The independent review of performance of the FRDC, undertaken in 2018 by Forest Hill Consulting, made two recommendations that have given rise to this review:
• Recommendation 3: During the development of the next RD&E plan, FRDC should review the way it organises and manages its RD&E program (its investment and evaluation framework) with the aim of simplifying it so that it is easily understood by the average stakeholder.
• Recommendation 7: FRDC should strengthen its approach to extension, possibly by creating a specific position to oversee or coordinate extension across the organisation.
Recommendation 3 reflected a finding that the FRDC's investment and evaluation framework is very complex and difficult to understand from outside the organisation, even by stakeholders who are closely engaged with and have a good understanding of the FRDC. This is likely to be creating additional overhead cost for the organisation and for those working with it (for example, researchers submitting project applications), and leading to sub-optimal understanding by stakeholders of FRDC's performance.
The FRDC's approach to extension (recommendation 7) is closely tied to its stakeholder engagement model, hence its inclusion in the scope of the current project.