Let's fly to Amman for the ICARDA Geoinformatics Systems (GIS) Summer Program

Published on: November 8, 2016, Submitted by Zaib Un-Nisa on: November 1, 2016

Four interns who are working on Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL) tell their experience at ICARDA, Jordan Office.

Always looking forward to new challenges, I travelled to Amman on September 2016 to take part in the WEB-GIS Summer Internship at the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems (CRP-DS) and the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA). The research for development (R4D) professional environment was new to me but the engagement has been strong from the very beginning and it grew over time. I felt linked-in with the team and the four other interns from Tunisia, Belgium, Italy, and Ecuador. Coming from diverse academic backgrounds - Physical Geography, Rural Engineering, Agronomy and Remote Sensing - we interns shared similar perspectives of the program an Jordan alike:


I have chosen this internship program at ICARDA and Dryland Systems because it has good scientific repute and is close to my field of study. I found ICARDA-DS staff very supportive and competent. During this program I attended a project management course in Beirut, a precious opportunity to know about know-how of project management. We are also contributing a lot to Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL) by tuning its tools and features for projects reporting. I recommend the new-comers to visit Amman, in this cosmopolitan city they will discover a whole Middle East.”
Fajr Fradi, Tunisia.

“I was searching for an internship program with an international research institute, and I was lucky enough to found ICARDA-GIZ Internship program. It is perfect for me since I was interested in acquiring advanced skills in Geographic Information System (GIS) & Sustainable Land Management. I found MEL both intriguing and stimulating, it is just like a Google for Project Managers and I am pleased to contribute to its development. Regarding my exposure to Jordan, It’s simply awesome. I recommend others to go for hiking around Dead Sea.”
Marthe Wens, Belgium.

"I feel that this internship is improving my research skills. I am learning by managing various kind of research projects and I found MEL very interesting. Jordan? The Dead Sea and Jordanian Museum are simply stunning.”
Jose Posligua, Ecuador.

“During this internship, ICARDA-Dryland Systems offered me the opportunity to complete my program in Morocco, a great opportunity. According to me, MEL is a good data management platform, with much potential and in full development, wea re improving this system with the help of skillful programmers. I would suggest to visit Downtown and Rainbow Street, I really enjoyed being in there.”
Pietro Bartolini, Italy.


Our main professional activity undertaken has been enhancing and testing Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL), the online platform for data management in use by ICARDA, the International Potato Center (CIP) and four CRPs (CRP-DS, CRP on Roots Tubers and Bananas, CRP on Grain Legumes & CRP on Dryland Cereals). We prepared databases and evaluate multiple projects as MEL Project Managers, engaging with research activities and research for development partners worldwide. Confronting and sharing viewpoints has been part of the job and everyday life in Amman. By learning practically, I felt both challenged and stimulated to improve my capabilities and learn from my colleagues. 

I felt that through ICARDA my work has been part of a greater framework that will, in due time, deliver further impact. Upon my return to Pakistan, I have shared this experience with my fellow countrymen and recommended them to engage with ICARDA. The aims and targets of research for development projects in dry areas are definitely achievable through both partnerships and innovation platforms, governments and research teams, great and relatively small contributors such as myself.


This GIS Summer Internship program has been held by The International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), in the framework of the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems (CRP-DS).

CRPs & Partners

CRP on Dryland Systems - DS

International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas - ICARDA


capacity developmentconservation agriculturelearningmonitoringplanningyouthr4dcapdevproject managementresearch for developmentinnovation platformopportunitiescapacitypartnershipmel platformintercultural exhange


About the author

Zaib Un-Nisa is Intern at International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas - ICARDA.