UN-SPIDER aims at ensuring that all countries and international or regional organizations have the capacity to use all types of space-based information to support risk and disaster management efforts. To make sure that all interested stakeholders can benefit from this information in the most effective way possible, UN-SPIDER provides Technical Advisory Support to Member States through missions.
Upon request of a Member State, UN-SPIDER carries out missions with a team of internal or external experts to the host institution to jointly identify the existing national capacity to access and to use space-based information, to analyze the current institutional framework on the use of such information and to shed light on possible constraints and gaps. This support can take many forms: It can be a series of meetings, a workshop or a training, depending on the needs and scope of the request. There are three different types of advisory missions that UN-SPIDER carries out:
A Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) is conducted to identify the needs of a Member State regarding its capacity to fully take advantage of space-based information. As an inter-institutional fact-finding mission, it is officially requested by the respective national government and is carried out by a team of experts that UN-SPIDER gathers. Typically, TAMs are one-week long missions. The team meets with key disaster management and development authorities in the Government, United Nations organizations, regional and international organizations/initiatives and private entrepreneurs to discuss the use of space-based information for risk and disaster management in depth and to subsequently make recommendations on improvements.
With an Institutional Strengthening Mission (ISM) UN-SPIDER assists a Member State in increasing its capacity to benefit from space-based information for risk and disaster management. UN-SPIDER strengthens institutional capacities which may suffer from a lack of trained human resource, infrastructure for processing space-derived data or access to such data. ISMs are usually carried out by experts from UN-SPIDER and may include, depending on the situation, experts from other institutions including the UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices. Examples of these missions include training personnel or facilitating access to infrastructure and data. Usually, ISMs support the implementations of recommendations drawn from UN-SPIDER’s Technical Advisory Missions.
Expert Missions have a short-term and exploratory character. As opposed to TAMs which are inter-institutional in nature, an EM usually consists of one expert meeting with representatives of one or more institutions. This expert is in most cases a UN-SPIDER staff. EMs can range from a singular meeting to a several day consultation to discuss one or few specific details. Usually EMs serve to explore the possibilities to conduct a TAM, but they can also be conducted as follow-up activities to such a TAM.