OAD External Review 2021

The Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) underwent its second external review in early 2021.

The review panel consisted of:

  1. Ian Corbett (Convener) – General Secretary of the International Astronomical Union (2009-2012) and European Southern Observatory (retired)
  2. Daya Reddy – President of the International Science Council (2018-2021) and University of Cape Town, South Africa
  3. You-Hua Chu – Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Taiwan

The review covered the period from April 2014 to March 2020. The outcome was very positive with a recommendation to renew the hosting of the OAD in South Africa until 2027. This recommendation was later endorsed at a high-level meeting between the International Astronomical Union, the South African National Research Foundation (NRF), and the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI).

The full review report with terms of reference, as well as the OAD management response, is publicly available on the NRF website or can be downloaded below.

A quote from the review report captures the spirit expressed to us by the panel:

“Our interviews with major stakeholders and the written input we have received endorse our conclusion that the performance of the OAD has been outstanding by any standards, and exceptional given the small size of the core team, its global remit and its relatively modest resources.”

– OAD external review panel, 2021

As part of the review, the OAD submitted a Self-Evaluation report for the period 2014-2020. This document traces the evolution of the OAD, its philosophy and context, challenges, lessons learned as well as the major achievements in this period.