What determines the cost?
Factors influencing the cost include:
- The number of people in the project team - and their qualifications, experience and background and therefore their renumerations;
- The duration of the exercise;
- The number of events (meetings, workshops, conferences, ...);
- The travel and subsistence expenses of at least some of the participants;
- The profile of the exercise (e.g. whether prestigious individuals expecting VIP treatment are involved);
- The possible sub-contracting of some blocks of work (e.g. running questionnaires, websites, etc.);
- The location of the exercise's activities (e.g. cost of venues);
- The publicity materials;
- The publication of the results;
- The mechanisms used for broad consultation (e.g. questionnaires, surveys).
- The methods applied.
Usually participants in the Foresight exercise, such as members of the steering committee, the panel and survey respondents are not paid. However, in some cases expenses such as the travel costs or accommodation are reimbursed. Also some exercises have decided to pay small allowances to participant groups who have taken on a substantial part of the workload, such as writing up panel reports. Usually some events are organised to make participating in the exercise more attractive (dinners, guided tours, attractive venues, well-known speakers). Although these measures can be a useful way of keeping up the momentum of the exercise, the main motivation for participating must arise out of an interest in the exercise, that is, a desire to take part in its decisions, help shape the visions, or to be involved in the networking and learning effects. If participants are not motivated, no financial incentives will make up for it. High-ranking stakeholders in particular will not be induced to give up their precious time unless they have a real interest in the exercise.
There is more information on costs in some of the example cases:
Calculating the cost
It will be necessary to calculate the cost in the early stages of the exercise. This will have to be done on the basis of the implementation plan. This plan will need to give clear details of the total duration of the activity, the ways and means by which it will be updated, and the relative financial requirements. It should also include the consequent hypothesis of identification of resources.
See also: The Implementation Plan
A Foresight exercise needs to build on a number of resources that cannot be assessed in terms of time and money such as:
- Local institutions;
- Business structure;
- Knowledge infrastructure;
- Social capital.