This part of the capacity building activities was tailored to the needs of the participating research projects. The Principal Investigators (PIs) filled up a questionnaire to express their fields of interest and needs. Then, in an iterative process with ITC, they finalized a programme that best fitted their projects.
Phase 1 - Core training
The objectives were to provide basic knowledge in the core fields of GIS and Remote Sensing and to identify the key issues of interest for the projects.
Two six-week distance educations courses were provided:
- Principles of Geographic Information Systems
15 TCBF-supported participants enrolled in this course, which started in January 2007. There were another 10 candidates on the waiting list for the course which started in September 2007.
- Principles of Remote Sensing
This course was also popular: 23 TCBF applicants were listed for the course which started in April 2007.
Please see ITC's course finder for more Distance education courses.
Projects used this phase for broadening their basic capacity: training colleagues with different backgrounds to the alphabet of earth observation and geo-information technology.
Furthermore, for more advanced studies, TCBF members could join selected distance education courses. This solution proved to be attractive to about eight project members.
Phase 2 - Applied short courses
For this phase, PIs selected short courses from the list of training modules offered by ITC.
Selected staff members of each project spent 3-6 weeks at ITC in the Netherlands to follow these courses.
PIs also nominated candidates for MSc-level education. At that moment, TCBF had no funds for supporting such long-term studies, but helped the participants in searching for funds.
Phase 3 - Project research
This was the most task-oriented part of the programme. Each participant of the applied short courses got a personal advisor for the period of their stay, who helped in processing the project's data.
This advisor provided scientific support to the participants even after they returned to their home countries by distance supervision techniques.
Phase 4 - Follow-up research
This is part of the long-term planning. With suitable candidates, plans were made for PhD-level research.
At that stage of TCBF, there were no direct funds available for those fellowships, but the projects together with TCBF sought for third-party donors.