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Summative Evaluation - Global Partnership Program Bio Non-Proliferation Stream

(February 2008)

(PDF Version, 560 KB) *


Executive Summary

Introduction

The Biological Non-Proliferation (BNP) program of the Global Partnership Program is Canada's contribution to addressing the threat that has emanated from the remnants of the Former Soviet Union's vast biological weapons program. BNP addresses some of principles endorsed by the 2002 Kananaskis Summit G8 leaders as they relate to biological materials, equipment and know-how. These include promoting the adoption and strengthening of multilateral treaties (Principle 1), providing measures to account for, and secure, pathogens in use, storage and transport (Principle 2), securing facilities against sabotage (Principle 3), strengthening export and transshipment controls (Principle 5) and in minimizing holdings of dangerous biological pathogens and toxins (Principle 6).

Program Profile

The Bio Non-Proliferation (BNP) stream of the Global Partnership Program has developed three focal areas of activity, all related to reducing the threat associated with the proliferation of biological weapons (BW) and related materials. The first relates to the redirection of former weapons scientists and the implementation of projects through Russian/Former Soviet Union (FSU) Science Centers. Within this activity, BNP provides advice to the Redirection of Former Weapons Scientists (RFWS) stream of GPP on specific bio non-proliferation projects to be supported and funded through two Science Centers: the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) and the Science and Technology Center of Ukraine (STCU). The second and largest focal area is that of biosecurity and biosafety, an area that encompasses a range of initiatives from translating guidelines to upgrading the security and safety of biological facilities. The third focal area accounts for efforts aimed at the wider context of the BNP program including the strengthening of international governance of the non-proliferation of BW and other related issues.

The articulation of these three areas has been the outcome of an evolution in design and program development. At its inception in January 2003, BNP activities were limited to supporting RFWS bio-related projects, which now forms only a small component of its overall activities. In February 2006, BNP was elevated to full stream status, having developed and implemented over the course of three years, a multifaceted program and strategy encompassing the three focal areas described above. This strategy has thus far been a success, having achieved a range of results in a relatively short time frame.

Evaluation Objectives

The objective of this evaluation is to assess the extent to which GPP's BNP stream is: 1) relevant to Canada's international priorities and those of other GP stakeholders, 2) cost-effective, and 3) achieving results. Furthermore, this study contributes to the evaluation of the GP Program as a whole by informing the assessment of GPP's net effects and analyzing GPP's contribution to Canada's international agenda and foreign policy objectives.

These evaluation objectives have been pursued while recognizing the fact that BNP programming has evolved considerably in scope and size over the first five years. Reported results, therefore, do not reflect a full five years of programming as is typical of a summative evaluation.

Relevance

By focusing on building capacity to improve the security and safety of biological materials in Russia and other FSU states, the BNP program is directly targeting the risks associated with the proliferation of biological materials and weapons in these countries. In so doing, the BNP stream continues to be broadly relevant to several of the priorities and commitments of DFAIT and the Government of Canada.

Underpinning the relevance of the BNP program is the assumption that there is in fact a risk in the potential for both states and non-state actors to use biological weapons or agents acquired from Russia/FSU. This assumption is, by the majority of accounts, widely supported. Indeed, the level of risk and associated threats are recognized as being high and on the increase. Two broad reasons are quoted for these trends. The first reason has to do with the nature of biological pathogens and the potential for their use as weapons. The second reason has to do with the countries themselves, their historical association with the Soviet biological weapons program, their current poor state of biological infrastructure, and the weak level of biosafety and biosecurity awareness.

Cost-Effectiveness

BNP Implementation Model:

The BNP program(1) has, since its inception, been funded through the Global Partnership Special Project Fund, and continues to be so even after having been elevated to full-stream status in February 2006. To deliver its diverse program, the BNP stream relies on several mechanisms, but most extensively on the Science Centers, and primarily ISTC, which it accesses through the RFWS stream. To date, this arrangement has not been much of an impediment to achieving BNP objectives. Strong working relationships and communication with RFWS and the Science Centers has meant that no proposals have yet been turned down for want of funds or attention. As a full stream program, however, and one that is to expand significantly in expenditures, the benefits of BNP operating through RFWS are less apparent. BNP has thus far been selective in the projects it pursues through the RFWS stream but as the program expands, this approach will likely prove to be an impediment. Moreover, its reliance on RFWS for ISTC resources has made financial planning for the various initiatives more difficult by the fact that there is no clear articulation with RFWS on how much money is or will be available to BNP.

Management:

Delivery of BNP initiatives depends on a wide variety of actors, engaged formally and informally within the overall governance structure. This system appears to be effective in achieving BNP objectives, with no major difficulties noted. At the management level, the BNP group has benefited from the strong support within the Global Partnership Bureau (IGX) from senior management, and from an informality that has allowed for ready access to top levels of management. This has helped quicken responses to key issues and engender a positive and effective working environment. BNP management has reached out effectively to other Canadian departments and agencies as well as to other donor countries to help it develop and deliver its strategy. Formally, BNP has established or is in the process of establishing Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with three government agencies, and informally, the group has maintained highly productive relationships with U.S. and U.K. counterparts through weekly interactions, regular group consultations, and strong cooperation.

Costs:

Based on the significant number of concrete outputs in a relatively short period of time and with modest operating expenditures, the evaluation concluded that the BNP program is, overall, cost-effective in its operation. This performance is due to the fact that several activities of the program have only a nominal dollar value but are nonetheless of importance to achieving BNP objectives, as well as to the use of the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) and the Science and technology Center of Ukraine (STCU) for the redirection of bio-weapons scientists.

BNP operating costs have been increasing steadily as the program has expanded but are still low in comparison to other GPP streams. The budget for 2006-07 was $272,900 compared to $222,700 in the previous year.

Success

The BNP stream has achieved planned results in each of its three focal areas: 1) redirection of former weapons scientists; 2) biosafety and biosecurity; and 3) support for global BNP initiatives. All results to date are in line with intended outcomes of the BNP, though it should be noted that due to the relatively recent ramping-up of the BNP program, results and impacts have not had the benefit of a full five years of operation at a steady level as is the case with the other streams.

Redirection Support:

From March 2004, the BNP stream has been involved in the redirection of 538 former BW scientists and technicians through some 29 projects, funded by RFWS, worth $US 6,565,991.(2) Projects are ongoing in Russia, Georgia, Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic. The BNP group has also been involved in the monitoring of several of these projects, through follow-on site visits at respective institutes.

Biosafety and Biosecurity:

The largest component of the BNP program is a series of initiatives aimed at enhancing biosafety and biosecurity in Russia and the other FSU states. These initiatives have been developed out of a four pronged strategy concerned with i) the development and implementation of national biosafety/biosecurity standards; ii) providing assistance in establishing national and regional biosafety associations and integrating professionals within existing international biosafety associations; iii) providing biosafety and biosecurity training; and iv) upgrading bio facilities, and constructing new facilities to address serious proliferation concerns. Initiatives in each of these areas are as follows:

  • Standards Guidelines: Seven (7) manuals translated in Russian - distributed to hundreds of scientists and institutes in six (6) FSU states;
  • Associations: Established three (3) professional associations; supported 80 scientists to attend international association conferences;
  • Training: One training centre established, three in development; organized / sponsored eight (8) workshops; presentations and outreach at 26 workshops and conferences;
  • Facilities: Planning for Level-3 Biological Containment Laboratory in the Kyrgyz Republic; 39 assessment visits of institutes in five FSU states; approximately 26 upgrades of equipment and practices ($5.5M).

