IIAS had a great year 2018; one of its best for a very long time. Under the leadership of IIAS governance Boards and standing committees, the Secretariat completed the restructuring of its events, which was started in 2017 and staged very successful IIAS, IASIA and EGPA conferences. Income from the three events more than doubled from the previous year. New business models negotiated for the organization of the events contributed to this result. Detailed reports about the three events are included in the report.
Combined with an organizational restructuring that is still ongoing, and the renegotiation of all service contracts which has just been finished, our financial result at the end of the year 2018 was above what was forecasted and previously announced to the IIAS Boards. Not only were we able to finance the accumulated losses from previous exercises, we also cleared our accounting of all debt prior to 2016. Our financial situation at the end of 2018 is hence a true reflection of our solvency. Financial insolvency which was a serious risk a year ago is no longer a threat. To the contrary, with the good results of 2018 and even better perspectives for 2019, IIAS has started to rebuild its reserves and invest in the type of projects that are in line with its mission.
EVENTS & ACTIVITIES
In 2019, IIAS has already lined up a number of events and activities that span the entire year. Other than the annual conferences of its major entities, including the regional group conferences, a number of new events will see the light of day; namely the Governance Week; an upgrade of our customary statutory meetings which were held ‘incognito’ in the past in the backrooms of our Brussels headquarters. The Board meetings of the three entities that depend on the Secretariat in Brussels have been transformed into a public event where IIAS and its partners discuss how to work together to develop strategic governance agendas. The IIAS Academy, a gathering of young professionals from the IIAS network in Brussels to empower them to pursue career opportunities in research, consultancy and policy advice, will take place for the first time. Regional seminars in Kaunas, Lithuania; Doha, Qatar; and Tehran, Iran will promote IIAS agendas into these new markets. New capacity building services will be inaugurated in 2019, including those in support of ICAPA and EAPAA accreditation.
In 2018, a strategic concept for the engagement with China was developed and served as a basis for a reformulation of our partnership with our Chinese members. The concept was further adapted during the AGPA conference for a wider Asian audience. This same concept will be used as a new framework for IIAS strategy to maximize the value-added for its members. Resources will be invested in 2019 to ensure that our members feel the reinvigorated action of IIAS.
WAY TO GO....
The tremendous progress that we made over the last 2 years should not hide our shortcomings which we are working hard to overcome. First, we have to upgrade our scientific production beyond IRAS and the book series with Palgrave and Larcier-Bruylant. We aim for IIAS to become a platform for scientific collaborations between its members; and to coordinate the production of policy papers which materialize the influence of IIAS on world governance. Second, we need to institutionalize our operations through the formalization of our processes and a communication strategy that puts our members at the heart of our service delivery. Third, we have already started reengaging our strategic partners (ETF, OECD, UNDESA, etc.) in view of developing joint projects and a common action on the World’s governance scene. These and others, have been discussed during a strategy retreat on January 9th, 2019 and shall guide our action for the coming two years.