As part of the Agrilinks 10-year anniversary, we are celebrating with testimonials from some of our top users. Read on to hear from Kiersten Johnson, a senior researcher at USAID's Bureau for Resilience and Food Security. The following is a transcript of a 10-year anniversary video series. The full video can be played at the bottom of the page.
Hi! My name is Kiersten Johnson. I am a social scientist. I have been working in international development for more than 20 years, conducting research on topics ranging from global health and nutrition to agriculture and food security. In my role at USAID in the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, Agrilinks has been important to the work I do for more than five years.
Agrilinks is like a marketplace that offers all of the foundational resources and information you need if you are working in international food security, but as you wander the aisles, you can also find those new ideas and innovative practices that can drive improved understanding of food security dynamics, improved decision-making and, ultimately, improved development outcomes that we’re working towards for the children, women and men in the countries where we work.
In my work, Agrilinks has served in both capacities.
In terms of foundational resources in international food security, Agrilinks is the central repository for the survey methods guidance we have developed for our Feed the Future zone of influence surveys. These are the population-based surveys we implement to monitor the progress of the Feed the Future initiative. Agrilinks makes these resources a truly global public good: anyone with an internet connection can download the protocols, questionnaires, manuals, data analysis programs and more. This allows us to make our work transparent, and all of these resources can be reused by other researchers. In this way, Agrilinks allow us to conform to best open science practices, and helps us amplify the value of the taxpayer dollars that support the development of these standard-setting materials.
In terms of those new ideas that can really drive progress in international food security, for the past two years, Agrilinks has hosted a monthly theme showcasing how satellite data is being used to address some of the world’s most pressing food security concerns, from deforestation and locust swarms to availability of water for [Water, Sanitation and Hygiene] (WASH) and agriculture, to how a changing climate affects agricultural production. Agrilinks allows us to communicate about these innovations with its entire readership. At the same time, it allows us to build a strong community of people who are working in this space, and those who see all the possibilities for using these data to improve development outcomes.
If I could describe Agrilinks in one word, it would be community.
Happy 10-year anniversary, Agrilinks!