The CZCP is organizing a series of regional workshops titled “GEOSS Support for Decision-Making in the Coastal Zone: Managing and Mitigating the Impacts of Human Activities and Natural Hazards in the Coastal Zone.” A main goal of these workshops is to stimulate regional activities that may lead to the formation of regional Communities of Practice.
In order to organize these regional workshops in an efficient way and with good chances of success, several preconditions need to be met, and the planning of the workshop should follow a number of steps in a logical order. Below, we first discuss the preconditions, and then present the planning steps.
The following preconditions should be met before the planning of a regional workshop takes place:
- (P1) At least one local/regional organization has expressed interest in being the core of a regional CZCP and has the potential to do so.
- (P2) Individuals representing this/these organization(s) have committed to take responsibility for the local organization of the workshop;
- (P3) Local governmental support, e.g., through participation of governmental agencies in the Local Organization Committee (LOC) has been secured;
- (P4) A clear topical focus on CZ issues relevant for the region in terms of decision making, managing, planning, adaptation in the CZ has been identified.
Preparation of Workshops
The overall goals and scope of the regional workshops is outlined in the Workshop prospectus. Based on this prospectus, the planning of a specific regional workshop should follow the following five steps:
(S1) Identify the local community/organizations/individuals interested in working with the CZCP towards a workshop and a subsequent regional CZCP, and clarify the key focus in terms of topical issues to be addressed at the workshop. This step should involve the formation of a Workshop Steering Committee, which includes primarily local community/organizations/individuals, as well as one or more members of the CZCP core group and one member of the Steering Committee of a prior Workshop, and one involved in the planning of a future Workshop (for continuity and "corporate memory").
(S2) Develop a high-level workshop plan with information on:
- potential participation;
- potential venue;
- estimated budget;
- anticipated time schedule.
(S3) Secure sufficient funding consistent with a clearly defined "business model" for the workshop.
(S4) Develop the workshop details and start the organization, including invitation of speakers and the program with slots for invited speakers and contributed papers.
(S5) Announce the Workshop with deadlines for abstract submission and registration.
S1 is essential in order to ensure that the preconditions discussed above are actually met. S2 provides the basis for a decision on whether the workshop can be carried out with a sufficient number of participants, a reasonable venue, a realistic budget, and in a timely manner. The “business model” for regional workshops depends on the region, the potential participants, and the available local support. For some regions, sufficient regional participation may require substantial external funding, while in other regions, a workshop may be fundable mainly through registration fees. However, no further development of a workshop should take place until a business model has been developed in which the available funds match the estimated budget. After a sound economic model has been developed, S4 can be initiated in order to ensures that the contents and outcomes of the workshop are a success. Finally, S5 needs to ensure proper announcements of the workshop and sufficient time for participants to contribute and register. From the announcement, there should be at least two months for the submission of abstracts. Announcement should be at least three months before the workshop takes place, but preferably, announcements are made six months before the workshop dates.
For the planning of a workshop from scratch, the estimated times are two months for S1, one months for S2, six months for S3, one months for S4, and at least three months for S5; i.e., a total of at least 13 months. However, building in sufficient redundancy, a total time line of 15 to 18 months seems more realistic.