Friday, October 7, 2011

Back from the Global Nodes meeting... a few reflexions

I recently gave a progress report on the development of the NPT at the GBIF global Nodes meeting in Buenos Aires. After the presentation, a long and *very* animated discussion took place between the Nodes representatives, the Advisory Group, members of the GBIF secretariat and myself. A few days later, here are a few reflexions about how the meeting went, which I'd like to share with the community.

1. The NPT project triggers a lot of interest: feedback from the Nodes representatives during the meeting was intense and precious for the coordination of the project;
2. The communication needs to be improved: apparently, several participants weren't well informed about the NPT project. Additional communication channels will be explored. It should be stressed that a lot of efforts so far have been devoted to technical aspects as well as requirements capture and their transfer to software documentation.
3. There is a risk of digital divide between the participants. A special effort should be devoted to limiting this divide, by adapting the development strategy. The possibility for early training should be explored as well;
4. The governance and responsibilities of the different bodies managing the project, as well as the role of the project coordinator need to be clarified. The decision making process didn't seem to be transparent enough;

As a followup, I'm intending to take the following actions:
1. setup a shopwindow website (in additions to the existing websites) giving the basic information (background, functionalities, roadmap, governance) about the project.
2. prepare an information paper, to be circulated widely within and beyond the community, possibly in several languages.
3. setup a "dummy" website to give a general idea of what the first version of NPT is going to look like
4. setup face to face meetings to the best extent feasible to address issue (3).
5. prepare a general survey to find-out about the potential level of pickup of the first version by the community (how many instances would be installed from NPT1)
6. prepare a survey on the technical capacity of the network

Your comments and feedback are most welcome on this.