Webinar – Challenges of managing qualitative data: Stories from the trenches

The Information and Data Management CoP hosts a webinar to discuss the challenges faced when managing qualitative data, including the openness and FAIRness of the information.


The Information and Data Management Community of Practice has been a global resource to help effect best practices in data management. One of the challenges we face relates to managing qualitative data (audio, images, videos as well as surveys containing sensitive and personally identifiable data) with regard for openness and FAIRness. There are also questions on how to capture, store and share such data responsibly. In that context, we invited researchers managing qualitative data to hear from their experience and to open the discussion on this topic at the CGIAR level.


  • 00:00:57 – Introduction by Olatunbosun Obileye
  • 00:02:35 – The perspective of the data collector by Gundula Fisher
  • 00:10:26 – Stories from the help desk by Florio Arguillas
  • 00:18:06 – The perspective of the data manager by Nilam Prasai and Indira Yerramareddy
  • 00:29:15 – Panel discussion:
  • 00:29:15 – What about country-specific or regional regulations we need to negotiate?
    • 00:31:05 – What could be the implications of the EU General Data Protection Regulation for CGIAR especially in terms of qualitative data sharing?
    • 00:33:15 – How can we increase data security for qualitative data?
    • 00:39:00 – Have CGIAR data managers engaged with qualitative researchers on a direct and continuous basis (for instance by building committees or working groups) and if yes, what are their experiences?
    • 00:51:15 – Qualitative data reuse concern: According to Walters (2009), data will lose value without the knowledge and expertise of the researchers who designed and implemented the original research project, and prepared, and analyzed it. How can we address this concern in CGIAR?
  • 00:54:45 – Q&A:
    • 00:54:50 – How can the authenticity of qualitative data be preserved especially when transcription and/or translation is involved? – Olayemi Oluwasoga – IITA
    • 00:57:08 – Should CGIAR invest in a secure IT platform for research on sensitive data? Researchers should then sign a data agreement and get some ethics clearance of some sort when wanting to reuse the data? – Marie-Angélique Laporte – Alliance Bioversity International – CIAT
    • 1:11:25 – Data protection laws often require data to be used for a specific purpose than to be deleted when this purpose has been met. CGIAR has been rather lax in terms of ethical review and data protection in the past. So, we have historical datasets where we did not specifically ask for permission to retain data for other use, so we need to delete these data to be in line with EU GDPR rules? i.e. we have historical issues with informed consent – Peter Steward – ICRAF
    • 1:15:48 – Would it be possible for CGIAR to have an infrastructure where researchers spread across the globe put their data centrally in a secure way? – Olatunbosun Obileye – IITA


  • Olatunbosun Obileye is the Institutional Data Manager at IITA. He leads the team responsible for data management plans, preservation, curation and governance, open access/open data, and research data repository management. He serves as the Big Data Platform focal point for IITA and he is a member of IITA’s Digital Delivery Working Group.
  • Gundula Fisher is a social scientist and gender expert at IITA, she is a member of the IRB, and has long-term experience in collecting and analyzing qualitative data.
  • Florio Arguillas is a Research Associate at the Cornell Center for the Social Sciences. He trains researchers on the use of qualitative data analysis software packages and serves as consultant and lecturer on qualitative research methods, design, collection, management, tools, and analysis.
  • Nilam Prasai is a Senior Data curator in IFPRI’s Communications and Public Affairs Division. She provides support for research data management and publishing data at IFPRI. She is also involved in setting up policies, protocols, and procedures for research data governance.
  • Indira Yerramareddy is the Manager of Knowledge Management and Web in IFPRI’s Communications and Public Affairs Division. She has been with IFPRI since 2001 and has over 19 years of experience in strategic communications, knowledge management, and web technologies. She has taken leadership in developing institutional policies. She has also taken a lead to form the Data Governance Management Committee to improve the Research Data Management (RDM) at IFPRI.

April 23, 2021

Information and Data Management Community of Practice


Latest videos