Refresher courses 2008
Mongolia, Pakistan and Uganda
Refresher courses, which are certificate courses (mostly of two-week duration) organised for alumni in their home countries or regions, are meant to increase the impact and prolong the effect of earlier training.
Refresher courses are funded mainly by the Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP). In principle, the target group of these courses consists of alumni who have completed any NFP-funded training or education at least two years before the planned starting date of the relevant refresher course. Colleagues and supervisors of alumni are also allowed to participate in (part of) a refresher course. Furthermore, alumni of earlier DGIS and SAIL projects may participate.
In 2008 refresher courses were organised in Mongolia, Pakistan and Uganda.
Geo-information tools for combating forest fire in Central and Southeast Asia
- Partner: Ministry of Nature and Environment
The refresher course will build upon the participant’s skills in application of geo-information but is structured in such a way that also those who have limited skills in GIS will benefit from the course. The course will start with an overview of the current state-of-the-art remote sensing and GIS technology as a tool for natural resources management and participants will get ample time to enhance their practical – hands-on – experience with handling spatial data/information and operating related software those that have not been able to apply geo-information on a regular basis will be able to refresh the knowledge and skills.
Within the context of natural resource management the main focus of the course will be on the application of geo-information for mitigation and management of forest fires. Unfortunately this specific topic can only be briefly touched upon during the regular Natural Resources Management, Applied Earth Sciences or Geo-information Management courses because of time limitation and because of its specific nature. This refresher course intends to provide the alumni and other course participants with knowledge, skills and tools for fire prevention and management.
Technological developments are rapid, with new sensors, providing imagery with higher resolution (spatial and temporal) are becoming operational and new/improved software (e.g. fire spread and risk models) is being released on a regular basis. Keeping abreast of recent developments will ensure that the most appropriate and up-to-date remote sensing and GIS related knowledge and skills continue to be applied to forest fire management by the group of professionals responsible for it at the various institutional levels.
In this refresher course, people, who previously acquired a some knowledge and skills in the application of geo-information for management of natural resources will now be able to learn relevant applications of their skills for forest fire detection, control and management.
Recent developments in geo-hazard disaster management; focusing on earthquake vulnerability reduction in mountainous regions
- Partners: National Centre of Excellence in Geology (NCEG) and the International Institute for Integrated Mountain
In many parts of the world, disaster management is a multi-disciplinary task involving many different organizations. The data required to understand geological or geosciences problems is coming from different disciplines which need integration in order to arrive at sound multi-purpose geological and environmental maps. Besides having advantages that various backgrounds are involved in analyzing a single problem it also leads to diffusion of knowledge and responsibilities. Knowledge on various terrains, also other than the own knowledge field, is necessary to have an overview of what is done and what needs to be done. In practice, fragmentation of tasks and responsibilities leads often to misunderstanding and the management of the disaster is very poor. From the perspective of the user, data integration and modelling of various geoscientific data should supply planners and decision-makers with adequate and understandable information within a relatively short period of time.
The needs of the civil society with an up-to-date and real time information on dynamic geoscience processes is slowly been appreciated. The course foreseen will provide both a technological base as well as an institutional re-focusing for these modern approaches.
Spatial decision support system for sustainable urban development in Eastern Africa
- Partner: Makarere University, Department of Geography
Urban poverty is widespread in African cities and is mainly related to inadequacies in spatial planning and ineffective urban governance and management. Sustainable urban development therefore cannot be achieved unless there is integrated spatial planning that is geared towards poverty reduction among other issues. Spatial planning is required in order to promote sustainable urban development i.e. to satisfy the environmental, social, economic and physical requirement of the residents on a short term and long term basis. However the conventional systems of urban planning and management have been found to be inappropriate in promoting sustainable urban development and alternative approaches and tools are required.
Africa's problems emanate from rapid population growth which results in rural urban migration and consequently, to rural stagnations well as rapid urbanization leading to a strain on urban infrastructure and services and general poverty. These problems have a spatial dimension and therefore participatory spatial decision-making could go a long way to solve them. The need to improve spatial decision making to promote the sustainability of urban development within urban planning and management is widely recognized. Spatial decision-making is based on spatial analysis, which focuses attention upon locations and distribution of phenomena; interactions of people, goods, and services between places and regions; spatial structure, arrangements, and organizations and spatial processes.
Many of the alumni from NFP study programmes are staff members from Universities and government institutions in African countries. They have learned a lot about geo-information science and earth observation as well as urban planning and management tools and their application in various problem areas. Solving spatial problems in Africa requires application of Spatial Decision Support Systems (SDSS) as they provide the user with a decision-making environment that enables the aggregation, interpretation and judgment from various viewpoints of geographical information to be carried out in a flexible manner. These methods of support are new and rapidly evolving. Most of the NFP alumni have not been exposed to these methods. Therefore building capacity in the application of SDSS in sustainable urban development is of considerable importance and worth undertaking. It will allow the participants to refresh their knowledge on spatial planning and decision making and to get acquainted to new trends and technologies of decision support tools to use in the professional business.