JCOMM Capacity Building

Updated on 11 December 2023

Please report broken links to mmo@wmo.int  

The WMO and the IOC jointly sponsored the JCOMM, and therefore its Capacity Building activities operated within, and drew upon, the overall principles of its governing bodies. Capacity-building activities cut across all JCOMM Program Areas. 

At the first session (JCOMM-I, Akureyri, Iceland, June 2001), the Commission endorsed a JCOMM Capacity Building Strategy (WMO/TD- No. 1063; JCOMM TR- No. 11). It agreed on a JCOMM Capacity Building mission and vision as follows: 

  • Mission: to provide to nations, sub-regions, and regions capacity development related to JCOMM data, products, and services, to understand their needs for operational systems and information and to assist them to address deficiencies, working in partnership with the capacity building programs of the WMO and IOC. 
  • Vision: JCOMM contributes effectively to assisting regions, sub-regions, and nations through training, transfer of technology and development of programmes and projects that would jointly develop capacity for operational oceanography and marine meteorology. 

As part of its structure, JCOMM-I decided to establish a Capacity Building Programme Area (CBPA). The first session of the CBPA Coordination Group (CBCG), held in Geneva, Switzerland, in June 2002, reviewed all capacity building programmes and tools in WMO and IOC. The CBCG agreed that, in planning details of a coherent and attainable capacity building programme in support of JCOMM, it was important to determine what are national and regional requirements for such capacity building in marine meteorology and oceanography. To this end, the CBCG initiated a series of regional surveys of such requirements. The CBCG had also developed questionnaires for participants and lecturers of the training sessions and courses in order to evaluate the performance of the JCOMM Capacity Building activities.

The Capacity Building Programme Area includes a Task Team on Resources (TTR), charged with developing links to international and national funding bodies and programmes of potential value to JCOMM, and eventually developing a plan for obtaining resources for JCOMM capacity building, in collaboration with GOOS and GCOS. The TTR work plan included:

  • Preparation of general information on potential funding agencies for JCOMM support activities, including priorities, regions of interest, procedures, formats, contacts, etc. This work would be undertaken in parallel with the continuation of the CBCG work to compile regional requirements and overall priorities for capacity building; 
  • Eventual merging, by the task team, of requirements with potential funding sources, to determine a strategy for matching requirements with the resources to address these, and also identify potential gaps in these resources; 
  • Assistance in the preparation of projects and related proposals for funding or in-kind resourcing. 

At the second session (JCOMM-II, Halifax, Canada, September 2005), the Commission adopted a new structure addressing Capacity Building needs of JCOMM with Capacity Building Rapporteurs appointed to each of the three Programme Areas (Observations, Data Management, and Services), forming a cross-cutting team

At the third session (JCOMM-III, Marrakech, Morocco, November 2009), the Commission recognized that it was essential that all maritime WMO Members/IOC Member States should be in a position to both contribute to and benefit from the work of JCOMM. This applied equally to the operation of ocean observing systems, the receipt and management of marine data and the generation and delivery of products and services. It, therefore, adopted a statement of principles for JCOMM Capacity-Building (to better represent the requirements and describe the implementation mechanism and activities to be undertaken by JCOMM, including training, transfer of technology, and development of projects), as follows: 

  • The primary objective of JCOMM Capacity Building was to enhance the implementation of the overall JCOMM work programme by enhancing the capacity in all WMO Members/IOC Member States to contribute to and benefit from the programme. 
  • JCOMM capacity building activities should be the responsibility of the respective Programme Areas and included in their work plans. 
  • JCOMM Capacity Building activities should aim to fill in gaps and avoid overlapping at national, regional and international levels. It was highly desirable that national partners from both JCOMM themes (i.e., oceanography and marine meteorology) be involved so the complementary and “symbiotic” benefits of JCOMM were clearly demonstrated. 
  • JOMMM Capacity Building would include continuous professional development. 
  • JCOMM Capacity Building would aim, where possible, for a “train the trainer” approach to help ensure continuity by countering staff turnover/brain drain problems and to promote the widespread of knowledge and practices. 
  • At the regional level, JCOMM Capacity Building would develop programmes and projects that follow WMO and IOC strategies. 
  • At the regional level, JCOMM Capacity Building would develop, preferably, medium to long-term programmes and projects that would result in a national structural and embedded capacity that can be sustained by national funding sources. 
  • Creating awareness in the minds of the public and policymakers was essential for raising national and international support. 
  • JCOMM Capacity Building activities would include assessment of feedback regarding the satisfaction and requirements of users of JCOMM observations, products and services. 
  • One member of the JCOMM Management Committee would be responsible for liaison with the three Programme Areas regarding Capacity Building activities. 
  • JCOMM Capacity Building activities should endeavour to utilize existing methods, courses, tools and other capacity-building aids, particularly those of the WMO and UNESCO/IOC. 

At the fourth session (JCOMM-4, Yeosu, Republic of Korea, May 2012), the Commission requested the Management Committee to carry out an assessment of the effectiveness of training courses, workshops and capacity-building efforts undertaken by JCOMM and its associated bodies in order to better understand the success of these initiatives, their impact, gaps, evaluate the sustainability of the learning, and make proposals for future work.

Based on the results of the JCOMM Capacity Development Assessment (JCOMM-5/INF 2.3), the Commission endorsed the Capacity Development Vision at the fifth session (JCOMM-5, Geneva, Switzerland, October 2017). The JCOMM Capacity Development (CD) Vision was synthesized into eight points, as follows:

  • Improve the collaboration between IOC CD activities and WMO Education and Training (ETR) to leverage the CD expertise and experience in both organizations and to advise the JCOMM Programme Area in developing and implementing their CD work plans, making use of existing mechanisms, facilities (e.g., WMO Global Campus and Regional Training Centres (RTCs, for example, the International Centre for Operational Oceanography ITC-ocean), IOC regions, GOOS Regional Alliances (GRAs), IODE Ocean Teacher Global Academy (OTGA), IODE RTCs, WESTPAC Regional Training and Research Centres (RTRCs), etc.); 
  • Establish a JCOMM institutional process to identify the capacity required at the national level, to effectively participate in the JCOMM Programme Area projects and activities. Existing IOC and WMO mechanisms (IOC regional subcommissions, WMO regions, GOOS Regional Alliances) can assist with the development of regional CD work plans, that can then be implemented through existing IOC and WMO mechanisms (GRAs, RTCs, RTRCs); 
  • Increase the activity to raise awareness not only of the new metocean observations, monitoring and forecasting services and build connections between oceanographic and meteorological institutions to sustain the observing system, but also for the end-user to have a better understanding of metocean information; 
  • Promote the availability, re-use and downscaling of metocean analyses and forecasts, also taking into consideration small seas, closed seas and coastal phenomena; 
  • Promote the availability of the open-source systems of sea ice and iceberg analyses, generation of GMDSS bulletins in Polar METAREAs and facilitate the exchange of expertise between sea ice services and centres; 
  • Support local economies, train users in Member States/Members on the usage of operational meteorological and oceanographic services, demonstrate their application for large socioeconomic sectors and provide assistance in encouraging broad governmental users’ and civil society access to data, products and services at national level such that the services contribute to human welfare and sustainable development; 
  • Facilitate the uptake of data management practices for real-time and delayed-mode data following IOC and WMO standards; 
  • Facilitate the transition of research systems into operational monitoring and forecasting systems.