Capacity building in ecological informatics: Lessons from the DST/CSIR learnership programme in South Africa

  • Rudzani Albert Makhado Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
  • Martie J van Deventer Council for the Scientific and Industrial Research
  • Laurie Barwell Council for the Scientific and Industrial Research
  • Althea M.L. Adey Retired
  • Richard Knight University of the Western Cape
  • Jansie Niehaus National Science and Technology Forum
Keywords: ecological informatics, learnerships, skills development, science and technology, e-learning

Abstract

This paper provides the lessons learned from an attempt by the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to develop a National Information Society Learnership in Ecological Informatics (NISL: EI). Ten unemployed graduates were selected in 2004 to be part of two years NISL: EI learnership programme. The results show that the programme had succeeded in making candidates employable, with 90 percent of the learners working in different science and technology sectors, and two Honours degrees having been awarded. Challenges for higher level learnership development and implementation are identified and possible solutions are discussed.

Author Biographies

Rudzani Albert Makhado, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Forestry Policy and Strategy Assistant Director
Martie J van Deventer, Council for the Scientific and Industrial Research
Library Information Manager
Laurie Barwell, Council for the Scientific and Industrial Research
Manager
Althea M.L. Adey, Retired
retired
Richard Knight, University of the Western Cape
Biodiversity and Conservation Biology Senior lecturer
Jansie Niehaus, National Science and Technology Forum
National Science and Technology Forum Executive Director
Published
2009-07-03
How to Cite
Makhado, R. A., van Deventer, M. J., Barwell, L., Adey, A. M., Knight, R., & Niehaus, J. (2009). Capacity building in ecological informatics: Lessons from the DST/CSIR learnership programme in South Africa. First Monday, 14(7). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v14i7.2523