CGMAP Latest News

MTP 2011-2013 upload status - 3 September 2010

posted Sep 2, 2010, 7:03 AM by a.pastore@cgxchange.org

MTP narratives and logframes uploaded via EasyMTP as of 3 September:
  1. Bioversity
  2. CIAT
  3. CIFOR
  4. GCP
  5. ICARDA
  6. ICRISAT
  7. IFPRI
  8. ILRI
  9. IWMI
  10. World Agroforestry

In the pipeline:
  1. Worldfish
  2. CPWF

Financial data submitted to FIS as of 2 September (at time of publishing this announcement):
  1. Bioversity
  2. CIAT
  3. ICRISAT
  4. CIFOR
  5. IFPRI
  6. ILRI
  7. World Agroforestry
  8. IWMI
  9. Worldfish

Progress of MTP document assembly and submission to CGMap

There have been a number of deadline extensions of the financial data submission. Consequently, the assembly and formatting process of the MTP document (narrative and financial tables) has started this week.

EasyMTP focal points will start receiving requests for review and submission this week. The review and submission procedure has been updated to reflect the voluntary nature of MTP submission this year. The document is available in the User Guides: the actual steps required for review and submission have remained unchanged, with the exception that there is no review by Science Council and that not all Centers are submitting, and not all at the same time.

How is the MTP data going to be published this year?

As soon as focal points complete the submission, the submitted documents become available for download from the Download MTPs area of CGMap for public access. Center/CP staff can download the document for further formatting and layout improvement for their own purposes.

The MTP database submitted via EasyMTP is transferred to the CGMap database. Date stamp certifies that the submission is official and that the version available in CGMap (both as document and as database) represents the reference version of the Center/CP MTP for the 2011-2013 period.

Update of CGMap database starts:
  • The MTP databases are transferred to the CGMap database where projects and outputs can be searched and analysed;
  • MTP documents are converted to PDF as individual sections for the Browse MTPs area and indexed in the Google Custom Search Engine to be retrieved via Search CGIAR;
  • Project fact sheets are generated by aggregating information from EasyMTP and FIS and become searchable via Search Projects;
  • Maps are updated.
  • New: database exports will be produced in XML format for reuse in other Web sites and applications: read more about embeddable maps.

Important note on MTP 2011-2013 data coverage

Considering the voluntary nature of MTP preparation and submission in 2010, CGMap will include only the data as submitted by the Centers and the Programs in EasyMTP and FIS. This will impact the amount of data offered in CGMap and in some cases, the Advanced Search functionality.
  • For the Centers that have uploaded both narrative and financial information: the full MTP document will be assembled, data made available online: project fact sheets will be complete. Projects and outputs will be retrievable via the Advanced search using the criteria based on FIS data;
  • For the Centers that have uploaded the narrative but are not submitting the financial information to FIS: the MTP document without the financing plan chapter will be made available for review and submission. The database will be made available online in CGMap, but no financial data will be included or displayed in the project fact sheets, nor will it be retrievable in the Advanced Search using the criteria based on FIS data.

 

Add MTP project maps and lists to your Web site: make your research more visible

posted Jul 27, 2010, 2:21 AM by a.pastore@cgxchange.org   [ updated Jul 28, 2010, 5:53 AM ]

It is now possible to reuse, embed and query the MTP data and maps in Web sites and online applications.

We hope this is good news for Web, communications and information managers as well as anybody with a role in web publishing in the CGIAR.

All you need to do is  generate codes to embed maps and lists and custom RSS feeds for each MTP period.

Instructions on how to do this are available on
the ICT Infopoint in CGXchange.org: Add CGMap Projects to Your Center/CP's Web Site

In practice, it means that a map or a list of your Center or Program MTP projects can be easily embedded in any Web page or application, both on the public Web or on an Intranet.

The MTP project information submitted to CGMap can therefore be reused and travel more easily to serve your communications purposes, in a cost-effective way, i.e. no need to reproduce a project database for the Center's Web site.

We invite you to let the communications, information and Web specialists in your Center or Program know about the possibility of reusing key project information on your Web properties.

