The Working Group on Capacity Building and Data Democracy
The WGCapD (formed at the 25th CEOS Plenary in 2011) undertakes a variety of activities based on the four pillars of the Data Democracy Initiative Mission and aims to unify CEOS efforts toward:
- Providing wider and easier access to Earth Observation data
- Increasing the sharing of software tools such as the use of open source software and open systems interface
- Increasing data dissemination capabilities and transferring relevant technologies to end users
- Providing intensive capacity building, education, and training (including awareness and outreach) for enabling end users to gather the information they need and for increasing communication on achieved results
The WGCapD will build upon the CEOS Data Democracy Initiative in an effort to increase the capacity of institutions in less developed countries for effective use of Earth Observation data for the benefit of society and to achieve sustainable development. The WGCapD will focus and unify CEOS efforts toward providing wider and easier access to Earth Observation data, increasing the sharing of software tools such as the use of open source software and open systems interface, increasing data dissemination capabilities, transferring relevant technologies to end users, and providing intensive capacity building, education, and training.
The overall objective of the WGCapD is building capacity for the effective use of Earth Observation data as well as providing wider and easier access to those data. Specific objectives include:
1) Establishing effective coordination and partnerships among CEOS Agencies offering Earth observation education/training.
The WGCapD will facilitate activities that substantially enhance international education and training in Earth System Science and the observation techniques, data analysis, and interpretation skills required for the use and application of Earth Observation data to meet societal needs. Meeting this objective will include the following activities:
- Exploit the cumulative capabilities of CEOS Agencies by establishing unified and unique capacity building activities
- Partner with locally-based and managed regional partners to increase effectiveness and decrease duplication of efforts
- Use threads such as disaster response or climate change to build capacity through discussion of a focused subject
- Focus on user needs for data and capabilities, including Information Technology infrastructure, to inform actions/plans for delivering the appropriate data and training for the effective use of Earth Observation data
- Conduct remote sensing workshops and seminars to foster the use of Earth Observations and increase workforce capacity
- Publish Earth Observation education and training materials.
2) Working with CEOS entities to address data accessibility.
The WGCapD will work closely with CEOS entities to increase data accessibility, especially in under-served communities. The WGCapD will specifically work with the CEOS Working Group on Information Systems & Services (WGISS) to ensure a seamless transition from the technical matters relating to data accessibility to the matters relating to systemic and individual capacity development. Meeting this objective will include the following activities:
- Publicize resources, datasets, and software made available to under-served communities
- Promote the use of dissemination systems (e.g. GEONETCast and other systems) to effectively reach areas that lack consistent internet access or redundant systems in case of emergencies
- Organize workshops and training activities to provide individual and institutional capacity to effectively use available Earth Observation resources