Capacity and Institution Building
Assessments of natural resources and natural hazards require both a technically trained workforce and adequate facilities to function efficiently. Capacity building and institutional strengthening are key components of the USGS’s activities in Afghanistan and are critical to the nation’s reconstruction. Transferring state-of-the-art expertise to Afghan counterparts and colleagues is a major focus of the Capacity and Institution Building Project, which has been working to ensure that staff and administrators at Afghanistan’s Ministry of Mines (MoM), the Afghan Geological Survey (AGS), the Afghan Geodesy and Cartography Head Office (AGCHO), and other geosciences agencies have the technical and managerial skills to make sound, science- and technology-based decisions about resource use and hazard mitigation.
USGS project participants have worked with technical specialists to develop a variety of programs for maximizing the effective transfer of skills to their Afghan counterparts. On-the-job training has been one of the most efficient and frequently utilized approaches, although it has usually been limited to a small cadre of individuals working under the close supervision of an expert instructor. Structured, formal short courses have been an efficient means for transferring new scientific information to large audiences. Seminars and workshops have been widely used to impart focused information to varied audiences. Study tours involving ministerial level participants have helped inform decision makers; such tours have also been effective venues for informal discussion at the highest levels of government. USGS activities have also focused on developing a team of Afghan instructors who can carry on many of these programs, thereby ensuring continued professional development of Afghan scientists.
For a list of all USGS Capacity and Institution Building Project publications, go here.