EC Meeting October, 2005 Rome, Italy

International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists

Executive Committee Minutes

October 22-23, 2005

Rome, Italy


The meeting came to order at 10 a.m. at IPGRI in Maccarese, Italy.

Present: Peter Ballantyne; Stephen Rudgard; A.P. Greider; Michal Demes; Elizabeth Dodsworth; Elizabeth Goldberg; Barbara Hutchinson; Nihad Maliha; Dorothy Mukhebi; Takashi Nagatsuka; Shuchun Pan

Apologies: Debra Currie; Vielka Chang-Yau; H.V. Mote


1. Welcome and Opening Remarks

Peter Ballantyne asked each board member to introduce themselves and then thanked the following: the EC for meeting over a weekend; Elizabeth Goldberg for hosting the meeting; and Stephen Rudgard for the FAO meeting that allowed so many board members to be present. He then outlined the work of the day.

2. Approval of Agenda

Agenda was approved.

3. Minutes of the EC Meetings Held in Lexington

Minutes for the outgoing board meeting and the joint board meeting were approved. Barbara Hutchinson listed points from the brain storming document so we could include them in the day’s discussion.

4. Matters arising (not on agenda)

Reports from the FAO meeting and its implications for IAALD were deferred to A.O.B.

5. Reports from IAALD Officers (written reports circulated with the agenda)

Written reports (attached) from the President, Secretary/Treasurer, and Editor were reviewed and discussed by the EC.

  • Presidents Report:

o Drafted a strategic planning document for this meeting.

o Worked on 2006 regional conference in Africa and has been talking with CTA on funding for participants.

o Worked on the Blog and the website

o Worked on partnering with IFLA and ASLIB Biosciences Group (re-establishing relationship)

o Assisting the secretary/treasurer in reorganizing the back office

o Asked each member to verify the email address they want on the Dgroups email group

o Directed the Secretary/Treasurer to put together a information sheet for board members on Dgroups and Skype and circulate to the EC

Stephen Rudgard asked about the traffic on the IAALD Blog site. The IAALD Blog will be highlighted on the FAO Digital Divide web site.

Dorothy Mukhebi asked about the relationship with IFLA. Takashi Nagatsuka responded as he represented IAALD at the IFLA meeting in Oslo. Prof. Reddy of Texas A & M in the United States has established an Agricultural Discussion Group and it met in Oslo. Presentations included Jane Wu from the FAO who reported on Agricultural Information to the farmers. The EC discussed possible cooperation with IFLA and Peter Ballantyne indicated that he would meet with IFLA on his return to Holland. Barbara Hutchinson reported that she contacted Deva Reddy on cooperation but had no response. It was suggested that we ask Deva Reddy to be an official representative for IAALD to IFLA when IAALD joins IFLA.

Peter Ballantyne reported that CTA is interested in funding attendees to the African Conference in the amount of €50,000 to €60,000.

There were no comments on the Secretary/Treasurer Report or the Editor’s Report.

6. Reports from Task Forces (Oral reports)

  • Task Force on Communication (2005)

Barbara Hutchinson reported on the Task Force on Communications. We now have 287 people on the IAALD list serv and a discussion followed about making it a closed list. Toni Greider will send Barb Hutchinson the list of members so she can remove those people who are not members. We also need to target those members who are new on the listserv. The communications group needs to decide who will communicate what to the membership and other groups.

  • Task Force on Africa (2005-06)

Dorothy Mukhebi reported that the conference plans are going forward. There is much enthusiasm from this new generation of professionals. Both CABI and FAO are in the region and are helping to organize the conference. There is a lot of interest on the continent in this meeting.

  • Elizabeth Goldberg: CG centers should be involved and support the conference. She will try to get the CG librarians interested in the conference and help with organizational support.

Individual Reports

  • Membership Survey: There is an executive summary of the membership survey in the Quarterly Bulletin and the full survey will be sent by Elizabeth Goldberg Toni Greider to distribute to the Executive Committee.
  • Peter Ballantyne has been in contact with Federico Sancho of AIBDA on joint membership and attended the CGIAR meeting and recruited a number of new members. Elizabeth Goldberg will send membership information around to the Scientific Managers Group at the CGIAR. We are also looking for reporters for the Blog.
  • Takashi Nagatsuka: There are machine translations for Blogs for different countries. Many Japanese are not familiar with English. The IAALD Blog will be announced to JAALD members and machine translation may be the answer. It is not a perfect translation but gives people a sense of what is being said. Language is still an issue.
  • Shuchun Pan reported that she had the membership fees for 24 Chinese members, some renewals, some new members. There was a great concern about benefits gained from IAALD membership. The Chinese have a machine translation system so that is not an issue. She asked that the QB be drop shipped to the China Chapter for distribution. China would like to hold an IAALD Regional Conference in 2008. The IFLA is meeting in Seoul, Korea in 2006 and in South Africa in 2007.
  • Elizabeth Dodsworth: CABI became an IAALD member for this year.
  • Stephen Rudgard: The FAO consultation highlighted the need for a professional association but the challenge is to put the need into action. Points that emerged from the meeting:

