Thursday, Aug 15, 2020

Bruxelle Belgique

MESSAGE by Sofiane Sahraoui, IIAS DIRECTOR GENERAL

During 2019, IIAS has continued its ascending path to reach new heights. Just like in 2018 compared with 2017, financial results will see a major overhaul this year with more than a doubling of last year’s. This comes on the backdrop of the cleaning of our accounting figures which continued throughout the year. While expenses were maintained at the low level reached last year, revenues were increased significantly mostly through increased income from the three major conferences (IIAS, IASIA, EGPA) and better recovery of membership fees. There was also some income from consulting, a new line of service where we are currently pursuing further opportunities. Royalties from IRAS contributed to the last leg of our income. With the good results at the end of 2019, we are able to recruit additional personnel, invest in new projects, and improve our communication and services to members as well as rebuild our reserves.

While 2018 could be considered as the “unfreezing” year in terms of Kurt Lewin’s change model, 2019 was definitely the year of change. There is a new line-up of events, including the 2 new Brussels based activities run by the Secretariat, namely the Governance week and the IISAS Academy, both held in February of every year. The Governance week for 2019 was a resounding success bringing together all IIAS entities and partners to discuss the role of learned societies in the new global governance landscape. IIAS entities were able to mingle and stop operating as silos, being only connected through the secretarial services offered from Brussels. Joint workshops and panels were held to exchange on key matters for a better action of IIAS and its entities. Likewise, the IIAS academy showed a promising start with the participation of 10 young scholars and professionals. Our objective is to increase this number to at least 15 in 2020. During 2019, we organized two IASIA regional events in Kaunas, Lithuania and Doha, Qatar. Regional conferences are usually used either to go into new markets which was the case this year or to venture into new themes of public administration and public policy. In 2020, we have already planned 10 events aside from the regional IASIA conferences that could be added down the road. The objective is no longer to hold more events as we are going at more than capacity but to improve the quality and impact of our events.

2020 will go down the history of IIAS as a milestone year. First, because it marks the 90th anniversary of the organization. There will be a special celebration to this effect on the eve of the IIAS2020 congress which will be organized for the first time ever in Brussels. Second, IIAS will unveil and start executing its new strategy of open access publishing. The objective for IIAS is to become the leading global publisher of open access PA literature. Third, the new governance structure of ICAPA, IASIA’s international accreditation of PA programs, will come into effect along with ICAPA services run out of Brussels. There is a large number of prospective candidates for ICAPA accreditation which will gradually become a dominant endeavor of IIAS in the coming years. Fourth, a new integrated information system which has already been planned and detailed terms of reference written thereof, will be implemented during 2020. This system will enable IIAS not only to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations but also to commoditize and brand IIAS business in view of creating strategic partnerships across the world. The system has been planned with full IP ownership for IIAS which will permit its resale.

On the substantive front and in line with its mission of influencing the global governance agenda, IIAS will produce more in-house research and analytics and showcase them at partner events. It further seeks to set-up collaborative research and consultancy projects.

The ambitious agenda described above will require financial, human resource, and operational sustainability. On the financial side, the situation has significantly improved as described above enabling critical investments in communication, IT and personnel to be made. On the human resource side, IIAS has suffered a severe shortage of personnel over the last few years putting an undue burden on the limited number of personnel available. This will be finally remedied in 2020 as 2 full-time personnel are hired and outsourcing services are further harnessed for non-mission-critical tasks.. Changes to the global governance structure of IIAS for enhanced integration between its sub-entities, a new organizational structure and new work regulations will be the other dominant changes that have already been planned and will be implemented in 2020. Finally, the ERP system which will be implemented this year will also permit a better and bespoke communication with IIAS members, another area where IIAS has been faulted for not being very effective….This will be reflected in the websites and the CRM system that should significantly improve the corporate image of IIAS.

Thank you for your support to our agenda!

Sofiane SAHRAOUI, PhD Director General