The current year marks a period of consolidation for the Forum of Federations. Through its foundational programs in support of countries transitioning to federal or decentralized governance models the Forum has built a reputation as a credible source for comparative international expertise on building peaceful pluralism. Ongoing programs in Tunisia, Burma (Myanmar), Nepal, and Ethiopia assisted a number of these countries achieve major political and constitutional milestones. A pilot program in Somalia has laid the groundwork for long term engagement in that country’s federalization process, as has the Forum’s support to IGAD’s Federal-Decentralized Governance Network. The Forum worked closely with a number of stakeholders to deliver major research programs in support of policy making in partner countries. Programs addressing the institutional choices for bridging territorial cleavages, intergovernmental relations, and fiscal federalism were at the heart of these efforts. New programs on education and federalism, and immigration and integration, have also been launched with promising starts. The intellectual capital produced by these programs allows the Forum to remain at the cutting edge of federalism expertise, while also bolstering its development assistance activities.
The Forum has also had a productive year on communications and outreach. First, a number of publications were produced as outputs from our core programs, including volumes on: fiscal equalization; courts in federal countries; and public security in federal systems. Additionally, a number of occasional papers and training guides were published in support of our development assistance programs. Significantly, the Forum has expanded the use of audiovisual material for its training activities in development assistance projects. This years’ launch of the re-designed Forum website provides a platform from which the organization can utilize new media technologies to more effectively communicate with its audience. A re-launch of the organization’s social media presence has provided us with unprecedented reach. By the end of the year the Forum’s Facebook page already had 25,000 followers and its audiovisual materials had been downloaded by thousands of users.
The continued high level of output has allowed the Forum to remain the leading organization on federalism and devolved multilevel government. This would not be possible without generous contributions from our partner countries. The support of the board and the stewardship of our Chairman Georg Milbradt has been critical in surmounting many challenges. The professionalism and productivity of the organization is a testament to the diligence of all my colleagues at the Forum.