Training and Capacity Building Projects

Capacity building through training workshop on GIS for environmental awareness for environmental officers

The Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi appointed the Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS) for conducting a six-day-workshop on integrating GIS in environment education for students. These programmes included studies of various ecosystems and the impact of humans on these ecosystems involving a number of qualitative and quantitative methods of study. CSDMS was involved in initiating and implementing GIS programmes and conducting training in GIS and its application for researchers, government officials and corporates. The aim of the exercise was to facilitate the environment awareness officers to integrate GIS in environmental training and awareness building programmes in schools. Integrating GIS in these studies would not only improve the scope of better analysis through spatial representation but would also build the capacities of the students in this new cutting edge technology of GIS.

Restructuring of Survey of India (SOI) and Capacity Building, Sep-Dec 2002 :

SOl had recognised that a critical review was required in respect of its mandate, mission, method of work, and professional and organisational structure to meet the user needs. Hence, with the aim of developing a strategic plan for the re-engineering of SOl to make it a user responsive organisation for sustainable economic growth of the country at local, regional, and national level, it was proposed to build strategy to chalk out the changing mandate and mission of Sol., new products and services expected by the users, methods of work, different options for financing Sol activities, professional restructuring of SOI Staff and organisational capacity building required for SOI.

CSDMS was invited to partner with SOI to lead the process of the strategy building. CSDMS has been involved in research and documentation of the use of GIS, remote sensing and surveying for decision-making for development. CSDMS has been continuously organising national and international conferences and consultative discussion forums for facilitating knowledge exchange, policy advocacy and business collaborations. As a part of this activity of strategy building, CSDMS carried out the following:

  1. Background study that served to assess the existing role of the SOI and identify the key areas that needed intervention for re-engineering.
  2. Stakeholder consultation to explore new ideas of re-engineering of SOI and build consensus on the keys areas and methods of intervention
  3. Along with SOI and key experts from India, drafted a strategy for re-engineering of SOI
  4. Built a capacity building plan for the SOI

Capacity building of IT secretaries to use GIS for governance, Dec 2002 :

In an effort to support local government to best use spatial data for decision-making for development, CSDMS was invited by the Department of Information Technology (DIT), Government of India to build and conduct a capacity building programme for IT Secretaries of the States of India. The objective of the capacity building programme was to increases the officers awareness, understanding and skills for data and information management in local government and assists them them to identify the capacity building needs at local levels to manage, utilise and share spatial data and information more effectively. The training programme helped the officers to understand the current situation and the starting point for improvement; build awareness on the development and adoption of internationally accepted standards and guidelines for information management and thereby promote best practices in information management; sensitise the officers to give staff responsible for spatial information in local government access to practical information management tools to reduce set up costs and duplication of effort. The training also focused on how the officers could support the development of networks through open and efficient sharing of information resources and knowledge, and assists the establishment of information loops between regional, state/territory and national levels The officers also learned how to fully exploit the information generated from local government projects at the same time ensure the sustainable management of data used or created within local government and promote the sharing and distribution of data, thus reducing costs and increasing their value.

Capacity building of DST, GOI officials to use GIS for Earthquake Disaster Management :

In an effort to support internal capacity building activities of Department of Science and Technology, GOI, and its related agencies to best use spatial data for decision-making for earthquakes prediction and mitigation, CSDMS was on invitation by DST, and conducted a capacity building programme for the officials. CSDMS has been involved in research and documentation of the use of GIS, remote sensing and surveying for decision-making for development. GIS has potential use in various aspects of earthquake related studies such as active tectonics, hazard zonation and damage assessment and even act as possible precursors for earthquake. SRTM data, multi-spectral data, SAR data, IRS stereo data and aerial photos, allow us to map terrain properties, such as crustal deformation, thermal anomaly, geology etc, both temporally and spatially. SAR interferometry and GPS survey are the only avenues for mapping of deformation. High-resolution satellite data can be used in real-time damage assessment. GIS is a key for spatio-temporal analysis of earthquake data for hazard zonation and damage assessment. GIS provides a platform for gathering and organizing the information and hence proven their usefulness in earthquake management.

Capacity building of health professional in health GIS, August, 2001:

CSDMS was approached by key health organisation to develop a capacity building programme for managers and decision makers to use GIS for mapping, analysis and decision-making. CSDMS had been involved in key researches on use of GIS for the Health sector. CSDMS conducted a need assessment to assess the training requirement of health sector professional and build a training programme for the professions that included representatives from government health departments and policy makers, health planners, representatives from International organisations and key NGO’s, managers from hospitals involved in large scale health service delivery programmes. CSDMS also organised and conducted a three day training programme from (1 – 3 August 2001) for these professionals on the use and relevance of GIS in health along with a hands-on training in the use of GIS in decision-making in Health services. The Training Programme was aimed to strength the knowledge level of the professional.

The training content was prepared after assessing the needs of the target group and in a manner that the participants could easily comprehend and could use their skills for the maximum benefits. While the possibilities that can be explored though GIS are limitless, depending on the skill and imaginative use of the researchers and the willingness of health sector management to resource its implementation, the training mainly included equipping the professionals with a clear understanding of the ways and methods in which GIS tools could be used for analysis of health issues and building action plans for delivery of effective health services. The training focused on how can apply GIS to support the goals of strategic decision making using spatial technologies to develop a coordinated and well-networked system of all the health service unit of a region, analyse spatial and temporal trends, document health care needs of a community and assess resource allocations, plan and target interventions and publish health information using maps on the Internet.

Capacity building of GIS for Disaster Management, March 2003 :

Natural disaster has shown in the last decades a drastic increase in magnitude and frequency, it is also imperative that there is a dramatic increase in technical capabilities to mitigate them. There was a need to train the professionals involved in research and implementation of disaster management plans to broaden their knowledge and develop skill sets on the on the use of various GIS applications in disaster management which include prevention, reduction or mitigation of risks, and planning for preparedness, response and recovery for the probable or real-time natural or human caused disasters.

Trained Managers could utilise their skills to prepare detailed simulation and modeling to carry out analysis of scenarios, a very strong detailed spatial database .They could make a proactive initiative to compile, standardize, quality test and share the existing database as well as work out a mechanism to avoid repetition of efforts by different organisations. CSDMS, keeping in view the above situation and on the basis of the need assessed of the target group build and conducted a six days Training programme (24th – 29th March 2003) based on the new disaster management paradigm that stressed on prevention, mitigation and preparedness, while strengthening its emergency response (rescue, relief, rehabilitation and recovery) through GIS technology and other related aspects. The focus was also extended to include aspects like responding to disasters from preparation to mitigation, planning to prediction and response to recovery.

The organisations who participated in the Capacity building programme included Dept. Earthquake Engineering, Roorkee University, Institute of Town Planners, India, Central Road Research Institute, School of Planning and Architecture, Geological survey of India, Department of disaster management, Uttarakhand, Wadia Institute of Himalyan Geology, Punjab, Delhi and Jammu University, NCDM, IIPA and representatives from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.

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