o IAALD was mentioned as a strategic paradigm

o In the list of actions IAALD was seen as a strategic partner

o More web traffic is needed on the IAALD site

o Question: Why wasn’t everyone in the room a member of IAALD

o IAALD could connect people and highlight advocacy and capacity building

  • Michal Demes: THE domain has established visibility through the web. We are using the domain with our chapters so the web site for China will be and the African Conference will be found at domain. This gives stability and branding while still maintain some decentralization. The Central/Eastern Europe Chapter is looking to attract the technology oriented professionals but they need some promotion in the international area—trying to designate regional coordinators for IAALD and looking at the  appropriate balance between formal and informal organization. Regional Coordinators hold that title only if they have members in their region. Still need to solve the currency problem. The Central/Eastern Europe Roundtable needs some support and IAALD can be the catalyst for that support. Networks will die if they do not receive moral support. We have an opportunity to work with networks such as the AGROWEB Network. However, we still have the problem of isolation of some areas—no internet connections and we have a major language barrier.

The EC broke for lunch and reconvened at 13:20.

7. IAALD Strategy and Action Plan 2006-2010

The EC worked on the vision for IAALD for the Strategic Planning Document as a group and then broke into smaller groups to discuss points 1-4 of the strategic plan.

8. Upcoming IAALD Events

  • Africa 2006: Dorothy Mukhebi reported that there is a lot of energy and enthusiasm by professionals in Africa which began at the conference in Lexington. The group intends to set up an African Chapter as there are a large number of information professionals in Africa. The IAALD Africa meeting will be held on May 21-26 in Nairobi, Kenya at the Hotel Intercontinental. There is a website established. The planning has involved local people and most of the planning has been over email. There are two committees formed and it is hoped that Thiendou Niang will mobilize the French speaking countries.  Joseph Kipling’at is the chair of the local organizing committee (Joseph was a CTA scholarship winner). The theme for the conference is Managing Agricultural Information for Sustainable Food Security and Livelihood in Africa. A call will be sent out soon. The Keynote speaker will be Dr. Monty Jones and he has been confirmed. The group expects 150 to 200 attendees. Local participation for the event has been high and it will be a high profile meeting. There is very much goodwill and the group is now working on fund raising and logistics. This will be good recruiting ground for IAALD. Dorothy asked that sponsorship information be sent to her.
  • IAALD Europe: Peter Ballantyne raised the possibility of an IAALD European meeting. Michael Demas agreed and felt it was important to do and that we needed to add an EU component. The possibility to having the meeting in one of the new EU states in partnership with old partners was discussed. The problem is Western Europe has lost all of their groups such as the GBDL. There is an EFITA meeting in July 2007 in the UK. The possibility of partnering with another meeting was raised.

The meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m. and reconvened at 10:25 a.m. on October 23, 2005 in Rome.

9. World Congress 2010

IAALD has received two proposals to host the IAALD Conference in 2010, one is from JAALD in Tokyo, Japan and the second from Agropolis in Montpellier, France. The Constitution does not prohibit having an IAALD World Congress more frequently than every five years so the EC decided to offer Japan the opportunity to host an IAALD World Congress in 2008 and France in 2010. Peter Ballantyne will make the offers. Elizabeth Goldberg, Barbara Huchinson, Toni Greider, and Peter Ballantyne will be the conference herders.

10. IAALD involvement in upcoming partner events

There are a number of conferences that IAALD should have an involvement or presence. We will look for IAALD members to represent IAALD. The meetings identified are:

The EC then broke into small groups to discuss items 4,5,7 of the strategic plan and the following decisions were made based on the two days of discussion:

  • IAALD-L will become a closed listserv
  • IAALD-L will include IAALD information including:

o Recruitment for IAALD initiatives

o Announce new items that appear on the home page

o Give instructions on where to go for newsfeeds

o Highlights from IAALD board meetings

  • IAALD will explore joining IFLA
  • IAALD will explore having two World Congresses every five years
  • IAALD will participate in the following conferences. IAALD members going to these conferences will be solicited to represent IAALD.

o USAIN 2006

o WCCA 2006

o AFITA 2006

o RIBDA 2006

o IFLA 2006

  • IAALD Blog will contain the news from around the world
  • IAALD needs a traveling display
  • A web task force will be appointed. Board members to be included are Nick Maliha, Peter Ballantyne, Dorothy Mukhebi, Michal Demes, Shuchun Pan

11. A.O.B.

The Committee briefly discussed honorary memberships. It was decided to invite Pam Andre as a past president to become an honorary member. Toni Greider was asked to draft guidelines/policy on honorary members that could be agreed at the ExCo’s next meeting.

12. Date and Place for next EC Meeting

The next EC meeting will be in Nairobi, Kenya linked with the IAALD Africa meeting.

The meeting adjourned with the board thanking Elizabeth Goldberg for her hospitality. Dorothy Mukhebi thanked Elizabeth for the hospitality, Peter Ballantyne for his leadership and Toni Greider for bring the scholarship winners to Lexington. The IAALD meeting in Lexington was the catalyst for the IAALD Africa meeting.

The Meeting adjourned at 2 p.m.

Signed: Signed:

Note: These minutes were approved by the IAALD Executive Committee via Email on March 10, 2006.