Between early November 2004 and mid-April 2005, the three-member review panel undertook interviews with 110 individuals from South and North Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), scientific institutions, governments (South and North), the private sector, and secretariat members of United Nations agencies. Panel members also visited the four ETC Group offices in Ottawa, Carrboro, Mexico City, and Oxford and talked with staff, board representatives, and donor organizations. The panel had the opportunity to observe ETC staff giving seminars, participating in meetings, and lobbying at intergovernmental meetings. The panel also reviewed historic and current ETC Group communiqués and studies. Although the panel’s investigations were wide-ranging, its intent was to develop an overview of the work and worth of the Group and to make general recommendations regarding its future activities and organization. Thus, while wide-ranging, the review process was not in-depth. With this caveat, the review panel has no hesitation in presenting its response to the questions laid out for it in the Terms of Reference agreed.
ETC Group enjoys an extraordinary reputation among South civil society organizations and governments as a highly-effective and cost-efficient source of research and analysis on the socio-economic impact of new technologies impacting developing countries. ETC Group is widely-respected by governments, intergovernmental agencies, scientists and social movements for its political acumen and research accuracy. Its partners consider ETC to be innovative, far-sighted and valuable. ETC’s unique style and stance often makes it controversial and the organization has its detractors, particularly in the private sector and among some industrialized governments but the review panel – despite its own diversity of viewpoints – has no hesitation in warmly commending ETC Group to its donors and partners for continuing and strengthened support.