SASSCAL facilitates the development of capacity at the level of researchers, universities and research institutions, government departments, intergovernmental organisations, the private sector and civil society. Following a value chain approach, SASSCAL ventures into formal institutional and programmatic arrangements for capacity development in the region. These interventions are aimed at facilitating the production of a new generation of innovative knowledge workers, including full-time graduate programmes, the provision of scholarships and access to exchange programmes, as well as the establishment of post-graduate programmes and mentoring.
SASSCAL initiated and established a broad range of capacity development options in the region to ensure that human and infrastructure capacity is developed further, to enable the provision of high-quality, science-based services and products for scientifically sound climate change and land use-related decision-making in the region. This was achieved by the systematic integration of appropriate training opportunities at academic, non-academic and technical level and by harmonizing of standards related thereto.
The main capacity development component under SASSCAL I was embedded in 88 research projects, within SASSCAL’s five thematic areas, and included academic training of emerging scientists (at post doc, PhD, MSc level) and technical personnel (technicians and other non-academic staff) as well as training on the use of the scientific equipment that is required for the research.
SASSCAL developed and accredited a Master’s program in Applied Science on Earth Observation, Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing in collaboration with the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST)and with the support of the University of Botswana (UB) and the University of Zambia (UNZA). SASSCAL also contributed to the implementation of the two Master’s-programs ‘Applied and Environmental Geology’ (in collaboration with University of Namibia and the Federal Department for Geosciences and Natural Resources, Germany) and ‘Dryland Forestry’ at Stellenbosch University (in cooperation with University of Namibia and University of Botswana).
A total of 294 students consisting of 3 diploma, 70 BSc, 33 BSc (hons), 143 MSc and 45 PhD from the five SASSCAL member countries were supported under SASSCAL 1.0. Two hundred and ten out of 294 completed their studies by the end of March 2019 as a result of academic training supported by SASSCAL in previous years. The graduates include 3 Diploma, 64 BSc, 33 Honours, 93 MSc and 25 PhD students and account for about 74% of the students in the member countries that received SASSCAL support.
Capacity development agenda under SASSCAL II Strategy and Research Plan will primarily focus on the establishment of regional Graduate Studies Programmes as well as Alumni Network Building.
The overall programme is coordinated by the Directorate of Science and Technology & Capacity Development at SASSCAL Regional Secretariat in Windhoek. For more information, please contact SASSCAL’s Human Capacity Development Coordinator: HCD@sasscal.org