Support for global BNP initiatives:

Efforts related to the international governance of biosafety and biosecurity have been varied and included commissioning a study "Pathogens for Peace" from the Washington D.C. based Stimson Centre, fostering the accession of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) and supporting Canada's participation in the Australia Group. Thus far, the BNP group has engaged with both Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic on the issue of the BTWC, both of whom have now acceded to the convention. The effect has been to strengthen the commitment in Central Asia to the non-proliferation of biological weapons and related material.

Conclusions

BNP Strategy

BNP has managed to achieve impressive results in a relatively short time frame, having only attained full-stream status late in the first half of the GPP. Through accessing expertise and experience of a range of delivery support actors including other Canadian departments and agencies and other donor countries, the BNP group has developed and begun to deliver a strategy addressing threat reduction arising from the proliferation of biological weapons and related materials. The strategy embraces a comprehensive, 'full spectrum' approach that focuses on biosecurity and biosafety, the redirection of former weapons scientists and the related governance aspects. In addition to building capacity to secure biological materials in Russia and the FSU states, the strategy has helped open up dialogue with Russia, has improved Canada's visibility and standing within the global biosecurity and biological non-proliferation community, and has strengthened Canada's relationship with the US.

BNP Challenges

For all its success, the BNP stream faces several challenges in the second half of the GPP funding period. In order to continue to realize its objectives, maintaining staff stability in BNP will be important to sustaining productive relationships in FSU states. Indeed, Canada's standing in the area of biosecurity and biosafety among recipient states and within the global BNP community is mainly due to the quality and professionalism of its staff. A second challenge will be to ensure that current initiatives respond to the recognition that for BNP program outcomes to be sustained, long-term training and engagement will be required beyond the current funding window of 2012. This is particularly relevant to the bio-containment facilities now being planned, which will be running well after the GPP program has ended.

Improving benefits to Canada is another challenging area for most of the GPP streams and for BNP in particular. Besides pursuing enhanced international security in the area of biological weapons and materials, the BNP team is trying to address this challenge by "twinning" a new laboratory in the Kyrgyz Republic with the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health (CSCHAH) in Winnipeg, by engaging other government departments and Canadian organizations, and by supporting the RFWS sustainability efforts.

A fourth challenge is related to establishing BNP as a separate stream of GPP with substantially more funding than it currently is allocated under the existing Global Partnerships Special Project Fund. This growth will bring new responsibilities, a more direct link the science centres, and require a full staffing which has been difficult to achieve since being elevated to full-stream status in February 2006.

BNP Extension

Finally, as BNP moves towards 2012, there is considerable interest within the BNP and biosecurity community and among donor countries to see Canada continue its leadership role in the area of biosafety and biosecurity. In particular, given the global nature of the threat, there is a need and interest in having Canada extend the regional focus of its successful strategy beyond Central Asia and Russia. Such a move will require that in-depth deliberations and planning begin in the near future if key personnel are to be maintained beyond 2012.

Recommendations

Recommendation 1:
Continue BNP but with full stream funding

BNP has thus far achieved a number of important results in a relatively short time frame and in a cost-effective manner that are consistent with the overall objectives of GPP. Moreover, it is on the cusp of expanding significantly, with current planning underway for the construction of one of two Level-3 Biological Containment Laboratories. These are expected to have a significant impact on program objectives. It is therefore recommended that BNP be continued but at a level of full-stream funding that will allow it to realize its current strategy.

Recommendation 2:
Enable BNP to manage relevant programs and funds directly with ISTC and STCU

To allow for improved program planning, it is recommended that BNP have the ability to contribute BNP program funds directly to the ISTC and/or STCU. Having such an arrangement would sever its dependence on RFWS for ISTC and STCU access and give BNP the needed authority to allocate resources effectively over the longer term for its diverse initiatives.

Recommendation 3:
Increase in-field resources as program commitments expand

The BNP stream has a diverse project portfolio that is set to become more complex with the construction of the containment facility in the Kyrgyz Republic. To improve oversight of existing initiatives and assist in the delivery of an expanding program, it is recommended that more resources be committed to the FSU region either within the ISTC or in the countries themselves. This will help improve information flows between the project sites and Ottawa, and allow for quicker responses to issues that will emerge with the facility construction.

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List of Acronyms

BNP
Biological Non-proliferation
BS BS
Biosafety and Biosecurity
BTWC
Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention
CFIA
Canada Food Inspection Agency
DFAIT
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
DND
Department of National Defence
DoE
Department of Energy (US)
E.U.
European Union
FSU
Former Soviet Union
FY
Fiscal Year
GDP
Gross Domestic Product
GoC
Government of Canada
GP
Global Partnership
GPP
Global Partnership Program
GPSPF
Global Partnership Special Projects Fund
IGX
Global Partnership Bureau, DFAIT
ISTC
International Science and Technology Center
LPAS
Local Public Address System
MOU
Memorandum of Understanding
NACD
Non-proliferation Arms Control and Disarmament
NGO
Non-governmental Organization
NPT
Non-Proliferation Treaty
NSERC
Natural Sciences Engineering Research Council
OGDs
Other Government Departments
PHAC
Public Health Agency of Canada
PM
Program Manager
PMF
Project Management Framework
PWGSC
Public Works and Government Services Canada
R D
Research and Development
RBAF
Risk-based Audit Framework
RFP
Request for Proposal
RFWS
Redirection of Former Weapons Scientists
RMAF
Results-based Management and Accountability Framework
S T
Science and Technology
SPM
Senior Program Manager
SPF
Special Projects Fund
STCU
Science and Technology Center in Ukraine
TB
Treasury Board
U.K.
United Kingdom
UN
United Nations
U.S.
United States of America
WHO
World Health Organization
WMD
Weapons of Mass Destruction
WMMD
Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction
ZIE
Evaluation Division, DFAIT

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1.0 Introduction to BNP Stream

1.1 Background

At the 2002 Kananaskis Summit G8 leaders committed "to prevent terrorists or those that harbour them, from acquiring or developing nuclear, chemical, radiological and biological weapons … and related materials, equipment and technology." They further endorsed six principles related to preventing terrorists, or those that harbour them, from gaining access to nuclear, chemical, radiological, and biological weapons or materials of mass destruction. These principles, which were announced in conjunction with the four priority areas of the Global Partnership, have provided the mandate for G8 members to address the threat that has emanated from the remnants of the Former Soviet Union's vast biological weapons program.

Canada's contribution to this area has been its Biological Non-Proliferation (BNP) program which currently addresses five of the six principles to various extent as they relate to biological materials, equipment and know-how. These include promoting the adoption and strengthening of multilateral treaties (Principle 1), providing measures to account for, and secure, pathogens in use, storage and transport (Principle 2), securing facilities against sabotage (Principle 3), strengthening export and transshipment controls (Principle 5) and in minimizing holdings of dangerous biological pathogens and toxins (Principle 6).

This comprehensive scope stems from BNP's three focal areas, out of which numerous initiatives have been established. The first is that of redirection of former weapons scientists where the BNP stream provides oversight and advice to the RFWS stream over which bio projects to support. The second and largest focal area is that of biosecurity and biosafety (BS BS), an area that encompasses a range of initiatives from translating guidelines to upgrading facilities. The third focal area accounts for efforts aimed at the wider context of the BNP program including the strengthening of international governance of the non-proliferation of BW and other related issues.

