Capacity Building

The EO4SD Capacity Building (CB) Plan is tailored to the specific needs of the main stakeholders of the EO4SD initiative. It is meant to ensure an increased engagement and awareness among staff working for Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), their client countries and the various (inter)national governmental, and non-governmental, organisations involved in the projects financed by the MDBs. In particular in the planning, implementation, monitoring, and closing of development projects, evaluating environmental impacts and supporting standardized Safeguards frameworks.

Stakeholder profiles and their needs 

The main stakeholders are the MDBs, the Task Team Leaders (TTLs), the Project Management Units (PMUs) and the Country Management Units (CMUs), national stakeholders in the client countries (the local organisations that will become users and beneficiaries of the EO information) as well as research centres and key global agricultural research organisations interested in increased use of EO in their operational workflows.

Project managers and TTLs 

Many Project managers and TTLs have a fundamental need for quality data and information to enhance their projects design, implementation and monitoring in order to strengthen the strategic relevance and technical quality of the MDBs investments.

The objective of the capacity activities is to increase the competency of decision makers and MDB staff in understanding the wider scope of EO-based services in supporting their operational responsibilities. This training will focus on standardised services specifications and will provide an overview and guidelines for project managers regarding the availability and use of EO-based services for agriculture and rural development applications (i.e. outline of the technical specifications for a variety of EO-based services, as well as practical tips, attention points and contingency plans that will enable understanding of the different types of data to be used depending on project goals and coverage areas, and how different projects require different scales, resolution, sensors, information services and spatial analytics).

The key topics that will be addressed are:

  1. Understanding the baseline of EO capabilities for agriculture and rural development. 
  2. Recognising the main technical specifications of relevant geospatial products and services. 
  3. Developing supporting documentation (guidelines, standards, terms of references, etc.) related to use and procurement of these products and services. 

National stakeholders in the client countries, PMUs and CMUs

In the course of the project implementation EO4SD  will identify the local stakeholders that will become users and beneficiaries of the EO information. These local stakeholders are typically public institutions in the client countries responsible for agriculture, environment, national planning and environmental and natural resources management, as well as research centres, and project monitoring agencies (PMUs and CMUs) that implement grants and loans available through the Multilateral Development Banks and Development Financing Institutions.


The capacity building plan for these stakeholders aims to increase the human and institutional capacity at the county/regional levels by providing training for EO/GIS professionals to assist them in fulfilling their operational functions. 

The CB activities for each stakeholder will be developed based on the following specifications: 

  1. Their operational information needs in relation to EO products and services.
  2. Their existing level of EO/GIS knowledge and expertise.  
  3. Their preferences concerning the duration and type of the capacity building activities to fit their operational practices. 

The EO4SD activities will include:  

  • Online learning courses providing both lectures and practical exercises and interactive sessions.
  • Short workshops with a duration of 1 to 2 days to provide general awareness.
  • Regional workshops with a duration of 3 to 7 days to bring technical information in greater detail aiming to develop  analytical background on a particular EO-based service and its integration in the workflows of the stakeholder as well as providing hands-on experience on the analysis of the EO-product to extract the required information. 

The exact content of the CB activities will be developed by the EO4SD team and delivered by the ITC Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation of the University of Twente – a global leader in training and capacity building in the field of geo-information science, earth observation and GIS, with the intention of bringing the stakeholders to a level which they can understand the EO4SD services so that they can incorporate them into their own information systems.