“The review undertaken of DIPD indicates that the institute is on the right track,” says DIPD Director, Bjørn Førde.
When DIPD was established through an Act of Parliament in May 2010, and the first three year funding envelope of 75 million DKK was approved, it was also decided that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) towards the end of the 2010-13 period would carry out a so called “forward-looking review” – before a new three year grant was approved. The review was undertaken by a UK company “Global Partners Governance (GPG), in collaboration with the Danish MFA, from May to November 2013.
The final report presents the following message about the accomplishments of DIPD during its first 3 years:
”DIPD has made impressive progress in establishing effective party- to-party and multi-party projects in a range of countries. It has supported the Danish political parties to create party-to –party partnerships in a wide range of different countries, and has developed a well-regarded program of multi-party projects organized through local partners and in collaboration with like-minded organizations. Moreover, it has established a new organization from scratch and built an international reputation, whilst simultaneously navigating logistical and administrative challenges.”
The Director of DIPD, Bjørn Førde, is of course happy with the positive assessment. However, he would like to focus on the obvious weaknesses highlighted in the report and also discussed in the Board, when the report was presented:
“It is good to know that the review team feels that DIPD is on the right track. All of us have worked hard to get to where we are today – the political parties starting a new line of work; the members of the Board who have shown great dedication to ensure that the strategy was followed; and the small group of hard working staff members, who have had to deliver more than what could be expected. It has really been a team effort! But what is most important now is that we have the courage to address the most obvious weaknesses, so we can actually deliver the types of change our partners request, based on the good ideas we start out with together.”
As readers will note in the review report, there were a range of recommendations from the review team to DIPD, and during the next 2014-17 phase, DIPD will seek to address all of the issues in a systematic manner, in close cooperation with the Ministry. Some of the issues mentioned are:
The new strategy for 2014-2017 must describe the vision, mission and theory of change more clearly;
Results measurement must be improved, focusing on both qualitative and quantitative indicators;
A better balance between ambitions and resources is needed, requiring a number of initiatives;
Enhance the financial management systems, including ensuring internal expertise in the secretariat (and this has already been initiated);
More focus on capacity building for the Danish political parties and their partners.
Many of the issues raised in the review report will be included or mentioned in the new cooperation agreement to be signed with the Ministry before the new 3 year period starts on 1st July 2014. Other issues will be on the agenda of the Board as the institute continues with the work; and the most important task will be to develop and approve a new strategy by the end of May.