The articulation of these three areas has been the outcome of an evolution in design and program development. At its inception in January 2003, BNP activity was limited to supporting RFWS bio-related projects, which now forms only a small component of its overall activities. In February 2006, BNP was elevated to full stream status, having developed and implemented over the course of three years, a multifaceted program and strategy that has achieved a range of results. Over these years, BNP has increased its staff and size, with three out of five positions filled as of August 2007, and expenditures reaching $272,900 in 2006-07. With plans under way for construction of two Level-3 Biological Containment Laboratories as part of its biosafety and biosecurity initiatives, BNP is on the cusp of further expansion and responsibilities.

Though officially recognized as a full stream program within the Global Partnership Bureau (IGX), BNP continues to be supported through the Global Partnerships Special Projects Fund (GPSPF), and currently relies on RFWS cooperation to pursue initiatives that use the Science Centres in Russia (ISTC) and Ukraine (STCU) as delivery mechanisms.

1.2 Evaluation Objectives

The objective of this evaluation is to assess the extent to which GPP's BNP stream is: 1) relevant to Canada's international priorities and those of other GP stakeholders, 2) cost-effective, and 3) achieving results. Furthermore, this study contributes to the evaluation of the GP Program as a whole by informing the assessment of GPP's net effects and analyzing GPP's contribution to Canada's international agenda and foreign policy objectives.

These evaluation objectives have been pursued while recognizing the fact that BNP programming has evolved considerably in scope and size over the first five years, as noted in the background. Reported results, therefore, do not reflect a full five years of programming as is typical of a summative evaluation.

1.3 Methodology

Research for this study has been framed by a set of evaluation issues and questions related to the relevance of the BNP program, its cost effectiveness and its success. The evaluation was conducted in the period April - November 2007. A number of methodological approaches were used to cross-reference information, such as document and file review, interviews with DFAIT and IGX management, with Canadian and international stakeholders, as well as with Russian and other FSU beneficiaries. A project-specific case study helped identify some of the program design and management approaches used by BNP.

Data Collection

In answering the questions listed in Table 1, several data sources have been drawn upon. These include interviews with 17 individuals including: IGX officials (3); other government departments (3); other GP donors (4) academics and non-government organizations (4), and with officials and scientists in a recipient country (3). Interviews carried out for the evaluation of RFWS have also been used to support the assessment of the redirection of former weapons scientists involved, or who have the potential to be involved in, biological weapons development. These interviews have been supported by an extensive literature and document review sourced from IGX and academic databases.

Table 1: BNP Stream Evaluation Questions and Data Sources
Evaluation QuestionsDocument / Database ReviewDFAITOGDFSU Collab-oratorsCdn / G8 Collab-oratorsOther DonorsCase Study
Relevance
1. To what extent are the BNP strategic priorities, activities and outcomes still relevant to achieving Canadian foreign policy objectives? Have the threats sought to be mitigated by BNP changed?XX
X
X
X
X
 XX
X
X
x
2. How have changes, if any, in the international policy environment since inception affected BNP activities and priorities?XX
X
X
X
X
  X
X
X
X
X
Cost Effectiveness
3. Is the current stream implementation model still appropriate? What are the advantages and disadvantages of funding BNP activities and projects under the "Global Partnership Special Project Fund" (GPSPF)? What are the advantages and disadvantages of delivering projects through RFWS and ISTC? What alternative models were considered?XX
X
X
XXXX
X
X
X
4. How effective was the cooperation between BNP and RFWS over the period 200-/04 to 2005-06? During this period, were BNP and RFWS projects mutually supportive in obtaining the intended results?XX
X
X
X    
5. Are operating costs (salaries, travel, training) appropriately allocated to maximize outputs?XX
X
X
XXXXX
6. To what extent does the governance structure for BNP provide the appropriate program oversight, coordination, and roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities?XX
X
X
XXX X
7. What are the strengths and weaknesses of BNP program management in terms of project selection, oversight and control, risk management, and knowledge and skills? Are best practices supported and corrective actions taken?XX
X
X
X
X
XX X
8. Does the current process encourage cooperation (or competition) among other donors and like-minded countries? How effective is this cooperation? Has there been any duplication with other relevant G8 programs?XX
X
X
X  X
X
X
X
9. How appropriate is the performance measurement system of the BNP? What is the level of quality of information and how is it used to prioritize activities and inform the decision making process? To what extent do the RMAF, RBAF, Accountability Framework, and Project Management Framework continue to be relevant today and what revisions, if any, are needed?XX
X
X
X   X
Success
10. What results have been achieved to date and are they consistent with the intended outcomes of the BNP? Has the BNP been able to achieve strategic leveraging of resources to maximize results? What have been the facilitating and impeding factors to the success of BNP? Are there any unintended results?

Indicators:

  • project milestones met
  • standards
  • number of standards and guidelines translated into Russian
  • number of institutes who received translated guidelines and standards
  • number of standards and guidelines distributed to Russian/FSU scientists
  • awareness and implementation of biosafety and biosecurity international best practices, standards and guidelines in Russia/FSU
  • existing guidelines and standards under review and revision in accordance with international benchmark

Biosafety Associations

  • biosafety associations under development in Russia and Central Asia
  • integration of Russian/FSU scientists into international biosafety/biosecurity community
  • attendance at international and national biosafety association meetings, workshops and courses

Training

  • number of FSU scientists trained on biosafety and biosecurity best practices
  • number of training workshops, courses, seminars, conferences held in Russia/FSU
  • number of non Russian/FSU workshops, courses, seminars, conferences attended by FSU/Russian scientists
  • number of institutes engaged and provided with increased awareness and capacity for proper biosecurity and biosafety procedures

Facilities

  • number of institutes assessed for biosafety and biosecurity
  • number of institutes funded through ISTC projects to upgrade biosafety and biosecurity equipment and practices
  • number of institutes funded through other mechanisms (e.g. partners) to upgrade biosafety and biosecurity equipment and practices

Redirection and reemployment

  • Number of BW scientists that have permanently entered the civilian economy and advanced beyond dependence on ISTC
  • Greater awareness of the need for more focus on biological non-proliferation by G8 nations

Awareness of need for biological focus

  • number of presentations given and events attended by BNP to promote biological non-proliferation
  • number of biological non-proliferation documents translated and distributed
  • evidence of increased focus on BNP by other countries

Public awareness

  • number of presentations given and events, meetings attended by BNP to promote biological non-proliferation
x
x
x
x
x
x
xx
x
x
x
x
x
xx
x
x
11. To what extent has BNP contributed to Canada's visibility, credibility and influence in the area of WMD threat reduction? Is Russia, and/or are other FSU countries, as a result of Canadian investments, more securely embarked on the path to reduce risks and threats posed by their stockpiles of pathogens?xx
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
xx
x
x
x
x
12. What are the lessons learned for Canada from BNP in terms of: Creating a Canadian capacity to significantly secure and (where appropriate) reduce pathogen collections? Increasing Canada's visibility in efforts to reduce WMMD threats? Enhancing Canada's relationship with FSU countries, the US, and other G8 nations? Enhancing environmental protection?xx
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x

1.3.1 Case Study

A case study has been carried out on BNP's programming in the Kyrgyz Republic. By focusing on specific initiatives in a single FSU state, the case study illustrates in greater detail the relevance, cost-effectiveness and impact of the various types of initiatives that make up the three program pillars of the BNP stream. From this standpoint, the Kyrgyz Republic is particularly relevant since it is the only FSU state where plans are underway to construct a level-three containment laboratory as part of biosecurity and biosafety efforts. Also relevant to this case study are the processes and actors involved in realizing program objectives. This is important due to the fact that many BNP initiatives are only just beginning and, therefore, have not had the benefit of five years of programming to achieve results that can be fully assessed as would be expected in a summative evaluation.

