GPG2-SINGER consultation meeting, USDA, Beltsville, 2009

Global recommendations 

Recommendation 1: A short-term recommendation was made that Centres send their updated quality data for the next six months to SINGER, following the guidelines provided for passport data, including corrected geo-references (GPG2 Activity 4.2), characterization and possibly evaluation data.

Recommendation 2: The group tasked the SINGER coordination team with the launch of a comparative study/SWOT analysis of SINGER and the global portal. A decision must be taken in relation to the CGIAR change process and based on facts, not perceptions. It is recommended that an independent consultant be employed to conduct a two-month study.

Note: This action is dependent on whether the network is going to move towards a global system or use an integration approach. It is assumed that no-action/status quo is not an option.

Recommendation 3: SGRP must establish a task force to implement the cost/benefit analysis. Centres’ IT staff need to exchange views on GRIN-Global before its presentation. SGRP will conduct a system-wide cost/benefit analysis of adopting GRIN-Global or other alternatives. This action was prioritized but full consensus was not achieved.

Recommendation 4: There is a need to clarify and resolve attribution concerns that act as a barrier to data-sharing and collaboration. A proposal was made to promote practices of fair, transparent and permanent attribution (of individuals, teams and institutions) for publications, data sets, software and germplasm. Addressing this issue will be fundamental for the sustained sharing of germplasm and a functioning global system.

Recommendation 5: All CGIAR Centres should be committed to deliver on SINGER. The SINGER team should be hosted at Bioversity and include staff of the CGIAR Centres. SINGER must be a CGIAR-wide project and work on SINGER should be included in curators' work plans.

Recommendation 6: Develop a communication plan to help others understand the issues and importance of the CGIAR’s genetic resource information systems.

Working Groups’ (WG) Recommendations 

WG Recommendation 1: A support to cross-benefits around quality, standards and technology is needed. It is vital that crop registries and SINGER use the same standards. Each crop registry is a network at the crop level while SINGER is presently a network at the Centre level. It is necessary to share best practices from crop registries to and with SINGER.

WG Recommendation 2: If a central system is adopted for genebank information management, then the CGIAR should become an ’open source’ community of practice, with some degree of harmonization across Centres.

WG Recommendation 3: A reporting tool that Centres can use with different database web services should be developed. The tool could be used outside CGIAR and would make it easier to report on the existing database, versus putting distribution data into SINGER.