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High marks for sustainable development research institute

29.06.2010
Research at SEI, the Stockholm Environment Institute, is of consistently high scientific quality, but SEI must get better at marketing its research and itself. The Institute also needs to develop its co-operation with the private sector. These are the findings of the international panel of experts which Formas has engaged for the governmental remit of evaluating SEI’s research.

“SEI,” says Emdad Haque, Professor at the University of Manitoba and panel chairman, “is one of the few international institutes addressing sustainable development at global level. Large parts of the research it undertakes are on the cutting edge internationally, and at the same time its research is of high social relevance. But the Institute needs to devise a strategy for highlighting its strong points and to develop a closer relationship and closer co-operation with the government departments.”

The panel goes on to say that the Institute is perceived as dependable and impartial and that SEI has considerable competence for carrying out international evaluations and synthesising research findings. But its basic funding needs to be boosted from the present MSEK 12 to MSEK 25 or 30 if it is to be capable of taking long-term strategic initiatives.

SEI’s research is intended to underpin the Government’s environmental policy-making. The evaluation, encompassing the scientific quality of the research and its relevance to environmental policy, was carried out by a panel consisting of five international researchers.

In addition, the Government has tasked the Swedish Agency for Public Management (Statskontoret) with evaluating the benefit and value, as well as organisational aspects, of SEI’s activities.

SEI, which was formed in 1988, addresses policy issues relating to local, regional and global sustainable development, focusing on strategic environmental issues and measures to combat poverty, its foremost purpose being to support decision-making and capacity-building. SEI has 180 associates stationed at 7 different offices throughout the world and is headquartered in Stockholm.

The Institute’s basic funding allocation of about MSEK 12 comes from the Ministry of the Environment. It also receives funding from clients, such as SIDA (the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency), the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Formas, as well as grants from EU and UN agencies. Formas finances individual projects. Altogether SEI turnover MSEK 167 in 2008.

Further information
Rolf Annerberg, rolf.annerberg@formas.se
Emilie von Essen, eve@formas.se

Emilie v Essen | idw
Further information:
http://www.formas.se

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