Evaluation of the Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities Program

Final Report

Prepared for The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts
June 2010

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Evaluation of the CERF program

In 2009 the Department commissioned an independent consultant to evaluate the implementation and impacts of the Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities Program (CERF).

CERF evaluation report

The evaluation sought to address four strategic questions about the performance of the program. They were:

  • How well has the CERF Program performed against its objective to disburse $100 million over four years to expand and strengthen public good environmental research?
  • How well has the CERF Program performed in terms of developing research capacity?
  • How well has the CERF Program performed in terms of building research knowledge?
  • How well has the CERF Program performed in terms of use of its outputs by decision and policymakers?

A wide variety of stakeholders, including researchers and departmental representatives, were surveyed as part of this process. The conclusions drawn were shaped by the partial change in program focus part-way into its delivery. That is, from a public good research program towards delivering research outputs that meet policy decision-maker requirements. The report was finalised in June 2010.

CERF evaluation response

The Department has prepared a response to the detailed recommendations listed in the evaluation report (see Appendix B of the report). The information in this report, including the recommendations, was instrumental in the development of the follow-on National Environmental Research Program (NERP). The Departmental response will be implemented throughout the development of the NERP.

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