Which MTP projects are available now?

MTPs 2009-2011 and 2010-2012 are available for reuse and mashup.

The Centers and Programs which are submitting their MTP 2011-2013 will have the possibility of adding up-to-date project maps or lists to their sites as soon as the CGMap database is updated by the end of August.

Example: three steps to embedding a map of a Center's MTP: 1. customize: pick your criteria and settings; 2. check and interact with the preview; 3. copy the HTML code to be inserted in any Web page.


An advanced option for reusing the project database is to use the XML exports in RSS and GeoRSS feed format. This allows a tighter integration and customised reuse in content management systems and applications, such as building your own maps, filtering lists by specific criteria. Downloadable code and exports can be found under the Custom - Code samples tab.

For any additional query on how to make the most of reusable CGMap project data, please contact cgmap-support@cgiar.org

MTP 2011-2013 upload status - 27 July 2010

posted Jul 27, 2010, 1:49 AM by a.pastore@cgxchange.org   [ updated Jul 30, 2010, 1:54 AM ]

EasyMTP uploads

MTP uploaded as of 27 July:
  1. Bioversity
  2. ICRAF
  3. ICARDA
  4. IWMI
  5. ICRISAT

In the pipeline:
  1. GCP
  2. CIFOR
  3. ILRI
  4. CPWF

Financial data submitted to FIS as of 27 July (at time of publishing this announcement):
  1. Bioversity
  2. ICRISAT
  3. CIFOR


FIS submissions

The Financial Information System will be closed for submissions on 31 July 2010.

In order to complete the submission of the MTP to CGMap, the financial tables have to be generated from FIS and assembled both in the MTP document and in the CGMap database.

Considering the different speed at which the financial information is being submitted to FIS, please note the following conditions:

  • For the Centers that have uploaded both narrative and financial information: we will assemble the full MTP document when we obtain the financial tables after 31 July, during the first days of August.

  • For the Centers that have uploaded the narrative but not yet the financial information: financial information can be submitted to FIS until 31 July. If you need an extension, please contact the Fund Office or cgmap-support@cgiar.org.

  • For the Centers that are preparing the narrative but are not submitting the financial information to FIS: When FIS is closed on 31 July, your MTP database will be made available online in CGMap, but no financial data will be included or displayed and no assembled document will be produced. Please note that this option refers only to the way in which MTP data will be made available via CGMap, not to the suitability of submitting the narrative without the financial part: it is recommended you seek senior management advice on this matter.

If you have any special queries on meeting different deadlines, please write to cgmap-support@cgiar.org

EasyMTP/CGMap July 2010 Update

posted Jul 8, 2010, 4:00 AM by a.pastore@cgxchange.org   [ updated Jul 9, 2010, 1:17 AM ]

Update July 9 at 9,50am GMT+1

On Center's request, FIS has actually been opened for submission. Current deadline is 31 July.

This is good news, since financial data and other data sourced from FIS will be aggregated in CGMap. So back to business as usual.

Help us plan by filling out this brief questionnaire



Update July 8 at 8,25pm GMT+1

We are verifying news about FIS open for submission. If confirmed, we will update the information below regarding aggregation of financial data.

==================================================================================================

FIS data submission not available

This year’s MTP document and project fact sheets will not contain any financial data originated in FIS.

The CGMap team will support Centers and Programs in finalising a MTP document and sections, but unlike previous years, we will not assemble the financial tables. Other data from FIS used in CGMap will not be available, (e.g. Target Regions, project level System Priorities) and consequently these fields and associated search criteria will not be displayed/available in CGMap.


We recommend you do update the countries (both potential beneficiary and countries of planned research) so as the maps and related search criteria will be updated and available.

Critical issue with MS Word 2007

We have discovered a critical issue in EasyMTP when pasting content directly from documents processed in MS Word 2007.

Critical performance issues occur when content with extra code from Word is pasted. We discourage you to paste from Word directly. See the alternative procedure in the FAQ: Garbled code appears in reports when content is pasted from Word2007
.

