EFI Annual Conference,
Dresden, September 15, 2010
External Evaluation of EFI –
Interim Report
Markku Kanninen (chair)
Ann Bartuska
Tamas Marghescu
Heike Neumann
Purpose of the external evaluation
Interim Report – Early Findings
Next Steps
External Evaluation – Purpose, Scope
• Purpose
– An overall assessment of EFI as an international research
– Focus in strategic issues related to EFI’s future
• Scope of the evaluation
– Research
• strategy, priority setting and relevance, quality and impact
Management and research support
• administration and communication
– Funding and fund raising
Interim Report – Contents
• Comparative advantage of EFI in
research and science
• EFI as an international organization –
challenges and opportunities
• Regionalization
• Funding and fund raising
• Policy Services branch
• Strategic partnerships
• Organizational framework and infrastructure
• Working conditions and staff issues
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 PanEuropean level that cannot be solved by individual
member states or research institutes alone
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
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
• 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
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
• 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
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
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
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
Organizational framework and
• 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
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
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
Thank you

External Evaluation of EFI * Interim Report