Capacity Building


Building capacity, as well as sustaining and enhancing existing capacity, is essential for developing the competencies of GEO Members and Participating Organizations in the effective use of Earth observations for responding to societal challenges and addressing sustainable development issues.

The capacity building activities in GEO aims to assist developed and developing countries and regions in increasing their technical and human capacity to acquire, share, store, maintain and fully utilize Earth observation data and information in the decision-making process; demonstrate solutions, disseminate best practices showcasing the value of Earth observations and promote the engagement of institutional users worldwide.

Strengthen cooperation at regional and national level by identifying country-specific opportunities to develop Earth observation plans, Spatial Data Infrastructures, as necessary, and establishing national GEO structures


GEO Secretariat contact for Capacity Building

Andiswa Mlisa, Scientific & Technical Officer, +44 22 730 8239

Upcoming Events Past Events
TIGER workshop 2016: Looking after Water for Sustainable Development
Addis Ababa, 
Hampton, VA
AfriGEOSS Symposium
Victoria Falls, 
Jun 8
Jul 10
Monitoring Climate from Space: Explore our planet from space and learn how Earth observation is used to monitor climate change, with this free online course
WcapD SRTM DEM Workshop - Americas
Workshop on Capacity Building and Developing Countries in GEO Post-2015
WcapD-4 Meeting
South Africa
WCapD SRTM DEM Workshop - Africa
South Africa
AfriGEOSS & Capacity Building side event (GEO-XI Plenary)
Capacity Building session (IDIB Meeting)
Capacity Building side event (Work Plan Symposium)

GEOCab Portal


The Capacity Building Resources can be accessed through the GEOCAB Portal:


March 2016 update: GEOCAB memorandum of understanding signed!

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is a voluntary organization and depends on the interest and energy of the international Earth observations and geospatial communities to reach its goals. There are many ways in which nations, organizations and individuals can contribute to the success of GEO and the establishment and implementation of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS):

Become a GEO Member

Membership in GEO is open to all member States of the United Nations and to the European Commission. Membership in GEO is contingent upon formal endorsement of the GEOSS 10-Year Implementation Plan. All members belong to a regional caucus.

The regional caucuses nominate members of the Executive Committee. Many of the caucuses also hold regional consultations or organize symposia and other events focused on the regional implementation of GEOSS. The five regional caucuses and their members are listed here. Membership in GEO does not require compulsory annual dues. Members are encouraged to contribute financial resources, to the greatest extent possible, in addition to the human, intellectual and programmatic resources needed to fully implement GEOSS.

To become a Member of GEO, please contact the GEO Secretariat at

Become a Participating Organization (PO)

GEO's Member governments welcome the engagement of Participating Organizations (PO). The participation of intergovernmental, international, and regional organizations with a mandate in Earth observation or related activities is essential to the success of GEO and GEOSS. Participation in GEO is contingent upon formal endorsement of the GEOSS 10-Year Implementation Plan and approval by GEO Members meeting in Plenary.

Currently, there are 77 Participating Organizations in GEO, which are listed here.

For more information about becoming a Participating Organization, please contact the GEO Secretariat at

Become/Provide a Secondee to the GEO Secretariat

Members and Participating Organizations are asked to consider providing secondments to the GEO Secretariat, to work under the direction and guidance of the GEO Secretariat Director. These individuals make a significant impact realizing the objectives of GEO and further development and acceleration of GEOSS implementation through the 2012-2015 Work Plan. Secondees also help develop the next generation of technical, programmatic and/or organizational leaders and advocates of GEO when they complete their tenure in Geneva and return to their home country and/or organization. Length of time for secondments is ideally two years.

For more information about providing a secondment or becoming a secondee, please contact the GEO Secretariat at

Become a Member of an Implementation Board

The GEO Plenary has established several Implementation Boards to assess progress toward completion of the GEOSS 10 Year Implementation Plan. The Boards identify issues, gaps, and Target objectives that require additional support from the GEO community and design and conduct actions for addressing these issues and gaps. The Boards report each year to the GEO Plenary. Members are expected to make a steady but manageable investment of time, energy and thought into the work of their respective Board. Implementation Board membership is open to individuals serving as Member or Participating Organization Representatives.

Information on current Boards and their mandates can be found here. (link)

For more information about becoming a member of an Implementation Board, please contact the GEO Secretariat at

Become a Member of a Working Group

The GEO Plenary establishes Working Groups to address aspects of GEOSS implementation and provide a mechanism for members of the GEO community to engage full in the work of GEO. Working groups provide high-level review, advice, recommendations and support in the ongoing development and implementation of the GEOSS 10-Year Implementation Plan. Working groups also actively promote the implementation of GEOSS activities described in the annual Work Plan.

Information on current Working Groups and their mandates can be found here.

For more information about becoming a member of a Working Group, please contact the GEO Secretariat at

Become Task Coordinator

Task Coordinators are individuals drawn from the Component Leads (see below) involved in a specific Task in the GEO Work Plan. Task Coordinators plan and set the approach for the Task to meet relevant GEOSS 2015 Strategic Targets in collaboration with the Task Team and Component Leads and foster interaction across Components. Task Coordinators look for synergies with other Work Plan Tasks, ensure that Communities of Practice are engaged in relevant Task Components, and represent the Task to the Implementations Boards.

For more information about becoming a Task Coordinator, please contact the GEO Secretariat at

Become a Component Point of Contact

A Component Point of Contact (PoC) serves as the single point of contact for all those involved and interested in a Task Component. The PoC facilitates the development of the Component's approach and delivery of results, and reports on progress to the GEO community. The PoC supports coordination of Components at the Task level in collaboration with the Task Coordinator and serves as a liaison with Communities of Practice.

For more information about becoming a Component Point of Contact, please contact the GEO Secretariat at

Become a Component Lead

Component Leads work in close collaboration with Component Points of Contact (see below), other Component Leads and contributors to identify key outputs and milestones to help implement GEOSS. Component Leads monitor and deliver progress toward those outputs and milestones, support contributors, and identify gaps and skills needed to support the Component and encourage additional contributions to address these needs. Component Leads communicate with the Component Point of Contact regarding progress made and impediments to implementation of the Component.

For more information about becoming a Component Lead, please contact the GEO Secretariat at

Become a Component Contributor

Component Contributors support the implementation of a Task Component through selected activities and projects by providing financial or in-kind resources. Component Contributors assist in recruiting additional Members or Participating Organizations to support the Component, particularly in their own region or discipline, actively engage user communities, and provide advice and information to Component Leads on user requirements and best practices.

For more information about becoming a Component Contributor, please contact the GEO Secretariat at

Become a Member of a Community of Practice

Communities of Practice include representatives from GEO Members, Participating Organizations and any other stakeholders that have similar interests or objectives - working closely together as a GEO forum for intelligence and advice for the successful implementation of GEOSS. Each Community of Practice will have slightly different objectives, however common objectives include: identify, gather, and seek agreement on particular user community requirements; provide a forum for cooperation of activities where GEOSS adds value to existing initiatives; identify linkages and opportunities for collaborative strategic and technical projects; and coordinate the delivery of GEOSS Targets to enable the realization of societal benefits.

For more information about becoming a member of a Community of Practice, please contact the GEO Secretariat at