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2.0 Bio Non-Proliferation Program Overview

The BNP stream has developed three focal areas of activity, all related to reducing the threat associated with the proliferation of biological weapons and related materials. These are: 1) redirection of former weapons scientists; 2) biosafety and biosecurity; and 3) support for global BNP initiatives related to the stemming the proliferation of biological weapons and biomaterials.

2.1.1 Redirection of Former Weapons Scientists

The original core of the BNP program has been its redirection activities, whereby RFWS has been provided with recommendations in the selection of bio-projects which are to be supported by grants run through the ISTC and STCU and which involve Canadian research partners. In addition to providing advice on initial project selection, BNP officers also engage in follow up visits over the course of the project as part of its monitoring efforts and seek to involve RFWS-supported institutes in Biosafety/security initiatives.

2.1.2 Biosafety and Biosecurity

The largest component of the BNP program is a series of initiatives aimed at enhancing biosafety and biosecurity in Russia and other states of the Former Soviet Union. These initiatives have been developed out of a four pronged strategy concerned with i) the development and implementation of national biosafety/biosecurity standards; ii) providing assistance in establishing national and regional biosafety associations and integrating professionals within existing international biosafety associations; iii) providing biosafety and biosecurity training; and iv) upgrading bio facilities, and constructing new facilities to address serious proliferation concerns.

This strategy has been proven to be effective, having been originally developed by the World Health Organization and used by the Office of Laboratory Security of the Public Health Agency of Canada, one of five WHO Biosafety Collaborating Centres. Its integration into BNP came initially from effective cooperation with the Office of Laboratory Security (OLS), which culminated in the OLS Director joining IGX as Senior Biosafety Advisor on a half-time basis in October (2004) and on a full-time basis in October 2006.

Table 2: Overview of BNP Initiatives
BNP initiativehDescription
Biological Redirection ActivitiesSupport for Redirection of Former Weapons Scientists through RFWSOverseeing and advising on selection of research grants involving former biological weapons scientists with the goal of integrating them into the global scientific community/the civilian economy
Biosafety and BiosecurityStandards and guidelines development and implementationImplementation of biosafety and biosecurity international best practices;

Preparation and distribution of standards and guidelines

Revision of existing guidelines and standards in accordance with international benchmarks

Bio-safety associationsEstablishment of biosafety associations

Integration of scientists into international biosafety / biosecurity community

TrainingTraining on biosafety and biosecurity best practices

FSU institutes engaged and provided with increased awareness and capacity for proper biosecurity and biosafety procedures

Facility improvement and upgradeAssessment of bio facilities for biosafety and biosecurity

Upgrading of biosafety and biosecurity equipment and practices at FSU institutes

Global BNP InitiativesInternational governance of biological non-proliferation and related issuesStrengthening of international governance of BNP through engaging FSU states in international system of treaties and regulatory bodies (e.g. Non-Proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament regimes)

2.1.3 Support for Global BNP Initiatives, Fora and Mechanisms Biological

BNP's third focal area is the most loosely defined but nonetheless integral to the broader success of non-proliferation of biological weapons and materials. Interdependence of biosecurity with other areas of state activity - such as international treaties, export controls and national health systems - have required a broader engagement with the issues of bio non-proliferation. To date, activities have generally related to strengthening the international governance and understanding of biological non-proliferation, biosecurity and biosafety. This includes engaging FSU states to have them integrated into the international system through accession to existing biological weapons related treaties (e.g. BTWC) and to comply with the principles of multilateral fora like the Australia Group.(3)

2.2 Delivery Mechanisms

BNP's initiatives are diverse and complex, and have relied on more than one mechanism for their delivery. Foremost to the program are the multilateral bodies - the science centres - which are pivotal to the delivery of the redirection support via RFWS, and to the biosafety and biosecurity initiatives. Conference organization, travel arrangements for association meetings, and the establishment of training facilities all rely heavily on the expertise and resources at ISTC and STCU.

For its facilities work, and in particular, its construction of a Level-3 Biological Containment Laboratory in the Kyrgyz Republic, BNP has been engaged bilaterally with the recipient country and is in the process of formalizing this relationship through a bilateral treaty (i.e., Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic concerning Cooperation in the Field of Biological Security and Biological Safety). Such a treaty is necessary before construction can begin. The BNP group has also engaged with third parties, namely non-government organizations, for the delivery of initiatives which complement BNP objectives. The US-based International Council for the Life Sciences (ICLS) was supported to organize a conference on biological security and safety, while the Stimson Centre, a US-based think-tank, was commissioned to conduct a policy related study.

Alongside these mechanisms, the BNP group has also relied on the cooperation of Canada's Foreign Service including DFAIT officials in Ottawa, Moscow Embassy staff, and the Canadian Ambassador to Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to facilitate initiatives.

2.3 Program Objectives

The BNP program's main objectives are organized towards building capacity through training, and engagement of scientists, and in facility investments, to secure biological material in Russia and other FSU states. This capacity building ultimately reduces the risk associated with bio weapons of mass destruction, enhancing international security in the process. The BNP logic model is presented in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Logic Model, BNP

Logic Model of Biological Non-Proliferation Portfolio Results Based Logic Model - March 23, 2007

2.4 BNP Program Expenditures

The extent of the BNP program's evolution is evident from its annual expenditures listed in Table 3. In the span of four years, expenditures have grown from $12,000 to $273,000. It is important to note that these amounts do not account for resources accessed through the Science Centers (ISTC STCU) and paid for via the RFWS contribution of $17.1 million (FY 2006-07). Given that ISTC delivers or is involved in a large portion of BNP programming, this is a fairly significant amount.

Table 3: BNP Expenditures (in thousands)
2003-042004-052005-062006-07
$12.3$98.0$222.7$272.9
Note: Expenditures do not include attributable costs from ISTC

 

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3.0 Findings: Relevance

3.1 Relevance of BNP Strategic Priorities

Finding:
By addressing the risks associated with the proliferation of biological materials and biological weapons in FSU countries, BNP strategic priorities, activities and outcomes continue to be relevant to a number of priorities and commitments of DFAIT and the Government of Canada.

By prioritizing on building capacity to improve the security and safety of biological materials in Russia and FSU states, the BNP program is directly targeting the risks associated with the proliferation of biological materials and weapons in these countries. In so doing, the BNP stream continues to be broadly relevant to a number of DFAIT priorities and commitments and the Government of Canada. These include the Global Partnership commitment of fighting terrorism and ensuring a safer, more secure and prosperous Canada. Moreover, by carrying out its initiatives through a multilateral and cooperative approach, BNP is also in line with the objectives of strengthening relationships with the US and making use of "the multilateral system to deliver results on global issues of concern to Canadians."

Underpinning the relevance of the BNP program, therefore, is the assumption that there is in fact a risk in the potential for non-state actors to use biological weapons or agents acquired from Russia and FSU states. This assumption, by the majority of accounts, is widely supported. Indeed, the level of risk, and associated threat is recognized as being high and on the increase for which two broad reasons are put forth. The first reason has to do with the nature of pathogens and the potential for their use as a weapon. The second reason has to do with the countries themselves, their historical association with the Soviet biological weapons program, their current state of bio infrastructure, and level of biosafety and biosecurity awareness.

