Capacity Development has been one of WIOMSA’s core activities since its establishment in 1994. The overall goal of the capacity development programme is to implement activities that build and strengthen the capacity of coastal and marine scientists as well as practitioners for building and strengthening scientific capacity and for effective assessment and management of coastal and marine resources in the WIO Region.
WIOMSA has used a number of traditional and non-traditional approaches in its capacity development programme including:
- Use the competitive research (MASMA and MARG) grants for research as well as for the organization of training courses and workshops, and for the support of publications as a key mechanism for building and strengthening scientific capacity.
- Supporting the organization of training courses and workshops geared towards strengthening research capacity particularly in areas where capacity is still inadequate.
- A modular approach with modules spaced out over a certain period. One of the example of this is the Course on Building Capacity for Sustainable Integrated Coastal Management in the WIO region
- Certification of Marine Protected Area Professionals through WIO-COMPAS
- Writing workshops
- Development of training materials and tools such as MPA toolkit
Through these activities, WIOMSA has been able to:
- Identify (in consultation with other relevant actors) the priority areas for capacity building in the region;
- Develop and organise more short courses for managers and practitioners, in partnership with (and accredited by) existing tertiary institutions;
- Promote exchange programmes for research and management staff from regional, national and local programmes;
- Support the development and delivery of relevant courses by tertiary institutions in the region; and
- Link up and coordinate with capacity building programmes of relevant development projects.