Expertise, the sharing of experience and knowledge, constitutes the basis of the birth and success of projects. A complex facility cannot be built without engineering, prior calculations and support. Likewise, public reforms cannot be carried out without them being conceived, identified and their implementation being organized; identification, information, drafting, formation, support, measure, control, evaluation… are essential steps that constitute expertise. Expertise, when it is used for the benefit of fragile or less developed countries, crisis or post-crisis regions, incidentally remains the last field on which developed countries can show a comparative advantage today, when the help of Northern countries – when it takes the form of loans or when conditions are attached to it – remains rare and is challenged by other forms of funding. The big 2015 and post-2015 issues (Development Finance, Sustainable Development Goals, fight against climate change) assert the need for the capacity to mobilize women and men who are ready to share their experience of public policies and their analytical capacity to formulate policies and implement development projects.
Official reports and initiatives have been following one another since the late 90s – that was last century – to point out the emergency for French expertise to remain a leading force on international scene, on the market as well as in think tanks, in order for France to keep on weighing on business and to play an appropriate role on the world scene. The Tenzer report, handed over to the Prime Minister in 2008, was not the first one of its kind, and has been followed since then by many others, both in France (Maugüe, Berthou reports…) and in international institutions such as OECD. The inception of IDEFIE– i.e. the emergency to mobilize and organize ourselves – remains more than ever relevant.
The international market of expertise is significant, billions of euros every year of pure intellectual services, if one includes their long-term effects on supply and work contracts. The positive impacts for companies and employment are huge. Beyond the economic dimension, being a leader in expertise is tantamount to designing technical as well as legal norms, standards and “good practice”, in what actually is an economic world war. In this competition, the more forerunners “sell” their concepts to working groups in international organizations, to think tanks, global or regional universities as well as to global or specialized medias, the more they succeed.
Since 2008, the leading industrial nations have adapted. They understood that their presence alongside countries aiming at developing their economic performance in order to satisfy their citizens’ basic needs required the implementation of tools as well as expertise.
France did not remain idle and the creation in the summer 2014 of the position of “Délégué interministériel à la cooperation technique internationale, par ailleurs president d’Expertise France” (International delegate for international technical cooperation, President of Expertise France), a new agency created from the merging of 6 public operators, shows the will to reform and adapt to modern world. The French companies specialized in expertise in public policy (technical support to governments, agencies, public authorities…) are efficient and competitive, as they have a strong share on the European funding business.
IDEFIE is a forum for debate and exchange, which generates analyses and propositions for the involvement (proposition: commitment) of French-speaking expertise in public policy. There are numerous specialized networks. One of IDEFIE’s tasks is to put some of them together. We, at IDEFIE, are the open multidisciplinary forum, source of proposals, think tank dedicated to expertise, in a constant dialogue with operators, funders, the private sector, academia, regions, sectoral networks……
The observatory for expertise analyses, deciphers and shares with its members the constant motion affecting the market.
This means :