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Sustainable Development of Research Capacity in West Africa based on the GLOWA Volta Project


The project "Sustainable Development of Research Capacity in West Africa based on the GLOWA Volta Project" (SDRC-GVP) is an 18 month (June 2009–November 2010) follow-up of the GLOWA Volta Project (GVP). Its goal is to strengthen the local research capacity, and to promote establishing an "enabling environment" for research and the implementation of research results, using resources and results from the GVP.

The GLOWA Volta Project was a nine year (June 2000–May 2009), interdisciplinary research project investigating sustainable water use under changing land use, rainfall reliability, and water demands in the Volta Basin.


The "Sustainable Development of Research Capacity in West Africa based on the GLOWA Volta Project" (SDRC-GVP) focuses on three pillars:

1. Development of "human capital"

SDRC-GVP provides additional trainings and workshops for a broad audience of local researchers and institutions, largely building on GVP models and tools, and with former students and staff as trainers. These workshops and trainings include:

  • workshops on predicting the onset of the rainy season
  • hydrological modeling workshops
  • hydro-economic modeling workshops
  • economic modeling workshops
  • GIS & Remote Sensing trainings
  • training on the maintenance of micro-meteorological stations
  • Geoportal user trainings
  • training of a (geo-)database manager

2. Development of infrastructure and technological capacity

The core of this effort is to establish a comprehensive and publicly accessible Geoportal for the Volta Basin, along with extensive outreach to national institutions. This includes establishing the use of international standards for metadata as the prerequisite for data sharing. The Geoportal is stocked with biophysical and socio-economic data, and will be used to disseminate data from a biophysical observatory.

Additional measures to improve the research infrastructure and technological capacity:

  • Transfer of the GVP met-station network to the Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile et de la Météorologie du Burkina Faso
  • Joint operation of a network of tele-transmitted hydrological gauging stations with the Hydrological Service Department of Ghana
  • Provisioning of computer hardware, models and software at the Volta Basin Authority

3. Supporting institutional capacity building

The main focus of the SDRC-GVP is strengthening the Volta Basin Authority (VBA), a newly established river basin agency. Its mandate is to promote the implementation of integrated water resources management and to contribute to poverty alleviation and sustainable development in the Volta basin. SDRC-GVP provides the VBA with scientific expertise, policy briefs on hydrological and economic issues, assistance with PR, assistance with technological issues, and training of staff. The VBA also assumes ownership of the Geoportal and is being supported in establishing institutional links to data providing agencies.





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