Threat Assessment - Biological Agents

The biological challenge is related to innate insecurity stemming from a threat that is difficult to perceive and from the fact that the requisite knowledge to potentially weaponize biological agents is spreading globally. With regard to perception, the fact that dangerous pathogens (including those of greatest interest to terrorists, e.g. anthrax) are naturally-occurring, easy to produce in large quantities, and very difficult to detect and contain once released, make for a security threat that is difficult to grasp. Indeed, only when the threat is contextualized through examples of natural outbreaks of viral agents (such as SARS, and bird flu) or deliberate attacks (e.g. the anthrax letters in the United States in 2001) - does the threat assessment become more concrete. Moreover, what makes the bio-threat different from that of nuclear and chemical weapons, is that the first line of defense is the public health system that monitors and responds to diseases. This underlines the interdependence between health and bio threats and the main rationale for the "full spectrum" BNP strategy of pursuing both biosecurity and biosaftey.

Another aspect of the nature of the biological threat - and one that is generally considered to be increasing - is the very significant advances in, and global diffusion of, biosciences and related technology. While this knowledge and technology is largely used for the legitimate and peaceful purposes, this same knowledge and technology presents an expanding opportunity for its misuse - to identify, genetically modify and manufacture dangerous pathogens. As one ex-soviet weapons scientist noted, "The problem is that dozens of natural disease agents could be used as biological weapons, and if we add genetically engineered agents, hundreds."(4)

Related to this diffusion is a growing awareness of the potential impact and costs of disease outbreaks. The 2001 anthrax attacks in the US, followed by hundreds of SARS related deaths around the world in 2003 (including 44 Canadians) and the several cases of "mad cow" disease in Canada showcased the potential for pathogens to be not only killers but also major economic disruptors - both persuasive reasons for terrorists to acquire biological agents.

Threat Assessment: the Soviet Legacy and State Capacity in Central Asia

The second dimension to the bio threat - and therefore of relevance of the BNP program - has to do with the FSU region and its historical link to the Soviet biological weapons program. Indeed, the threat emanating from the bio weapons know-how, as well as vast pathogens collections and latent production capabilities built up through the Soviet biological weapons program continues to make BNP initiatives important to the overall security of the region. The Soviet BW program, which by the early nineties is thought to have employed over 60,000 people for the research, development and production of biological weapons at more than 50 dispersed sites, is generally recognized as having had the most efficient, sophisticated, and powerful offensive biological weapons program in the world where it developed a completely new class of weapons based on genetically modified agents.(5) Moreover, the program involved a network of facilities primarily located in Russia and secondarily in other FSU states, notably Kazakhstan, extending the threat outside Russia not just from the stockpiles but from scientists and technicians with biological weapons experience and know-how.

This aspect of the threat is elevated by the poor economic standing and political instability in many FSU states. Poor economies of some FSU states have meant that there are few resources available to improve existing bio facilities and to pay adequate wages to scientists that might deter them from selling their knowledge (or their institutes' pathogens or equipment) to states and terrorist organizations. The result is that many bio facilities throughout the region are in a very poor state, and virtually devoid of both biosafety and biosecurity. Dangerous pathogens can, for example, be found in unlocked kitchen refrigerators and facilities that are secured through simple fences (where fences even exist) without alarm systems surrounding the facilities.

Moreover, certain FSU states themselves continue to face a myriad of social, political and economic challenges, and many have experienced violent coups and even incursions by terrorist groups. These conditions, together with a low level of awareness both in government and in the bio facilities, of biosafety and biosecurity issues, have underscored the need for addressing biosecurity in Central Asia and Russia to minimize the threat associated with the proliferation of biological weapons and materials.

3.2 International Policy Environment

Finding:
A general weakness in the international governance and policy environment related to the non-proliferation of biological weapons and materials creates a further need for the BNP initiative.

At the program's inception, there was a general weakness in the international governance related to the non-proliferation of biological weapons and materials. In 2001, a decade-long effort to develop a verification mechanism for the Biological Toxin Weapons Convention failed, leaving the Convention without effective measures to verify compliance. And, equally, if not more, significant has been the reluctance on the part of Russia to engage the international community on the issue of biological weapons. The assumption that there are biological threats emanating from Russian territory is unacceptable for Russia.(6) Cooperative threat reduction offered through the Global Partnership is therefore limited in dealing with the threat. Finally, governance is also weak at the level of private corporate laboratories, which is currently one of the main vectors in the spread of knowledge and technology. Presently, there is no international framework for regulating security related aspects of the biotechnology industry.(7)

By and large, this international policy environment supporting the non-proliferation of biological weapons has changed little over the last few years. International attention and resolve on the BW threat, though on the increase, continues to be relatively low as is reflected in the fact that, compared to the resources spent on nuclear and chemical terrorism, relatively little is being done to fight the threat emanating from biological weapons and materials. Only 1.5 percent of the $20 billion that the G8 Global Partnership agreed to spend on reducing the risk of weapons or materials of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorists has been devoted to bio-related programs. As for Russia, the country continues to be reluctant to participate, a reluctance that shows signs of strengthening as it reasserts itself in the geopolitical arena.

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4.0 Findings: Cost-Effectiveness

Having achieved a significant number of concrete outputs in a relatively short time frame and with very modest expenditures, the BNP program is overall cost-effective in its operation. The evaluation found that several activities of the program have only a nominal dollar value but are nonetheless of importance to reaching BNP objectives. This chapter examines more closely the way in which BNP cost-effectiveness has been achieved and the scope for improvements.

4.1 BNP Implementation Model

Finding:
While not yet an impediment, the current funding arrangement for BNP projects is likely to create some difficulties to the future growth of the BNP program.

The BNP program has, since its inception, been funded through the Global Partnership Special Project Fund, and continues to be so even after having been elevated to full-stream status in February 2006. It is therefore now the only full-stream program within the GPP to operate without a separate program budget. There are two aspects of this arrangement that have implications for the delivery of BNP.

To deliver its diverse program, BNP relies extensively on the Science Centers, and primarily on the ISTC where a bio group has been established at their initiative. However, as a project from the special fund, the BNP program has no direct link to the Science Centers or a budget to pay for its ISTC initiatives and relies instead on the RFWS stream for access. Under this arrangement, all BNP initiatives relying on ISTC involvement require RFWS approval which supports the initiatives out of its own transfer payment to ISTC.

To date, this arrangement has not been much of an impediment. Strong working relationships and communication with the RFWS stream and the Science Centers has meant that no proposals have yet been turned down for want of funds or attention. In fact, the arrangement has had the advantage of having helped leverage the limited resources of BNP from the beginning when there was only one program officer to its current under-staffed level of three. This arrangement has, therefore, been appropriate for the BNP program, having accommodated its evolution and growth.

As a full stream program, however, and one that is to expand significantly in expenditures, the benefits of BNP operating through RFWS are less apparent. The BNP group has thus far been selective in the projects it pursues through RFWS but as the program expands, this approach will likely prove to be an impediment due to the fact that there is no clear articulation with RFWS on how much money is or will be available to BNP. This challenge is particularly pronounced for those initiatives such as the training centers, which require multi-year commitments.

Finding:
Science and Technology Centers and the redirection projects have been an integral component of the BNP model since its inception, however they do not allow for the utilization of the full potential of the BNP initiative.

ISTC has been an integral component of the BNP model, and has been used extensively to deliver many of its key initiatives, including conferences, workshops and the training centers. The depth of knowledge of the FSU region that exists within ISTC, together with its event organization capabilities and efficiency in arranging travel for attendees are considered to have greatly facilitated the administrative and logistic dimensions of the work carried out by the BNP group. The ISTC involvement has underpinned the cost-effectiveness of the program.

