Dr N K Panikkar: learning research by doing
In this paper bilateral and multilateral research projects are discussed as particularly attractive means of external assistance to capacity building. The International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE; 1959-65) was the first large scale project with a strong component of capacity building, largely due to the farsighted efforts of Dr N.K. Panikkar. Recent examples described in the paper, include multilateral regional research projects in the Middle East and in the Benguela region as well as a bilateral study of the Brazilian mangroves. Combined research and training projects should be of long term nature and have to be based on full partnerships from the early planning through all phases of implementation, up to final publications. Each project should be of direct value for the sustainable development of the host country and the region, it should meet the following criteria: high scientific quality and good prospects for obtaining results of general scientific importance, and if possible, linked to ongoing international programmes in marine science and monitoring. It should be incorporated into the structure of scientific organisations of the host country and linked to other national or regional projects. The universities of the region and their academic teaching programmes should directly benefit from the programme. In the course of the project full use should be made of the data and experience already existing in the region. It should ensure full bilateral data exchange and provide links to international data storage and retrieval systems. Joint publications -- preferably in English -- in international journals as well as participation in international scientific meetings shall open the entry to the international marine science community.
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