Embeddable project maps coming soon

A new feature of CGMap will be launched later this month: embeddable maps and lists of projects from your MTP.

What does it mean in practice? That a map with your Center/Program projects can be easily embedded on your Center Web site and any other online application. This way, the information submitted and included in CGMap can be reused and travel more easily outside of the original system.

If this feature is interesting for you, please forward the link to this update to your Web communications people: we’ll be happy to show them the potential uses of this new feature.

EasyMTP/CGMap Update August 2009

posted Aug 6, 2009, 2:46 AM by a.pastore@cgxchange.org   [ updated Aug 6, 2009, 2:58 AM ]

CGMap is up-to-date

CGMap is now updated with 19 of the MTPs submitted in June (only Climate Change Challenge Program is left to land into the system database, but is already available as a document).

With 158 projects and 710 outputs, CGMap provides a comprehensive view of the work plans of the CGIAR. This year, the colleagues in Centers and Programs have done a great job in providing complete data on priorities, countries and output targets, i.e. the core data that allows the advanced search functions in CGMap to work and deliver accurate results.

What's coming up

We're already at work with our CIAT colleagues on a number of new features of the system. This year, the keyword is 'Improve Access': we're working on more complete project fact sheets, on submitting the project information to search engines much more deeply than last year, and advanced mapping.

We are publishing some sneak peeks about the future enhancements to CGMap, regarding maps and KML, the geographic information exchange standard that will allow CGmap projects to be visualised on online maps. 

See the post at http://ictkm.wordpress.com/2009/08/03/down-to-earth-cgmap-is-about-to-land/!

Stay tuned on our blog for more news.

Feedback welcome

We welcome your comments on this year's experience, drop us a note at cgmap-support@cgiar.org


Until the next update

best regards

The EasyMTP/CGMap Team
i.e. Antonella Pastore, Tania Jordan, Michael Marus

EasyMTP Update June 2009 - All's well

posted Jun 26, 2009, 4:53 AM by a.pastore@cgxchange.org   [ updated Jun 26, 2009, 6:38 AM ]

2010-2012 MTP submission successfully achieved

All 20 MTPs have now been submitted and can be downloaded from CGMap. The MTP submission 2009 went off smoothly: by Friday June 19, the deadline for submission in CGMap, 15 MTPs were available via Download MTPs. The pending 5 had either deadline extensions, or were submitting over the weekend. 

All Centers and Challenge Programs have made their MTP available via CGMap this year. Of these, 18 used EasyMTP for authoring and upload, 2 are on their way. 

Coverage of MTP projects and their related metadata (countries of planned research, potential beneficiary countries, system priorities by output) is very close to 100% this year, based on the control we made during upload and document assembly. 

Behind the scenes

The new report functionality, made available in EasyMTP last May, has remarkably streamlined the formatting and assembly process. 

Our colleagues in CIAT have, as usual, been responsive in exporting the complex financial tables from FIS, a substantial contribution to the finalisation of the MTP documents. 

The Helpdesk has received a much smaller number of requests and issue reports than last year, which means that in spite of the limited upgrade implemented in EasyMTP and what still remains to be improved, users were able to update the MTP information without major impediments.

The extra step we took last winter to move more EasyMTP systems to the hosted environment has paid back. 11 systems are now hosted, while 8 are installed in Centers (Bioversity, IRRI, WorldFish, ICRISAT, ILRI, ICRAF, WARDA, CIAT). IFPRI, CIP, ICARDA moved to the hosted environment in 2009, in addition to the 8 existing systems set up in 2008 (CIMMYT, IITA, IWMI, CIFOR, 4 CPs - CCAFS to be set up over the next month). This setup has allowed the Helpdesk team to resolve reported issues and bugs very quickly, implement upgrades smoothly and with 100% quality control. For the locally installed systems, the Helpdesk team set up a monitoring mechanism that allowed them to be faster in analysing and resolving issues on this front as well.

