It is not always clear what is happening in SPAM world. Put bluntly, it is not always clear that anything is happening in between it’s periodic releases. Some of you may be wondering, “What are you working on all this time? Why does it take so long between each release?”
First, let me define the “you” to which you are addressing your questions. We have a web of collaborators who contribute input data from country statistics agencies or from other research institutes within the CGIAR system. Those are too numerous to list here. Secondly, we have a core group at IFPRI who actively contribute to methodological improvements, namely Liangzhi You, Stanley Wood, Ulrike Wood-Sichra, Zhe Guo, and Jawoo Koo. Thirdly, there are those of us who are tasked with looking after input production statistics, processing them, and then feeding those new and improved statistics back into the model. That third group is made up principally by myself, Susana Crespo, and by the aforementioned Ulrike Wood-Sichra. You may know her from her detailed write-ups that accompany each SPAM release as the ReadMe file.
Now you know who we are. Still wondering what we do?
We spend our time balancing the tasks of updating our methodology, data management platforms, improving our inputs, processing incoming statistics as we receive them, running the model, and managing results.
I’ve created a timeline at Timeglider.com where I plan to post SPAM activities as they occur, roughly by the categories of tasks listed above (Methodology, Subnational Data Prep, Other Inputs, Data Platforms).
I hope you, community, find this useful. Please comment if you do.
PS If a fairly interesting graphic doesn’t pop up in the space below, please refresh.
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