Having been designed for the delivery of research projects, however, ISTC does not have the flexibility to address emerging or related issues. It is, for example, not effective for supporting construction projects of the type being carried out in the Kyrgyz Republic. This type of work ultimately requires a bilateral agreement that allows for direct engagement with local contractors who build under a prime contractor.

4.2 BNP Program Management

Finding:
BNP has established a governance structure that has all elements necessary to ensure appropriate program oversight, coordination and accountabilities. However, time and project implementation will be the real test for its efficiency and effectiveness.

Delivery of BNP initiatives depends on a wide variety of actors, as outlined in Figure 2, engaged formally and informally within the overall governance structure. This system appears to be effective in achieving BNP objectives, with no major difficulties noted. At the management level, the BNP group has benefited from the strong support within IGX from senior management, and from a hierarchical informality that has allowed for ready access to top levels of management. This has helped quicken responses to key issues and engender a positive and effective working environment. More importantly it has provided the necessary flexibility for delivering initiatives many of which have relied on other government departments and the embassy system.

As a small group within IGX, the BNP team has been required to seek out and draw upon expertise and capabilities deemed necessary to realize its objectives. This approach has been particularly successful in its engagement with the Office of Laboratory Security, Public Health Agency of Canada, from where it adopted its biosafety and biosecurity strategy and later, hired its Senior Biosafety Advisor. More recently, BNP management has been pursing relationships with the RCMP and the CFIA to access needed expertise in support of the design, planning and construction of the containment laboratory in the Kyrgyz Republic. Other actors supporting the BNP delivery include not-for-profit organizations, the World Health Organization and other donor countries. Where Canadian federal government departments and agencies are involved, MOUs have been signed or are in the process of being developed outlining respective roles and responsibilities. Equally effective, though informal, have been the links established with other delivery support actors including other donor countries, notably the US and the UK, and not for profit organizations. Effective communication and strong relationships with these actors have helped ensure effective coordination in the delivery of the BNP initiatives.

Figure 2: Governance Structure of BNP Stream

Governance Structure of Global Partership Program (IGX) and BNP Stream

The main delivery mechanisms used by the BNP stream are the Science Centers - the International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC) in Moscow, Russia and the Science and Technology Centre (STCU) in Kyiv, Ukraine. These are accessed through the RFWS stream which has Memoranda of Agreement (MoAs) in place outlining respective roles, responsibilities and accountabilities between the Science Centers and GPP-RFWS. Canada occupies a seat on the Governing Board of both Science Centers. At the ISTC, Canada is represented by the GPP Director General and at the STCU, GPP's Senior Policy Advisor.

While BNP has established productive relationships with other government departments and agencies, it has experienced challenges internally in establishing and maintaining effective linkages within DFAIT. Issues related to overlapping jurisdictions with other branches and to a lack of understanding of key BNP focal areas have arisen and have led to some delays. By and large, these issues are recognized and being addressed.

Finding:
The BNP program has been generally well-managed to date. Its small and dedicate team has been responsive and flexible in administering a wide range of initiatives with a considerable amount of success.

The BNP program has been generally well managed to date. Its small and dedicated staff has been responsive and flexible in administering a wide range of initiatives with a considerable amount of success.

Project Selection:

Project selection adheres to a well developed strategy and is generally carried out in consultation with other donor countries, notably the US and UK, to improve coordination with these countries and minimize the chance of duplication of efforts. Workshops and conferences, for example, often involve support from other countries and organizations, making coordination essential.

Oversight and control:

While efforts are being made to oversee projects supported by BNP, (including redirection projects which are the responsibility of RFWS) current resource levels allow for only limited oversight. Oversight is made more difficult by the diversity of the initiatives that are being undertaken and the fact that the BNP group is Ottawa-based. As the program expands with the construction of the containment facility, more resources in the field will be paramount to ensure smooth delivery.

Knowledge and skills:

The expertise and competence of BNP is widely acknowledged by other donor countries, partners and recipients of the initiatives. Having a biosafety expert has greatly improved the standing of the BNP group in the international community.

However, since its inception, the BNP program has been challenged by the limited number of personnel dedicated to the program. Between January 2003 and July 2006, the program was run by a Senior Project Manager (SPM) who was also responsible for the Chemical Weapons Destruction (CWD) portfolio. As such (owing to the much larger size of the CWD program), only 10-20% of the SPM's time was devoted to BNP. After achieving full-stream status in 2006, the program managed to staff only three of the five allocated position. Over the course of these three years, staffing was also interrupted by language training, maternity leave, and delays in hiring.

Finding:
Despite their most recent introduction to the BNP program, the various tools of the performance management systems are proving to be increasingly useful in managing and delivering this complex program within a difficult and challenging environment.

Due to the fact that the BNP stream has been expanding, several of the management tools that make up the performance management system have either been recently modified or just introduced. The performance management system as a whole, therefore, has not yet had the benefit of time to be adequately assessed for its effectiveness.

Nonetheless, the various tools are proving to be increasingly useful in managing what is a complex, multifaceted program that operates in a challenging environment. A logic model was updated in March 2007, clarifying the scope and organizational logic of the range of activities that make up the program and relating them to strategic outcomes and Canada's foreign policy objectives. Risk registries have been helpful in identifying potential problems that may arise with various initiatives and in particular with the Level-3 Biological Containment Laboratory in the Kyrgyz Republic. For this latter project, a stakeholder map has been developed which identifies key actors and respective lines of accountabilities and responsibilities.

A list of performance indicators has also recently been developed for which a first set of data has been collected. More time will be needed however, to assess its value. Given the nature of the objectives, particularly in the area of biosafety and biosecurity, meaningful outputs are not readily quantifiable.

In terms of possible revisions to the current logic model, it is suggested clarity could be improved by recognizing three program components as opposed to the current two, so as to distinguish redirection of former weapon scientist activities from the international BNP related governance initiatives.

4.3 Support for Global BNP Initiatives

Finding:
The BNP stream of the Global Partnership Program has benefited from effective coordination with other Global Partnership donors in the area of biological non-proliferation, namely the U.S. and the U.K.

The BNP stream has benefited throughout from effective coordination with other GP donors in the area of biological non-proliferation, namely the US and UK. Indeed, the relationships between US and UK counterparts are highly productive with weekly interactions, regular group consultations, and strong cooperation. A trilateral working group meets twice a year under a rotating chair to deal with BNP related initiatives. The result is that BNP initiatives are strengthened through mutual collaboration and do not overlap with those of other countries.

4.4 Costs

Finding:
The BNP program is cost-effective in its overall operation and has achieved a significant number of concrete outputs in a relatively short time frame with modest operating expenditures.

Athough BNP stream operating costs have been increasing steadily with the expansion of the Program, they are still low in comparison to other GPP streams. The 2006-07 spending levels were at $272,900 up from $222,700 from the previous year. This performance is due to the efficient use of the project implementation mechanisms and established procedures of the International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC) and to the fact that several activities of the program have only a nominal dollar value but are nonetheless of importance to achieving BNP objectives.

It should be noted that this assessment does not consider the funds supporting specific initiatives through ISTC for which no figures have been made available. The costs of training centers, workshops, and facility upgrades, for example, are in addition to its operating costs and are sponsored out of the $17 million annual contribution to the Science Centers.

BNP staff currently commit to a heavy travel schedule for the large number of initiatives that BNP is responsible for. Having more resources available in the target countries or regions for monitoring and coordination purposes, including but not limited to embassy staff, could substantially reduce travel costs.

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5.0 Findings: Success

5.1 Results

What results have been achieved to date and are they consistent with the intended outcomes of the BNP?