What's next

We've already started updating the CGMap database with the 2010-2012 MTP information. Over the next week, we'll continue to:
  • generate the individual project PDFs for Browse MTPs and for submission to Google, the search engine behind Search CGIAR;
  • import all the EasyMTP databases in the CGMap database, so that Search Projects and Search Outputs can retrieve information from the 2010-2012 MTP;
  • update the Project Fact Sheets with the new information coming from both EasyMTP and FIS;
  • update the maps in Projects by Country with the new country and project data.
In addition, we're planning to redesign some parts of the system in order to improve its accessibility and usability. Stay tuned for more.

A shiny example of collective action

All the people involved in the submission, including colleagues in Centers, Challenge Programs, the Helpdesk at IRRI, our colleagues at CIAT, should be proud of these achievements. The fact that every Center and Program has been able to complete this important task via CGMap is simply a shiny example of collective action, a much needed demonstration that we can work together in these times of change. So, thank you, all!

Feedback welcome

We welcome your comments on this year's experience, drop us a note at cgmap-support@cgiar.org 

Until the next update

have a great summer

The EasyMTP/CGMap Team
i.e. Antonella Pastore, Tania Jordan, Michael Marus, Dominique Liberto

Starting work on your 2010-2012 MTP? Refresh your memory!

posted May 8, 2009, 3:59 AM by a.pastore@cgxchange.org   [ updated May 8, 2009, 4:42 AM ]

We know some of you have started editing the MTP to prepare the next update due in June.

If you need to refresh your memory on what you can do this year in EasyMTP, here are a few helpful pointers:

  • EasyMTP 2010-2012 Practical Guidance Document and its Annex (PDF, 1.5MB)
    Practical instructions on how to update the content in your EasyMTP systems, based on available functionalities, the Science Council guidelines and the analysis requirements in CGMap; the Annex contains the user guide on how to edit the required information in EasyMTP and FIS.
!Tip!
Do not roll over the MTP if you need to start from existing content: just edit the titles, assign or reassign the projects, that's it!

For all your help request, contact cgmap-support@cgiar.org

The EasyMTP/CGMap Support Team

EasyMTP Update May 2009 - New Reports

posted May 8, 2009, 3:17 AM by a.pastore@cgxchange.org

A new reporting and exporting functionality is available now in your EasyMTP.
 
The upgrade is being installed and tested in the local and hosted systems. For locally installed systems, please inquire about installation status with your Center's IT focal point (as of Friday 8 May, all local systems have been updated while ILRI, ICRAF and Africa Rice are being provided assistance with installation).
 

What's new in the EasyMTP Reports

 Here's an overview of the new features:

EasyMTP Reports Overview



Action required: what you should do now

1. Enable macros in your Microsoft Word

Download allows you to save reports to your computer with a .doc file extension. This uses a document template with macros which convert reports and any pictures used in the reports into a Microsoft Word Document.

 
In order to take advantage of the document template and macros, you must ensure that Microsoft Word is configured to allow you to choose whether or not to enable and run macros.

How to enable macros for Report Download

  • Open Microsoft Word.
  • From the Tools menu, choose Macro>Security....
  • Under the Security Level tab, select Medium.

After you download, save, and then open a report, you should now get the proper Security Warning Box

Be sure to click on Enable Macros when you get the Security Warning Box.

If you cannot change the Macro Security setting on Microsoft Word, contact the IT Helpdesk at your office


2. Test the performance of the reports
The new report functionality strips all unwanted formatting and applies a standardised template to the MTP content. 
 
The performance of the document download depends on three known factors:
  • length of the MTP report,
  • volume of unwanted formatting to be stripped off,
  • network/bandwidth conditions.
Please test the different types of reports available and report back to us (and your technical focal point if you are on a local system):
a. if download takes less than 1 minute, just let us know, no further action is required;
b. if download takes more than 1 minute, the clean-up functionality can be temporarily switched off to improve performance and be re-enabled before upload for the final check. Please contact us (for hosted systems) or your technical focal point (for local systems) to have the cleanup temporarily disabled.

Please report to cgmap-support any serious performance issue by Thursday 14 May.
 
If you prefer to have the clean-up functionality switched off, please be aware that the reports may look good in HTML but unwanted or messy formatting remains in the document download.
 
