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 were key components of USGS activities in Afghanistan, being considered critical to the nation’s reconstruction.

Transferring state-of-the-art expertise to Afghan counterparts and colleagues was a major focus of the Capacity and Institution Building Project, which worked 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 build the technical and managerial skills necessary to make sound, science- and technology-based decisions regarding resource use and hazard mitigation.

USGS project participants 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 was one of the most efficient and frequently utilized approaches, typically limited to a small cadre of individuals working under the close supervision of an expert instructor. Structured, formal short courses were also held as an efficient means for transferring new scientific information to large audiences. Seminars and workshops were widely used to impart focused information to varied audiences. Study tours involving ministerial level participants helped inform decision makers; such tours were also effective venues for informal discussions at the highest levels of government. USGS activities in this area 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.


 A list of all USGS Capacity and Institution Building Project publications is available here.