The GBIF Secretariat is seeking contractors to support the team developing a community of practice in sub-Saharan Africa through the European Union-funded Biodiversity Information for Development (BID) programme. Individuals and institutions located in BID-eligible countries in the region will support these efforts by:
- Providing technical help-desk assistance, training and mentoring to support project teams in meeting their goals and objectives on mobilization and use of biodiversity data
- Facilitating exchange of guidance, best practices and expertise between the project teams and other volunteer experts from the broader GBIF community
- Encouraging project-team members’ long-term engagement in the GBIF network
Biodiversity Information for Development, or BID, is a programme funded by the European Union and led by GBIF. The programme aims to enhance capacity for effective mobilization and use of biodiversity data in support of decision- and policymaking for sustainable development.
Funding from BID’s first phase supported capacity enhancement activities and projects to mobilize biodiversity data and to strengthen national and regional biodiversity information facilities. The programme’s second phase opened in 2020 with a call for project proposals from sub-Saharan Africa. A set of 19 selected projects under four different grant types will start in April 2021 and run for two years.
GBIF places strong emphasis on capacity enhancement to support the project teams in achieving their goals, recognizing that there are significant challenges to successful implementation of what are often first-time data mobilization projects.
The role of the project support contractors
During BID’s second phase, the regional support contractors will apply their skills and experience in sub-Saharan Africa to provide on-going assistance to the project teams. As well as supplementing the project support already provided by GBIF Secretariat, the contractors will also address the challenges of coordinating project work due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The regional project support approach centres on developing a community of practice involving the members of the funded project teams and the broader GBIF community. The contracted roles will complement but not replace the volunteer mentors, who remain an essential component of GBIF’s capacity enhancement activities. While either individuals or organizations may apply to provide support on a contractual basis, the aim is to create a team of dedicated individuals enhancing the work of the GBIF Secretariat through their presence in and knowledge of the target region.
GBIF’s regional sub-committees serve as platforms for communication, coordination and collaboration among GBIF Participant nodes at the regional level. The contractors will work in collaboration with the GBIF Participant nodes and the elected Regional Representatives to strengthen the coordination of regional participation in GBIF.
Scope of work
The contracted individuals or institutions will support the BID coordination team at the GBIF Secretariat and have responsibility for delivering:
- Regular group meetings with the project teams, supporting the development of the community of practice
- Help desk assistance as the primary technical point of contact assisting with regional data mobilization and data quality issues, in coordination with the relevant GBIF Participant nodes and the GBIF Secretariat Data Products team
- Project mentoring focused on technical support for implementing the project teams’ data mobilization plans
- Support for BID capacity enhancement workshops and project-level replication workshops following the projects’ knowledge dissemination plans
- In coordination with GBIF regional representatives and relevant GBIF Participant nodes, support in recruiting and assigning appropriate mentors to strengthen the community of practice
- Recommendations on future development of the community of practice, including identification of key capacity needs and training opportunities
- Bi-monthly status reports for the BID community of practice summarizing activities undertaken personally and by the community, in addition to participating in regular BID planning meetings involving the GBIF Secretariat and other regional contractors.