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In May 2017, the African Union Commission (AUC) launched the Call for Proposals for the implementation of the Global Monitoring for environment and Security (GMES) and Africa Programme. In this context, a consortium being led by SASSCAL has been awarded the WeMAST (Wetland Assessment and Monitoring Platform for Transboundary River Basins in Southern Africa) project, which aims to put in place a Wetland Information System, Flood Information System, as well as platforms to assimilate vegetation phenometrics, water quality and wetland use.

GMES and Africa is a joint AU-EU initiative administered by the AUC, through the Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology. The initiative “seeks to promote the development of local capacities, institutional, human and technical resources for access to and exploitation of Earth Observation-based services on an operational basis for sustainable development in Africa”.

A GMES and Africa service delivery training workshop was held in Nairobi, Kenya from the 23rd July to the 25th July 2018. This training addressed service delivery methods from the user-needs point of view. In other words, understanding the demand before supplying the services, and ways of meeting the demand through marketing, communication, etc. The training was informed by the deficiency of tools, techniques and mechanisms of reaching the end users and aimed at informing the GMES consortia on appropriate best practices for delivering services.

Chucknorris G. Madamombe, SASSCAL’s OADC Coordinator, attended the training in the context of the successfully awarded WeMAST project, for which SASSCAL plays a coordinating role in one GMES consortium.

The objectives of the workshop were as follows:

  • Understanding and packaging the service-product classification.
  • Service delivery methods: How to bridge the product with specified users.
  • Simplifying the products: This includes showcasing of products and services that have worked in the past.
  • Communication and information dissemination methods: Assessing how the proposed services affect users in their daily lives (impact) for example having comparable data on those that use the service and those that don’t use the service in their occupations.

The course was attended by participants from various consortia, including SASSCAL, SADC-CSC, UNIVERSITY OF GHANA, CSIR, CSE, NARSS, CSSTE, RCMRD, CICOS, OSS, ICPAC and AGEOS.

GMES and AFRICA Consortia participants

It can be concluded that the workshop provided participants with a clear understanding on service delivery, service packs and ways of dissemination of information. It was further suggested that similar workshops may be hosted and of benefit in the regions.

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