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External Evaluation of EFI – Interim Report


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  • 1. External Evaluation of EFI –Interim Report
    Markku Kanninen (chair)
    Ann Bartuska
    Tamas Marghescu
    Heike Neumann
    EFI Annual Conference,
    Dresden, September 15, 2010
  • 2. Outline
    Purpose of the external evaluation
    Interim Report – Early Findings
    Next Steps
  • 3. External Evaluation – Purpose, Scope
    An overall assessment of EFI as an international researchorganisation
    Focus in strategic issues related to EFI’s future development
    Scope of the evaluation
    strategy, priority setting and relevance, quality and impact
    Management and research support
    administration and communication
    Funding and fund raising
  • 4. Interim Report – Contents
    Comparative advantage of EFI in research and science
    EFI as an international organization – challenges and opportunities
    Funding and fund raising
    Policy Services branch
    Strategic partnerships
    Organizational framework and infrastructure
    Working conditions and staff issues
  • 5. Comparative advantage of EFI in research and science (1)
    EFI is a credible source of research and analysis
    Future research activities of EFI should focus on filling gaps in data, integration and up-scaling of databases and addressing research questions on Pan-European level that cannot be solved by individual member states or research institutes alone
  • 6. Comparative advantage of EFI in research and science (2)
    Rebuilding EFI’s overall research program:
    Only few strategic topics carried out through a small number of institution-wide research programs (HQ, RO’s, members, partners)
    Research programs should be more interdisciplinary
    Outreach as an integral part of research – linking research to policy
    Encourage innovation and creativity
    Improve processes of selecting and prioritizing topics for research
  • 7. EFI as an international organization – challenges and opportunities (1)
    EFI is a dynamic organization with committed staff, a supportive Board, SAB, and with much potential within the European research and policy community
    After becoming an international institution in 2005, have dramatically changed EFI’s situation and likely future
    EFI’s identity - a challenge: EFI and all its stakeholders (Council, Board, management, researchers, support staff, etc.) should clarify all the issues related to the institution’s identity e.g. by strategic planning exercises
  • 8. EFI as an international organization – challenges and opportunities (2)
    Ownership and governance
    “original members” – member organizations
    Research network
    “international organization” - member countries
    Interest in EFI weak – levels of funding low
    Is totally new institutional strategy needed?
    Increased need to collaborate and network with other credible research organizations in Europe, and potentially with innovative and excellent (international) organizations outside Europe
  • 9. Regionalization
    The creation of Regional Offices (RO’s) provides significant opportunity to increase the capacities, competences and visibility of EFI in Europe
    The development of the RO’s has been ad-hoc, too fast, and non-transparent
    Legal basis of RO’s not solved
    Put on hold the established and functioning of any RO’s until a host-country agreements have been signed
    Strategic role of RO’s – are all RO’s necessary?
    Governance – incorporate RO’s into EFI governance
  • 10. Funding and fund raising
    Funding unbalanced (28% “core”, 72% “projects”)
    Long-term strategies at risk, danger of becoming “donor driven”
    Member countries, special arrangements
    Making the use of indicators of financial health
    Improvements risk assessment and management
    Increased strategic fundraising needed
    “EFI’s Innovation Fund”
    Specific funds to boots innovation and collaboration
  • 11. Policy Services branch
    Delicate balance between research, policy support, and advocacy
    Credibility is one of the most valuable assets of EFI
    Policy support has to be combined & integrated with the policy research
    EFI needs to study and evaluate different future institutional scenarios
  • 12. Strategic partnerships
    EFI’s strength
    Network of Regional Offices, Associate Members, Affiliate Members, and other stakeholders and experts working on Pan-European level
    Strengthening of systematic and strategic cooperation and interaction with these network partners is needed
    Increased active relationships with international bodies (FAO, IUCN, Forest Europe)
    Widen the scope - from narrow field of forestry towards thematically more integrated organization
  • 13. Organizational framework and infrastructure
    Clarify the roles of Board, Scientific Advisory Board, Council, and other governing bodies
    Clarify the roles and relationship between governing bodies and the EFI management
    Increase the transparency of the deliberations of the EFI Board and other governing bodies
    Improve gender balance of EFI governing bodies and higher management
  • 14. Working conditions and staff issues
    EFI staff is highly motivated and committed
    Atmosphere, location, infrastructure and training services of EFI are very good
    Challenges in recruiting staff in EFI HQ
    Internal equity issues of EFI – staff funding through various arrangements creates potential inequalities in salaries, taxation etc.
    EFI should study different options e.g. “internal taxation”, which is in use in other international organizations, such as FAO
  • 15. Next Steps
    Expected feedback from EFI Annual Conference
    Correction of factual errors and misunderstandings
    Suggestions to the evaluation panel – personal discussions & e-mail
    Next steps for the evaluation panel
    Working on the evaluation report
    Possibly some interviews to fill the gaps
    Final report completed and delivered by the end of 2010
  • 16. Thank you