Strategic Plan & Metrics Discussion

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ESIP Federation Executive Committee
July 19, 2010
Knoxville, Tennessee

Participants: Karl Benedict, Steve Berrick, Bruce Caron, Peter Fox, Jim Frew, Patricia Huff, Marilyn Kaminski, Chris Lenhardt, Ken McDonald, Carol Meyer, Margaret Mooney, Rahul Ramanchandran, Rama Ramapriyan, Rob Raskin, Brian Rogan, Annette Schloss

The purpose of this gathering was to consider how the ESIP Federation might evaluate the impact of the work it facilitates within the Earth science data and technology community. In particular, the meeting focused on Goal 4 of the ESIP Federation’s 2009 Strategic Plan:

Promote techniques to articulate and measure the socioeconomic value and benefit of Earth science data, information and applications.

Consistent with other goals of the Strategic Plan, Goal 4 specifically targets the feedback necessary for the ESIP Federation’s sponsors to better understand the return on the investment it makes in support of the ESIP Federation and the Earth science data and technology community.

To assist with naming activities considered successes, the Committee brainstormed individually and then in small groups to identify ESIP Federation successes during the past year. The list included the following successes:

  1. Provided infrastructure that sustained the on-going collaborations of the ESIP Federation and its sub-communities
  2. Developed a GEO Air Quality Community of Practice
  3. ESIP Partner chaired the GEOSS mid-term evaluation team.
  4. Began an outreach process of “getting out the word” to the education community about the work of ESIP
  5. Developed a Skills Database that will have benefits for the ESIP Federation and broader communities (e.g. GEO community)
  6. Formed a Data Preservation and Stewardship Cluster
  7. Facilitated tech infusion through workshops and testbed activities
  8. Established new clusters in Environmental Decision Making and Energy in response to community needs
  9. Concise and targeted Strategic Plan (1-page)
  10. Planned for developing the profession of data managers through the Environmental Data Management Workshop, Data Management Short Course development and teacher workshop.
  11. Continued growth of the ESIP Federation in membership and participation.

After considerable discussion among the group, the successes were grouped according to their similarities. The successes fell into three broad categories:

  1. "In-Reach"
  2. Transitional
  3. Outreach (Stakeholder Impacts)

Observations were made that these successes and the respective groupings align with the other goals of the Strategic Plan, which seek to serve the membership, the community and external statkeholders (e.g. sponsors).

The challenge of capturing the successes remains. The Committee discussed incentives for partners to ‘report’ in the benefits/successes accrued to them through their ESIP Federation involvement. Some techniques that were discussed included:

  • Visibility of partners (e.g. website, newsletter, case studies)
  • Funding opportunities
  • Currency

What tools does the ESIP Federation need to do a better job of promoting the organization?

  • Elevator speech
  • Persistent knowledge capture mechanism
  • Mining of existing material (e.g. posters, telecon notes)
  • Semi-annual online magazine that synthesizes the outputs of the ESIP Federation
  • Meeting proceedings (track leaders to provide summaries of tracks)
  • Committee reports (semi-annual)

Next Steps

  • Staff to mine posters and committee, working group and cluster notes for successes
  • Staff to conduct periodic interviews with members to understand the benefits and activities they accrue from the ESIP Federation
  • Formalize committee reporting process to capture activities
  • Hone elevator speech
  • Work with the Decisions Cluster and the Evaluators’ Institute at George Washington University to:
  • Establish a framework (or frameworks) for on-going evaluation
  • Train the ESIP Federation community on how to evaluate its activities and individual grant projects
  • Explore working with nonprofit PR firm to evaluate our existing communication resources