13/06/2024 | Following a successful pilot project, the "Co-Design for the Ocean Decade" training course is now being continued and available on the Ocean Teachers Global Academy (OTGA) platform for interested marine researchers. The course, a collaborative initiative launched in 2022, produced and delivered by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) and the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), has made significant strides in advancing sustainable ocean governance, as direct contribution to the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. This 2022 pioneering program has established a research-supported, scalable model for future co-design training, as elaborated in Zhang et al. (2024)

Building on the momentum of the pilot course, preparations began in December 2023 for a new introductory self-study course, which was officially launched at the 4th International Conference of Small Developing Island States (SDIS) in Antigua. The self-paced beginner's course, which requires no application and is not limited to specific dates, provides participants with a comprehensive understanding of co-design concepts and basic skills enhancement. This foundational course is setting the stage for more in-depth and specialized learning in future phases, marking a significant milestone on this journey towards enhancing co-design methodologies.

Training course structured in three phases

The training will focus on three phases: the now finalized self-learning course, as well as two advanced training courses tailored to the Caribbean island region and coastal Africa.

The first phase is the self-paced learning module ‘Co-Design for Ocean Decade Activities’- this time with/via the Ocean Teachers Global Academy (OTGA) platform - which will support the ocean science community around the world to properly co-design a project that can lead to co-production and co-delivery of knowledge, and ultimately develop a project that can be submitted for endorsement under the Call for Decade Actions. The collaboration with OTGA ensures the course’s long-term accessibility and wider reach, thereby broadening the training program’s impact and enabling diverse global participation. The training course will capacitate participants, via videos and interviews with international experts, to:

  • Gain skills needed in order to co-design a (transdisciplinary) research project (strategic planning, communication and team building);
  • Learn about principles, processes, and application of co-design;
  • Learn about transdisciplinary theory and practice, stakeholder engagement, impact planning, communication with peers and stakeholders in intercultural settings, research ethics, and fostering fair partnerships/teams.

Suitable for a variety of participants

This course is ideally suited for individuals new to co-design (no previous experience or knowledge in co-design or marine research is necessary), including early-career researchers, students, marine conservation practitioners, and community leaders involved in ocean-related activities. The course welcomes participants from diverse global ocean communities, aiming to enrich the Ocean Decade activities through inclusive and collaborative approaches. A keen interest in participatory approaches and a willingness to engage in co-designing activities are essential for maximizing the benefits of this course.

The course combines a variety of learning methods, including recorded videos, interactive discussion platforms, comprehensive reading materials, and self-assessment materials. It is structured as a six-week program, facilitated by experienced trainers to ensure active participation and effective learning.

The course is structured to be flexible, allowing participants to follow a recommended sequential order or choose modules at random. It is self-paced, with a recommended duration for completion. Upon successful completion of all assignments and quizzes (a minimum performance threshold, such as a cumulative score of 70% or above on all module quizzes, will be set), participants will receive a certificate, which serves as a prerequisite for attending the advanced courses tailored for the Caribbean and African coastal regions.

More news on the developments of the more advanced second and third phases will be shared soon. 

More information on the online course "Co_Design for the Ocean Decade": https://oceandecade.org/news/ocean-decade-launches-new-online-course-on-co-design/

 Link to the Ocean Teachers Global Academy (OTGA)-Plattform.