INFFER™ consists of a seven-step process, which begins with identifying significant assets and works through project development, project assessment and selection, implementation and, finally, monitoring, evaluation and adaptive management (details below).
It is also possible to use elements of INFFER selectively. See the Ways to use INFFER page.
The Project Assessment Form (PAF), completed in Step 3, is the key component of the process. This is where users record information about the asset, the threats compromising it, the goals that the project will achieve, and the actions needed to achieve those goals. Judgements about the likelihood of success in terms of technical feasibility and community and government support are also made and recorded here, and the proposed project budget is specified. The core information is used to calculate a Benefit:Cost Ratio that indicates the project’s value for money.
Along the way, practical support is provided, such as the Public:Private Benefit Framework, which helps determine the most effective type of delivery mechanism for the particular project (e.g., extension, incentive payments, regulation or technology development), or the Project Assessment Form web site, which collects and integrates the information needed to assess a project’s Benefit: Cost Ratio.
The INFFER process involves these seven steps.
Step 1: Identifying significant assets – A list of significant natural assets that are candidates for investment is prepared. These assets can be drawn from existing documents or lists, from community workshops, from relevant experts, or from analytical processes, such as systematic conservation planning. At the regional level, the list may include 100 to 300 significant assets. Download Significant Asset Identification Guide (INFFER Step 1) (2.6MB pdf ). For a brief introduction to the concept of natural assets, see the Defining Assets page.
Step 2: Filtering significant assets – Using a simplified set of criteria, the list of significant assets is filtered down to ~20-40 assets. Our suggested approach is to identify assets of high significance, with high current or predicted future damage. Then the filtered list is further reduced (to ~10-20) using the five questions on the INFFER Pre-assessment Checklist. Assets may be culled at this point because they are not spatially explicit, because a specific, measurable time-bound goal cannot be formulated, or because an initial assessment indicates that the project would not be cost-effective. Download pdf (164K)
Step 3: The Project Assessment Form – Using the INFFER Project Assessment Form, develop an internally consistent project for each asset on the reduced list. This process draws together readily available information, consisting of desktop review of publications and reports, and consultation with the community and with relevant experts. Information required at step 3 includes: asset significance, threats, project goal, works and actions, time lags, effectiveness of works, private adoption of actions, delivery mechanisms and costs. Using this information, apply the Public: Private Benefits Framework to help select policy mechanisms, and calculate a Benefit: Cost Ratio to be used in project ranking. The output from step 3 is a Project Assessment Report which includes: the Benefit: Cost Ratio, risk factors (practice change, technical feasibility, socio-politics, long-term funding), spin-offs, quality of information and key information gaps. Download pdf (799K)
The Project Assessment Form web site, including example projects, is available for you to explore. See instructions: pdf (172K)
Step 4: Selection of priority projects - Select a short list of priority assets/projects based on the information in the Project Assessment Report and other relevant considerations. Download pdf (37K)
See also the schematic diagram of Steps 1-4. This diagram is designed for the context of regional NRM bodies but is broadly relevant to other contexts.
Step 5: Investment plans or funding proposals - Develop investment plans or proposals for external funding (depending on whether INFFER is being used to allocate an internal budget or to develop and assess projects for external funding). Download pdf (29K)
Step 6: Implementing funded projects – Implement those projects that receive funding. In many cases, the first stage of a project should consist of a detailed feasibility investment, involving targeted collection of additional information to strengthen the assessment done in step 3. Download pdf (40K)
Step 7: Monitoring, evaluation and adaptive management – Monitor, evaluate and adaptively manage projects. After feasibility assessment, and at regular intervals thereafter (say every two years), the data in the original Project Assessment Form for each funded asset/project should be updated to reflect lessons learned, progress towards outcomes, and any new data or analysis that has become available. At this point, managers should consider whether the original design of the project is still suitable, and whether the project should remain a priority. Download pdf (62K)