Capacity Building (CB) is one of the strategic objectives of the IHO. It aims to assist countries, especially IHO Member States, in better meeting their international obligations in hydrographic surveying, nautical charting and maritime safety information. This is done through identifying the needs in each region and countries, providing technical advisory visits, and the provision of workshops, seminars, training and education programmes held around the world. Funding comes from the IHO Member States’ annual contributions with significant additional funding from the Republic of Korea and the Nippon Foundation of Japan. This additional funding enables several high-level training and education programmes.
In the last ten years, more than 1,200 individuals from 66 IHO Member States and 68 non-Member States have benefited from activities sponsored by the IHO CB programme.
Three students sponsored by the Republic of Korea funding completed the FIG-IHO-ICA Category A level Master of Science Programme in Hydrography held at the University of Southern Mississippi, USA in 2014-2015. A total of six students successfully graduated in 2014 and 2015. Four more students are participating in the 2015-16 programme.
The Republic of Korea also sponsors a three-phase marine geospatial information programme in Busan, Republic of Korea. Five students attended Phase 1 of this Category B level nautical cartography course in March and April this year. Phase 2 will begin in March 2016.
In addition to its ongoing support of Category A training in ocean mapping at the University of New Hampshire, USA, the Nippon Foundation of Japan supports Category B nautical cartography training under the IHO CB Programme. The 7th IHO - Nippon Foundation Cartography, Hydrography and Related Training (CHART) course started at the UK Hydrographic Office in September. 36 students have graduated from the previous six courses conducted between 2009 and 2014.
In addition to financial assistance from Member States, the IHO CB programme benefits from significant input and cooperation with international organisations such as the IMO and IALA, and key industry partners, who regularly provide in-kind support through the loan of equipment or by providing instructors at little or no cost at CB workshops and courses that have a practical content. Recent examples include regional courses in multibeam processing in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and practical hydrographic surveying training in Fiji.
In 2014, the IHO capacity building programme reached a new level of achievement with double the funds available compared to 2013. This enabled eight technical visits to take place and 22 different training activities. Eight technical visits and 25 training activities have been scheduled for 2015.
The IHO CB programme has been in operation since 2005. It began with limited funds but this has grown so that more than half a million euros were available in 2014. However, the requirements continue to outstrip resources. For this reason, the IHB Directing Committee strives to raise global awareness of hydrography and to engage external stakeholders, international partner organisations, funding agencies, academia and industry - all of whom can help in the CB effort - either through coordination of initiatives, direct financial assistance or in-kind support.
www.iho.int -> Capacity Building