,


With just over one month to go to the AAGW meeting, things are hotting up and our Logistics and Programme teams have been working hard to make things as smooth and productive as possible. One great piece of news is that Nadia Manning who so skillfully led the facilitation of our meeting last year is going to be with us again. Welcome back Nadia!


Thanks to a deal struck between Enrica and Nadia, we will not only be served by Nadia’s great facilitation skills at the meeting itself but, following some discussion amongst our program planning team, Nadia has taken the lead in putting together a set of background notes and guidelines both to better focus our AAGW deliberations, and to help us pull together some coherent follow-up and communication/outreach pieces we can draw from after the meeting.


I attach the Nadia’s notes and emphasize we think it’s important for the success and impact of the meeting that you adhere to them as closely as possible (especially re presentation guidelines) .


Let me know if you have any questions about this or any other aspect of the meeting.




Experimenting with ArcGIS PDF Export

FYI – For my first time, I just tried out this [Export to PDF] thing from ArcGIS to ship multiple layers of maps, and it worked great! Even Stan some non-techie users were able to easily turn on/off multiple layers and see/print only relevant layers of information from the PDF viewer, all without even opening ArcGIS. There were some tricky settings (e.g., including legend), but the process was relatively straightforward. This might be also helpful to hide raw data, when you’re limited to share sensitive (?) information around. Feel free to share your success (or not) stories too!


Download this file