The BNP stream has achieved results in each of its three focal areas: redirection of former weapons scientists; biosafety and biosecurity; and support for international bio non-proliferation initiatives. All results to date are in line with intended outcomes of the BNP, though it should be noted that due to the relatively recent ramping-up of the BNP program, results and impacts have not had the benefit of a full five years of operation at current levels as have the other streams. Nonetheless, within this context, BNP has achieved tangible results given the short time frame.

5.1.1 Redirection Support

As noted in Chapter 2: Program Overview, the original core of the BNP program was its redirection activities. RFWS has been provided with recommendations from BNP program officers in the selection of bio-projects to be supported by grants run through the ISTC and STCU and involving Canadian research partners. From March 2004, the BNP group has been involved in the redirection of 538 former BW scientists through some 29 projects, funded by RFWS, worth $US 6,565,991. Projects are ongoing in Russia, Georgia, Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic. The BNP group has also been involved in the monitoring of several of these projects, through follow-on site visits at respective institutes.

5.1.2 Biosafety and Biosecurity

Under the biosafety and biosecurity rubric, the BNP group has been carrying out initiatives in four areas: guidelines and standards, professional associations, training, and facility upgrades. This is the largest component of the BNP program, which is currently dedicating the majority of its resources to projects in Russia, Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic. The overall impact of these activities has been an improvement in the awareness of biosafety and biosecurity issues as confirmed by several of the recipients of these efforts who have noted that it has broadened awareness in dealing with level three and level four pathogens and improved supervision of bio facilities.

5.1.2.1 Standards and Guidelines

Under standards development and implementation, the BNP group seeks to engage bio facilities in implementing biosafety and biosecurity best practices, developing and/or translating and distributing standards and guidelines (in Russian, Kazakh and Kyrgyz languages), and revising existing standards and guidelines in accordance with international benchmarks. The Canadian Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines, which are recognized worldwide as a benchmark standard, are being used a starting point for developing guidelines tailored to the specific conditions of target countries. These Guidelines have been translated and published by BNP in Russian and Kazakh.

One important component to establishing guidelines is that of the broader regulatory framework which outlines legislation with regard to, for example, exports of bio-related material, and which laboratories can legally hold pathogens. With such a framework in place, guidelines then provide the specifics on biosafety and biosecurity measures.

To date, the BNP group has had seven manuals translated into Russian with hundreds of copies distributed to scientists and institutes in six FSU states. BNP has also been involved in setting up the regulatory framework for biosecurity and biosafety in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Table 4: Summary of Results: Standards and Guidelines

ResultDescription
Standards and Guidelines translated into Russian7+ manuals and related documents or tools including:
  • WHO Laboratory Biosafety Manual
  • PHAC Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines (Russian and Kazakh languages)
  • WHO Biorisk Management guidance document
  • WHO Transport of Infectious Substances manual
  • ABSA: Anthology III and Anthology VII
  • NSF Standard 49
  • PHAC Containment Level 3 Laboratories DVD
  • Biosafety Cabinet: Safe Use and Operation poster (produced in Russian, English and French)
  • Australia Group Document, including website and AG Enforcement Guide
Number of institutes / organizations that have received translated guidelines and standardsInitially, copies of both the WHO and Canadian laboratory biosafety guidelines manuals were mailed to 29 priority institutes (Russia and Armenia). Since then, over 300 have been distributed by the BNP team during laboratory visits, outreach activities and events.

BNP has also been distributing the Containment Level 3 DVD at laboratory visits (since Aug 07) and intends to produce a compendium CD which will regroup all relevant translations above and be distributed to contacts/institutes throughout the FSU (100 copies will be produced initially). Distribution is likewise planned for the Biosafety Cabinet posters.

The Canadian Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines have also been translated into Kazakh with a proposal to print and distribute 600 copies to relevant organisations and priority institutes before next spring.

5.1.2.2 Bio-Safety Associations

Initiatives in the area of biosafety associations involve both the integration of scientists within existing professional associations with the goal of integrating them into the international biosafety community, and the creation of new associations where needed. Biosafety associations promote biosafety as a scientific discipline with the goal of establishing a professional association that represents the interests and needs of practitioners of biological safety as well as providing a forum for the continued and timely exchange of biosafety information.

The BNP group is currently setting up two professional associations, the Russian Biosafety Association (RBA) and the Biosafety Association for Central Asia and the Caucasus (BACAC) encompassing the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia. BNP is also looking into the possibility of having Ukraine integrate with the European Biosafety Association.

Work on integration of Russian and FSU scientists into international biosafety and biosecurity associations and the international scientific community more generally has amounted to supporting 80 scientists to attend related meetings and events since 2005.

5.1.2.3 Training

Biosafety and biosecurity training initiatives have been carried out through several approaches, all with the support of the ISTC. The first approach has been through BNP-sponsored events which, in addition to ISTC involvement, have been organized typically with the support of third party groups, and/or other donor countries. Eleven workshops and conferences have been organized up until July 2007, to which 344 scientists and officials have been invited from across Russia and FSU countries (see Table 5).

The second approach has been to sponsor participants at relevant events organized by other organizations or countries. Since 2005, BNP has sent 47 individuals to events put on by over twelve internationally recognized organizations and partners (Table 6).

Table 5: Participation in Canadian Sponsored Training Events
Training EventsThe Kyrgyz RepublicRussiaTajikistanKazakhstanOther
BS BS Workshop for Central Asia and the Caucases (2004)6151521
Canadian Biological Sciences Colloquium (2004)697887
Biosafety Workshop on High Containment (2004)211100
Health Canada Science Forum (2004)211100
RANSAC Conference (2005)09021
Training held at KSCQZD10301
Biocontainment Facilities (April 2006)806164
Central Asian Disease Surveillance Workshop (November 2006)14011124
Enhancing BS BS/ICLS Moscow (November 2006)116030
EBSA and IAG on Biosafety and Biosecurity (March 2007)19010
Transportation of Dangerous Goods Workshop (July 2007)70255
Total48154376243

 

Table 6: Canadian Funded Participation by Scientists in Non-Canadian Events
 The Kyrgyz RepublicRussiaKazakhstanUkraineOther
2005210232
200664301
2007 (September)102220
Total1816753

At a much larger scale, the BNP group has been working to establish permanent training centres across the FSU to support ongoing biosafety and biosecurity training programs. To date, one centre has been established at the Kazakh Science Center for Quarantine and Zoonotic Diseases (KSQZD) in Almaty, Kazakhstan, building on an existing training centre, with another three in development. These are: VECTOR and TEMPO in Russia, and UAPRI in Ukraine.

In support of the training objectives, the BNP group has been engaged in presentations and outreach at workshops and conferences. The group has thus far carried out such activities at 26 workshops and conferences. Also supporting these training efforts, have been the development of a number of Russian (and in some cases Kazakh) language training tools including: a Biosafety Cabinet Poster, CDN and WHO Biosafety guidelines manual; a Biocontainment Level III instructional DVD, and training modules.

5.1.2.4 Facility Upgrades

The fourth component of the biosafety and biosecurity strategy, that of facility upgrades, is expanding to become the largest BNP effort to date (by expenditures), to strengthen biosafety and biosecurity in Russia/FSU. Results in this area include site visits to bio facilities to identify biosafety and biosecurity concerns and recommend upgrades. Recommendations from these site visits have amounted to 26 upgrades of equipment and enhancements to biosafety practices worth over $5.5 million.

