Capacity enhancement

GBIF seeks to empower its global network through capacity-building activities that enable effective mobilization and use of biodiversity information

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Ainsof So’o (left) and Paula Zermoglio (right) confer at the 2018 Data Use for Decision-Making workshop in Auckland, New Zealand, 4 Sept 2018. Photo by Mélianie Raymond | GBIF Secretariat, licensed under CC BY 4.0.

GBIF seeks to empower its global network through a suite of capacity enhancement activities that enable effective mobilization and use of biodiversity information. Taken together, this approach seeks to cultivate and strengthen a global community of practice by:

  • Developing and delivering curriculum on biodiversity data mobilization and use
  • Producing documentation and other learning resources
  • Establishing regional knowledge networks
  • Engaging individuals as volunteer mentors and ambassadors

Documentation and learning resources

GBIF has long produced technical documentation on a range of topics relating to biodiversity informatics and open biodiversity data with the aim of supporting a global community of practice. The GBIF Secretariat is now seeking to play a clear coordination role in developing such documentation while engaging the community, to collaborate both as subject-matter experts and editorial panel members.

Under this approach, we will engage and commission authors and author teams to create or revise technical guidance, with the goal being to provide uniform, reliable, reusable, versioned, and easily updated materials. This system will include:

  • Standardized documentation
  • Routine updates, versioning and translations
  • Community input
  • Peer review
  • Searchable format

Capacity enhancement mentoring

Volunteer mentors and trainers are pillars of the GBIF community. By sharing their expertise within the community, GBIF mentors help others reach project goals, establish effective Participant nodes, and mobilize, manage and use biodiversity data for use in research and policy.

Biodiversity open data ambassadors

Initiated in 2019, GBIF's Ambassadors programme aims to extend the network's outreach efforts beyond what staff from the GBIF Secretariat, GBIF Participants and GBIF nodes can do.

The success of GBIF depends in part on promote research and policy communities' understanding of the benefits and opportunities that free and open access to biodiversity data provides. Ambassadors can fill the gaps on a range of topics through their own presentations, platforms and networks around the world.

Regional knowledge networks and a global community of practice

Networks of practice can help to ensure that individuals who receive training on a specific topic remain engaged in a (virtual or traditional) community and share experiences once they start putting their newly developed skills into practice.

The GBIF community forum, network mailing lists and social media provide ready-made platforms for such groups to engage both privately and publicly.