The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (UWI-SRC) hosted the workshop “Fostering developed-developing country partnerships for the advancement of global volcano science” at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine Campus, 4-7 June 2019, with support of 7 different international organisations/institutions, including IAVCEI and IUGG. In total 25 participants from 20 different countries, primarily Lower-and-Middle-Income Countries (LMICs), came together to discuss challenges to undertake volcanology in a resource-limited context, as well as mechanisms to advance volcanology and inclusion of all volcano scientists into the international community. Prior to the workshop, an online survey was organised to seek input from the global volcanology community.
Primary challenges identified relate to – limited financial resources in the form of funding for monitoring and/or research, conference participation, publication fees, etc. – limited human resources, reflected in inadequate number of staff relative to workload as well as limited specialised knowledge at in-country institutes – access to facilities or equipment, which often results in a reliance on external scientists – international collaborations, which are widely recognised to be generally beneficial, are very often at the same time experienced in a manner which results in unequal treatment of in-country individuals or institutions, inhibiting their inclusion as a respected partner in the international community.
It was concluded that a professional network of scientists working in resource-limited contexts would be a suitable mechanism to strengthen collaborations in volcanology and promote professional and ethical conduct from all partners involved in international collaborations. The most appropriate host organisation of this network was considered to be IAVCEI, despite the fact that the majority of volcano scientists working in resource-limited contexts do not have active IAVCEI membership.
The proposed name for this network is the International Network for VOLcanology Collaboration (INVOLC), with the overall aim defined as: “Fostering Cross-Country Partnerships to Overcome Challenges in Resource-Constrained Settings for the Advancement of Global Volcanology”. This definition deliberately includes partnerships between any nations and reflects the specific ambition to foster inter-regional partnerships between scientists working in resource-constrained contexts.
INVOLC’s goals are to 1) ADVOCATE for inclusion of volcano scientists working in resource-constrained contexts into the international community; 2) DEVELOP best-practice guidelines and engagement protocols for international collaboration; 3) IDENTIFY and ADDRESS knowledge gaps and needs; 4) COLLECT and DISSEMINATE information on available resources (financial, educational, infrastructural, etc.); 5) FACILITATE and PROMOTE the exchange and sharing of knowledge and resources between countries; and 6) IDENTIFY and HELP OBTAINING funding resources facilitating the above-mentioned goals.
It is proposed that INVOLC function as a network within IAVCEI, and that it is steered by a governing board of nine members, one of whom will serve as a chair. Six of the board members will represent each of the following geographical regions: 1) Caribbean; 2) Mexico – Central America; 3) South America; 4) Africa – Middle East; 5) SE Asia (Indonesia – Philippines); 6) SW Pacific Islands. In addition to the six regional representatives, three additional board members are to be selected from any country. Another three advisory members will be invited from international organisations with a mission to promote the development of volcano science and/or risk mitigation in LMICs, and who have strong existing partnerships with several of these countries. After an initial transition period of two years during which a transitional board will launch the network and grow its activities, a new board will be elected every four years.
The governing board will oversee the functioning of thematic Working Groups: 1) Current Status; 2) Communication and Engagement; 3) Training; 4) Finance. Each working group will be in charge of organising a range of activities serving one or more goals of the INVOLC network. In the initial transition period, priority will be given to working group “Current Status”, with a focus on benchmarking the existing status of volcanology in each relevant country. In addition, working group “Communication and Engagement” will work on establishing an efficient communication channel to enable recruitment of INVOLC members.
A second major task for Working Group “Communication and Engagement” is the development of best-practice guidelines for international collaboration. A draft of such guidelines is presented in the appendix to this report and will be further developed in agreement with the IAVCEI Executive Committee.
For the full workshop report please see the attached file INVOLC_InauguralWorkshopReport_June2019_reducedresolution.pdf (3 MB, uploaded by Victoria Miller 1 year 2 weeks ago)