In this chapter we provide a brief SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. The results of this analysis have been used to guide the identification of the expected results and outputs of the strategic plan.

Strengths and Weaknesses are determined by internal factors while Opportunities and Threats are determined by external factors 


Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats

- IOC has a long tradition and experience in human resource development

- IOC has a well developed bottom-top regional structure which is fit for purpose to conduct CD activities

- IOC has a wide range of communities of practice and partner institutions with experts who can provide training and education

- IOC’s mandate of ocean research, observation, early warning services, sustainable management and governance, assessment information for policy provide an excellent framework for multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approach

- IOC does not have the financial resources required to fulfil the needs of the CD beneficiaries

- While IOC regional commissions are effective mechanisms they are not equally developed in the three regions

- Regional sub-commissions and global programmes are not always working together effectively.

- IOC does not have a dedicated CD section and as such, no dedicated IOC CD staff (dealing with all IOC programmes) (note1)

- Courses do not train sufficient numbers of trainees for each country

- National coordination mechanisms not always existing or effective

- The need for capacity development remains high and is considered high priority by Member States (note2)

- The CD experience of IOC, combined with its regional structures and bottom-top community of practice tradition, can give IOC a leading role in coordination of ocean related CD (within IOC’s mandate) across agencies and other organizations

- The combination of IOC’s CD and IOC’s ICAM, MSP and related coastal management programmes can increase the visibility and political relevance of ocean research, impacting positively on national funding

- The wide experience and relevance of IOC’s CD, combined with the beneficiary needs should make IOC more attractive as implementation partner

for donors

- There are many other organizations and countries that provide capacity development assistance.

- There is little coordination in CD between IOC, other organizations and donor countries. The limited financial resources could marginalize IOC’s efforts

- Lack of physical infrastructures in Member States and lack of sustained national support may limit impact of IOC’s efforts (lack of willingness)

- Economical crises result in reduced funding to science. 

- Researchers in developing countries are unable to equitably participate in the global research community due to financial and capacity constraints


note1: The IODE programme does have a training coordinator, based at the IOC Project Office for IODE, Oostende (Belgium). 

note2: Taking into account that 70% of the IOC Member States are Low-income (<$1045 GNI / capita), Lower-middle-income (GNI/capita between $1046 and $4125) or Upper-middle-income economies (GNI/capita between $4126 and $12,745), while 30% are High-income economies  (GNI/capita > $12,745) the need for capacity development assistance is still considerable. 


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