WP2: Strengthening of national marine data and information management capacity

National assessments

This work package will start with the assessments detailed in 4.4. Based upon the results of the assessments and the recommended actions, individual national “packages” will be prepared. The individual work packages will define the priority activities implemented in each country. In the Western Indian Ocean region, the Agulhas and Somali Current LME project and the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association will collaborate in undertaking these assessments.

Infrastructure and operational support

It is also recognized that the equipment provided through ODINAFRICA-II is now quite outdated[1]. In a number of cases the participating institutions were able to mobilize funds to acquire newer equipment but in a number of other cases this was not possible. In addition, new partners will require a full equipment package (for data management and for information management).  This will consist of 2 PCs, 2 printers and one scanner. It is understood that Internet access costs will be covered by the partner institution or by the operational expenses allocation.

The operational expenses allocation is provided to assist with day-to-day operation of the NODC and Marine Information Centre. This allocation should not be expected to cover all expenses but is intended as baseline support. Partner institutions will provide the remaining operational expense support as indicated in the national counterpart contribution table (see Annex 1)

Training and Education

Training and education will be required at various levels:

  • New partner institutions will require a full cycle of training (basic, intermediate, advanced) customized to their desired level of expertise.  It is recommended that for this type of training the Standard Curriculum provided by the OceanTeacher Academy is used (courses organized at the IOC Project Office for IODE);
  • Established institutions that need refresher training: based upon the weaknesses identified either by the partner institution and/or by the assessment customized training will be required. This training can be organized through an internship in one of the “Centres of Excellence”;
  • Continuous Professional Development Training: the rapidly developing technology requires regular training and re-training for all partners. Need for such training can be identified by the partner institutions but can also be highlighted by IODE. Such specialized training will be provided by the OceanTeacher Academy. This can be done at the Oostende Campus or it could be done in one of the “Centres of Excellence” who will then be designated as OceanTeacher Academy regional nodes (see OceanTeacher Academy ProDoc)

Examples of new training courses were identified at the ODINAFRICA-IV planning meeting (Mombasa, July 2008):

  • Web based database serving;
  • Web based marketing and communication;
  • Application of GIS and remote sensing;
  • Modelling for scenario planning, forecasting, hind casting and reanalysis of data; Tidal predictions;
  • Development of the digital library or elements (catalogues, OceanDocs, web databases – open access);
  • Communication and development of support materials.
  • Management training focussing on Results based management for the NODC and Marine Information Centre leaders (work plans, outcomes).

Other work packages and related activities that require training:

  • WP3: assist the partner institutions to establish local versions of AMA to deal with national and local issues
  • WP4: developing web-based or web-connected database management systems
  • WP4: development of OceanDataPortal nodes
  • WP4: installation, configuration and use of MEDI catalogue service

It is important to note that the training activities required in ODINAFRICA-IV will be provided and/or organized by the “OceanTeacher Academy” project, also submitted for funding to the Government of Flanders. The Academy will annually offer a standard curriculum of courses as well as specialized courses required for projects such as ODINAFRICA-IV, ODINCARSA Caribbean Marine Atlas, SPINCAM, etc.  The Academy, through its focus on ODINs will provide not only training opportunities but will also promote cooperation and networking between experts in the various ODINs. The Academy will furthermore aim for a train-the-trainer approach.

It is noted that ODINAFRICA-IV will aim to promote the role of women in oceanographic data and information management. National partner institutions will be invited to focus on this requirement when selecting students for courses supported by ODINAFRICA-IV/OceanTeacher.


[1] It is understood that equipment provided through ODINAFRICA-III is still in good working condition and will not be replaced by the Project.

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