!Tips to avoid performance issues while keeping the clean-up functionality enabled!
  • View and print the standard reports to check and validate the content while you are still editing, and resort to the download option only to circulate it via email to non-registered users;
  • avoid downloading the full MTP report, just generate individual reports for the Overview, the Annexes and the Projects.


EasyMTP Service Patch #4 is available and IT focal points are currently installing it...

posted May 4, 2009, 5:56 AM by Tania Jordan   [ updated May 8, 2009, 4:03 AM by a.pastore@cgxchange.org ]

The EasyMTP team has released a beta of the Service Patch #4 for EasyMTP that includes many important improvements:

  • Improved XML export for MTP upload, both for database extraction and zipping XML files for ftp transport, as well as XML output file encoding.
  • Full MTP Extraction to XML.
  • Additional database table for ISO Country Code lookup in Countries of Planned Research.
  • Enhanced HTML Reports with UTF-8 Character set support, cleaner and updated formatting and document structure, and download to Word.
  • Updated help documentation.

The IT Focal points are currently in the process of installing this patch and it should be ready before Thursday May 7, 2009 

We will keep you posted...

Thank you,

EasyMTP/CGMAP Team

EasyMTP Update March 2009

posted Mar 26, 2009, 9:30 AM by a.pastore@cgxchange.org   [ updated Mar 27, 2009, 7:48 AM ]

The EasyMTP Updates go online

Starting from March 2009, the Updates for the EasyMTP Focal Points will be published on the brand new CGMap-EasyMTP Helpdesk site. Email communications will be reserved to specific matters.

New CGMap Helpdesk Web site
The CGMap-EasyMTP Helpdesk site is now public and aims to provide useful information to both the EasyMTP end users and the technical focal points based in the Centers. It is hosted on CGXchange 2.0, a new online collaboration toolset that we have just introduced as the reincarnation of CGXchange. Read more about what's new on CGXchange 2.0.

What you can find on the CGMap-EasyMTP Helpdesk:
  • The Downloads area is reserved to the Service Packs and software updates.
  • The Documentation area is for guidelines, practical documents, user guides. 
Some picks for you:
The Helpdesk email is the usual one: cgmap-support@cgiar.org 

New reports start to look good!

As anticipated, we are working on the upgrade of the report functionality of EasyMTP.

The issues found last year (for example, special characters not being exported correctly) are being eliminated. Once the upgrade is installed, it will be possible to open the reports in MS Word, where they can be saved in .doc format with a cover, styles, table of contents and horizontal layout of the logframes to save space.

Moreover, the lists of Countries of Planned Research and Potential Beneficiary Countries will be included as annexes to the report, so you will be able to check that the data has been entered and, at the same time, output a more compact final document.

We expect to release the Service Pack with the report upgrade by the end of April. Ad-hoc communications will follow in due course.

EasyMTP Online Training Sessions

We are just about to complete the EasyMTP training for the Centers and Challenge Programs that will be using EasyMTP for the first year.

Hosted systems

CIP, ICARDA and IFPRI EasyMTP's have been migrated to the hosted environment. 

Although we announced we were no longer in the position to migrate the local systems to the hosted environment, we have managed to find a different way of  running the application on our servers even with reduced capacity. After a round of testing, we have agreed with the other Centers which run EasyMTP locally to leave the system on their local networks for this year. 

We will soon document this more efficient configuration and share it with the Centers' technical focal points, in case they want to adopt it for the locally installed systems.

News on CGMap

Last time, we mentioned that we were working with colleagues at the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Plan on a Web-based map of research activities in the region. 

The CGIAR Research Map is now online and is getting a lot of attention. Since it was announced a month ago, the map has been viewed around 500 times! We blogged about it in Africa research is on the map: this post is in the top ten most viewed articles on the ICT-KM blog this month.  

We are currently working on Phase II of the project that will see broader use of georeferenced information to make the maps richer and more usable.

If you are into geographical information systems, keep an eye on the African Geospatial Week taking place in Nairobi from March 31 to April 4.

Until the next update, take care!

The CGMap Support Team


1-10 of 11