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Lessons learned from past CB activities [#784]
Dear colleagues, my name is Darja Stanič Racman and I'm co-moderating this Forum.
I believe that it is important that we also share the experiences on the lessons learned from past CB activities. Would you mind sharing your experiences on that? One could address different issues e.g.
• 'Type' of CB activities e.g. institutional attachments/exchange visits, fellowships at research institutions, project based CB etc.;
• Modality of CB you find most useful e.g. hand-on training (using case studies for RA), Development and exchange of training and guidance materials, Networking and knowledge-sharing etc.
posted on 2008-11-21 17:21 UTC by Darja Stanic, Slovenia
RE: Lessons learned from past CB activities [#790]
Hi! My name is Behzad Ghareyazie (President, Biosafety Society of Iran). I beleive all 'Types' of CB activities e.g. institutional attachments/exchange visits, fellowships at research institutions, are very useful. According to my experience however the most useful modality is conducting hand-on training courses (using case studies for RA), for carefuly selected trainees (regulators and trainers). Development and exchange of training and guidance materials (such as the "training tools for trainers" prepared by FAO) would be an excellent complementation to the training courses.
posted on 2008-11-22 08:26 UTC by Mr. Behzad Ghareyazie, Iran (Islamic Republic of)
RE: Lessons learned from past CB activities [#796]
I agree that the most useful modality of CB is hands-on training, using case studies for RA. In my opinion, the best is to have project-based CB that takes into consideration the local needs and capacities, and uses examples that are relevant for the local environment and culture.  In my own experience, one very important issue is language. Not many people in most countries are fluent in English and sometimes this special need is neglected. One way around the language constraint could be to train local experts that are fluent in English to be the trainers. In this case, it is also important to have the most relevant teaching materials and teaching tools also translated into the local language. We were very successful in doing this in the GMO ERA Project (http://www.gmoera.umn.edu), in which the teaching tools were developed in English and then translated into Portuguese and Vietnamese with the help of the trainees, i.e., the translation of the material was part of the training process.
posted on 2008-11-24 12:05 UTC by Dr. Eliana Maria Gouveia Fontes, Brazil
RE: Lessons learned from past CB activities [#825]
Regarding language issues, in West Balkan countries Serbian – Croatian- Bosnian-... can be utilized in regional training activities and Russian language can be extremely useful in very large area (including Caucasus and Central Asia). Of course, translation to other languages in CIS region can also be useful, but since there is large amount of literature that is needed, Russian is the most effective translation choice for that regions. There is also plenty of literature available in Russian and  many official documents are automatically translated in all official UN languages.
posted on 2008-11-28 20:44 UTC by Dr Aleksej Tarasjev, Serbia
RE: Lessons learned from past CB activities [#814]
In my experience, hands-on risk assessment workshops based on case studies are very useful as long as the participants have a minimum level of knowledge. You cannot teach the basics this way. This minimum level of knowledge needs to be clearly defined.

Given cost of travel, I think that e-learning and interactive tools should be considered more often. This would be well suited to take into consideration language and regional issues.

Should the roster of experts be uwsed more actively to provide training and advice to countries?  In parallel there could be a mentoring program whereby experts from authorities, academia, industry that carry out risk assessment as part of their regular activities guide less experienced people in carrying risk assessment and management but also in guiding them to sources of information.
posted on 2008-11-28 12:24 UTC by Ms. Esmeralda Prat, CLI representation
RE: Lessons learned from past CB activities [#818]
My name is Anita James and I serve as Biosafety Coordinator for the island of Saint Lucia.  At present, our capacity for RA/RM is very limited.  I agree with Dr. Prat's ideas that e-learning and interactive tools would help build capacity in these matters.
posted on 2008-11-28 15:05 UTC by Ms. Anita James, Saint Lucia