CaBA Mentoring Programme

Organisation: The Rivers Trust

Location: National

Type: Technical Support & Training

The aim of the CaBA Mentoring Programme is to build capacity and resilience within the CaBA family by taking a sustainable evidence-based approach. 

To achieve this a small, multi-organisational, mentoring team will work with CaBA partners helping them to move forward in their catchment.  The team will work by drawing out solutions from the team itself and from partners’ own experience, including that gained in other CaBA catchments.

By working on individual catchments the mentoring team will gather relevant intelligence on common issues and barriers, which can then be escalated to the CaBA National Support Group.

Furthermore, as each member of the mentoring team moves from one catchment to the next they will also look for any opportunities to link neighbouring catchments with common issues or skills requirements.

The small initial team will need to identify and promote the network of expertise which already exists within the CaBA family if the service is to become sustainable in the long term. A growing number of universities are providing technical assistance to their local partnerships.

Current areas where mentoring support is being given include:

  • Data and GIS, especially online GIS
  • Modelling, particularly writing specifications for modelling projects and interpreting modelling results.
  • Monitoring, water quality and high flows
  • Health and Safety

The CaBA website, Forum and data sharing infrastructure will all be critical tools to support this work, promoting a ‘one to many’ approach, to maximise the reach of the mentoring resource across all CaBA catchments.

Some of the key principals of mentoring:

  • The mentor must start the process by listening to the technical support needs of the partner organisation.
  • The mentor must identify the most cost-effective way to move them forward on the partnership’s agenda and submit a one-page proposal. The proposal should identify the partner contact and the mentor contact.
  • The partner is then responsible for contacting the mentoring team to secure the work. This ensures that the partnership is in control and only commissions work that it has agreed to.
  • The mentor must pass on freely, relevant experience gained from other CaBA catchments. Preferably, outputs should be passed from CaBA partner to CaBA partner rather than via the mentor or shared via the CaBA website.

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