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Advisory Services and Research FAQs


If you have a question that is not answered below, please contact Lynn Knight, CEcD at lknight@iedconline.org or (202) 223-7800.


How can Advisory Services provide assistance to my community or organization?

We offer customized economic development technical assistance through advisory panel site visits as well as research and reports. Examples of how we can help you include:

Economic Development Strategic Planning and Organizational Development
Research Publications and Policy Analysis
Trainings and Workshops
Real Estate Development and Reuse
Neighborhood Development & Revitalization

Other types of work include a variety of customized projects in fields such as entrepreneurship, sustainability, workforce development, business retention, among many others.


What is the expert panel approach?

We enlist IEDC members as experts to accompany staff on a visit to the client community. Panelists and IEDC staff interview stakeholders to identify issues and present preliminary findings to the client at the end of the site visit. We prepare a background report prior to the site visit and a final report afterward. The Final Report includes detailed recommendations and case study research.


What is the benefit of the expert panel process?

The panel process draws knowledge and experience from a national membership, which includes experts in a variety of economic development strategic areas: organizational development and strategic planning, benchmarking, best practices, neighborhood revitalization, workforce development, sustainability, entrepreneurship, finance, and real estate, among others. Panels deliver objective, practical recommendations, customized to address challenges facing the client organization.


How long does an ASR Project last?

The typical ASR project is four to six months, depending on the scope of services and the complexity of the issues in the client community. We also do longer-term projects that may last eight months to over a year if they effectively meet the needs of the project. Prior to the site visit, we prepare a background report. We deliver a draft final report about three-to-four months after the site visit, with final revisions coming several weeks later.


How much does it cost?

The cost is based on the travel expenses, staff time and services required. ASR staff will develop a unique, cost-effective budget for each project. Please contact us for further details.


How does Advisory Services handle relations with IEDC consultant members?

We do not compete as a prime contractor on state and local entity requests-for-proposals unless the competitors are part of a non-member group, such as a trade association. Our participation in local technical assistance requires a sole-source arrangement with the client community or organization. We compete openly on federal RFPs, such as those issued by US Environmental Protection Agency or the US Department of Justice.


What is my role as an expert panelist?

As part of the Advisory Team, member panelists:

• Review a background report prepared by IEDC staff before a site visit
• Join IEDC staff on a 2-3 day site visit, which includes interviews, meetings and a presentation of preliminary recommendations
• Review and comment on an outline of report recommendations prepared by IEDC staff
• Review and comment on a draft final report prepared by IEDC staff


How are expert panelists selected?

We choose expert panelists from a membership of over 4,500 leaders in the economic development profession. In selecting panelists, our goal is to match the problem-solving experience of an economic development professional with the issues facing the client community. We also try to find members with experience in communities of similar demographic, economic or geographic characteristics. We maintain a database of individuals who are interested in participating on an IEDC panel.

If you have economic development expertise and want to participate on a panel, please contact Lynn Knight, CEcD at lknight@iedconline.org to be included in our database for consideration in future projects.


What kind of experience is IEDC looking for in its panelists?

Although it varies by project, IEDC typically seeks economic development professionals with expertise in at least one of the following areas: strategic planning and organizational development, entrepreneurial and small business development, neighborhood economic development, commercial corridor revitalization, EDO management, workforce development, business attraction, retention, and expansion, real estate development or urban redevelopment.


How much time will this take me?

Typically, panelists join IEDC staff on site visits lasting 2 to 3 days. Panelists and staff interview local stakeholders and make a presentation of preliminary findings and recommendations at the conclusion of the visit. Following the site visit, panelists review the staff-produced draft final report.


Do I get paid?

Panelists receive a $250-a-day stipend for domestic, non federally funded site visits, though they are primarily volunteers. International site visits and visits funded by our federal grants typically do not include a stipend.


Who pays for expenses?

IEDC covers all expenses for the site visit.


Am I responsible for arranging my travel and accommodations?

IEDC handles all on-site logistics including accommodations. Panelists are asked to make their own travel reservations, for which they will be reimbursed, in accordance with IEDC travel policy and against project budget approval.


Can I earn re-certification points for my CEcD?

Yes. CEcDs earn two level II points for participating in an ASR advisory panel. View complete details on recertification points. Contact Marjorie Rose at mrose@iedconline.org if you have any questions.


Do I get to pick where I go?

We usually approach panelists for a specific upcoming project; however we try to accommodate member requests to the extent possible.


What's in it for me?

As part of a panel, IEDC members have the opportunity to participate in economic development projects around the country and throughout the world. By joining an IEDC team, members gain practical and new experience, grow their portfolio of work, increase their exposure, and most importantly, contribute their knowledge and experience to others in the field.


Who will accompany me on the site visit?

A site visit team is usually comprised of two IEDC staff members and one-to-two other member advisory panelists


Do I need to be a member of IEDC to join an Expert Panel?

Yes.


How do I request to be on an expert panel?

To join a panel, contact Lynn Knight, CEcD at lknight@iedconline.org or (202) 223-7800. Please send a bio or resume that highlights relevant experience or expertise.


How can I find out more about ASR’s services?

Please see the Advisory Services homepage.