Urgent action needed to close the ‘livestock data gap’ to address poverty and food insecurity

Missing or poor livestock data limits development opportunities, according to a community of experts who are joining forces to confront the challenge.

28 November 2018 – HANOI: Better data is urgently needed for improving livestock health and productivity in Vietnam and the rest of the world, according to experts who are gathering this week in Vinh Phuc province, Vietnam. The meeting of the Livestock Data for Decisions (LD4D) Community of Practice brings together key people from academia, NGOs, donor agencies and industry to address the challenge of missing or poor data, and develop innovative approaches to inform policies and investments in the livestock sector. The meeting is being hosted by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

Around the world, hundreds of millions of poor people depend on livestock for nutritious food, income, and on-farm assistance. Low productivity and poor health of livestock in these regions results in low incomes for smallholder farmers. Governments and donors require relevant data in order to select and design the best livestock strategies for improving productivity and health.

The LD4D community is unique in its aim to help ‘data suppliers’ and ‘data users’ interact effectively, and ensure data supply and demand are met,’ said Andy Peters, director of the Supporting Evidence Based Interventions (SEBI) program which facilitates LD4D.

The issues being discussed are particularly relevant to Vietnam and Southeast Asia countries where the livestock is rapidly intensified to feed more people and to respond to the need of animal source foods, said Hung Nguyen, regional representative for ILRI in East and Southeast Asia. ‘This meeting will benefit Vietnam with some of the collaborations and innovations that will be shared by the community’ he said.

At the 3-day meeting, delegates will present ongoing collaborations including:

  • Modelling the impacts of animal health investments by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation;
  • LiveGAPS – a project for estimating and closing livestock productivity yield gaps, led by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia;
  • Livestock Fact Check, which investigates the data behind popular facts and figures in order to inform debates and discussions; and
  • The Global Burden of Animal Diseases (GBADs), a new global initiative for estimating which animal diseases have the greatest economic impacts.

Central themes include how data can help investors measure and improve the impact of their initiatives; improving data standards and quality; and responsibly communicating livestock messages in a time of ‘alternative facts’.

The meeting will identify ideas, concepts, and collaborations that show great promise for improving data for better livestock decisions. Participants will generate a set of concrete actions that will be delivered by community members through working groups, and eventually shared back with the wider livestock community.


Media contacts

ILRI: Chi Nguyen, communications officer, c.nguyen@cgiar.org, +84 (0)936 066 152

For editors

The meeting agenda and presentations will be available at https://ld4d.org/about-us/meetings/ld4d-meeting-hanoi-november-2018


Members of the wider livestock data community, the public and the media are welcome to watch the meeting via livestream via the following link:


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About LD4D

Livestock Data for Decisions (LD4D) is a Community of Practice (CoP) that was launched in January 2017. It aims to drive informed livestock decision-making through better use of existing data and analyses.

LD4D is facilitated and supported by the project Supporting Evidence Based Interventions (SEBI), awarded to The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

More information on the Livestock Data for Decisions (LD4D) Community of Practice meeting

See more videos of the presentations taken at the conference

See the meeting agenda and presentations