Table 7: BNP Institute Visits, 2004-2006
 The Kyrgyz RepublicRussiaKazakhstanUkraineBelarus
200410100
200506031
200653100
2007 (till September 07)144100
Total:2013331

Planning is now underway for the design and construction of a Level-3 Human and Animal Health Biological Containment Laboratory in Bishkek, the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic. The new laboratory, which will be based on the Canadian Science Center for Human and Animal Health in Winnipeg, will serve as the central repository for the consolidation of dangerous pathogens from several existing, vulnerable facilities in the Kyrgyz Republic. This will result in the relocation of pathogens and dangerous work from a number of dangerous bio facilities in the country. In so doing, it will reduce the significant threat posed by theft, sabotage, accidental release and/or terrorist acquisition of dangerous pathogens in the country.

5.1.3 Support for Global BNP Initiatives

Efforts related to the international governance of biosafety and biosecurity have been varied and include commissioning a study "Pathogens for Peace" from the Washington D.C. based Henry L. Stimson Centre and fostering the accession of several FSU states to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). Thus far, the BNP group in cooperation with other DFAIT divisions has engaged Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan on the issue of the BTWC, all of whom have now acceded to the Convention. The effect has been to strengthen the commitment in Central Asia to the non-proliferation of biological weapons and related material.

Also important in the area of governance, particularly for the construction of the Level-3 Containment Lab, has been the development of a Canada-Kyrgyz Republic bilateral legal Agreement. Once signed, the Treaty will strengthen the relationship between the two countries and allow Canada to carry out the construction of the level three laboratory.

5.2 Cooperation in Program Delivery

Finding:
BNP has been effective at reaching out to other departments and agencies to gain access to expertise in support of its specific project goals.

Within the Government of Canada, BNP management has been effective at reaching out to other departments and agencies to gain access to expertise in support of its specific project goals. DFAIT's Global Partnership Bureau is in the process of concluding a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Public Health Agency of Canada to provide feedback and support for a range of BNP activities, including the Kyrgyz Republic project. A similar MoU is now in draft form with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to provide expert advice on the animal health component of the proposed facility. A third MoU has been drafted with the RCMP to support the programming, design, construction and commissioning of the new BSL3 facility in the Kyrgyz Republic. Support from the RCMP will include, for example, advice and assistance with the development of a Threat and Risk Assessment for the new containment laboratory in the Kyrgyz Republic; site assessments from a security perspective; and advice and guidance on the physical security and biosecurity concepts and design requirements for the new laboratory.(8)

5.3 International Visibility and Security

Finding:
Canada has achieved a high level of respect for taking leadership in BNP among donor countries and within the non-proliferation community as a whole.

Canada has achieved a high level of respect for taking leadership in BNP among donor countries and within the non-proliferation community as a whole. BNP is considered to be a difficult area in which to achieve results and recognizable success, and tends to be of limited appeal. Canada's substantive and wide ranging commitment, second only to the US, is therefore much lauded. In bringing its expertise to the problem, BNP is also recognized and appreciated among both donor and recipient countries. Among recipient countries, Canada is recognized as being inclined to action as opposed to talk.

Outside the international WMD community, however, there is very little visibility of Canada's efforts in WMD threat reduction. It is widely acknowledged that the general public has little awareness of Canada's work in this area in Russia/FSU.

Finding:
The evaluation found that BNP efforts in FSU states have already made an impact in reducing risks and threats related to the proliferation of bio-weapons and materials.

Though Russia has sustained its resistance to Canadian BNP initiatives (except for certain redirection projects and biosecurity/safety initiatives undertaken through the ISTC), efforts in FSU states are considered to have already made an impact in reducing risks and threats. At the broadest level, this reduction has come about from a greater awareness of the risks not just at the institutional level but also among government ministries as scientists and officials pay more attention to problems of biosecurity and biosafety. More specifically, training has produced real changes in biosafety and biosecurity procedures, be it in the transportation techniques of pathogens or in the general security of bio-facilities.

5.4 Facilitating and Impeding Factors

Finding:
Russia's reluctance to engage in the area of biosecurity is the most widely acknowledged impediment to the success of BNP.

Russia's reluctance to engage in the area of biosecurity is the most widely acknowledged impediment to the success of BNP. For this reason, the BNP group has tended to focus much of its efforts on other FSU countries and involve Russia only to the extent possible (i.e., through inviting Russian scientists to participate at conferences etc.).

The Canadian approach of dealing with biosecurity and biosafety as one integral issue has, however, shown promise in engaging Russia in a dialogue over biosecurity. Canada's framing of biosecurity issues in a wider issue of biological risks in discussion firmly recognized the public health dimension. These terms have proven to be more acceptable to Russia and have encouraged their participation in a debate within the international BNP community as a whole.

5.5 Unintended Results

Finding:
BNP initiatives have not produced any notable unintended results.

The evaluation team did not find any unwanted results or impacts on other GPP streams caused by BNP activities. Rather, the BNP program has further increase Canada's international visibility and reputation of a serious partner that strictly pursues commitments and achieves concrete results.

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6.0 Lessons Learned

Finding:
BNP offers important lessons in six main areas that have applicability to future management of BNP and other GPP streams.

International collaboration:

Regular interaction and collaboration with donor countries have enhanced the impact of Canadian initiatives by strengthening regional coverage of a BNP strategy, minimizing duplication of initiatives and enhancing the content through knowledge sharing of respective initiatives.

Domestic collaboration:

Accessing expertise from within other government departments to support BNP initiatives is critical to achieving success with a small number of staff.

Full spectrum approach:

Framing biosecurity issues within a broader health context recognizes the need to adopt a holistic approach to BNP and also helps broaden support for BNP initiatives in Russia.

Strategy development:

First, having allowed the BNP strategy to develop over time has resulted in an effective overall approach to threat reduction that recognizes the complexity of the area beyond redirection of former weapons scientist. Second, by adopting a proven strategy in biosecurity and biosafety, results have been achievable in a relatively short time frame.

BNP is a long-term effort:

Long-term training and engagement with recipient countries are needed to sustain current and future outcomes. FSU states in particular are weak and have limited institutional development and resources to follow through with biosafety and biosecurity without long term support.

Benefits:

Other donor countries are able to explicitly pursue their own scientific and commercial interests while at the same time meeting their Global Partnership objectives. This approach can improve constituency support.

Finding:
BNP has enhanced Canada's relationship with some FSU countries, the U.S., the U.K. and the other G8 countries.

Collaboration:

Collaborating on initiatives and coordinating BNP efforts within Russia and other FSU states has helped strengthen relationships with donor countries, notably the US and UK.

Staff:

Maintaining experienced and expert personnel is essential to fostering strong relationships with donor and recipient countries. Trust, credibility and legitimacy are all enhanced as a result and improve overall effectiveness of delivery and of success.

Enhancing Canada's visibility in reducing WMMD threats?

Leadership:

Canada's leadership in BNP has been important to strengthening its relationships with donor countries. Canada has introduced a fresh voice to the global efforts and in the process expanded its influence in the area.

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7.0 Summary Conclusions

BNP Strategy

The BNP stream has managed to achieve impressive results in a relatively short time frame, having only attained full-stream status late in the first half of the Global Partnership Program (GPP). Through accessing expertise and experience of a range of delivery support actors, including other Canadian departments and agencies and other donor countries, the BNP group has developed and begun to deliver a strategy addressing threat reduction arising from the proliferation of biological weapons and related materials. The strategy embraces a comprehensive, 'full spectrum' approach that focuses on biosecurity and biosafety, the redirection of former weapons scientists and the related governance aspects. In addition to building capacity to secure biological materials in the Russia/FSU region, the strategy has: improved Canada's visibility and standing within global biosecurity community; strengthened Canada's relationship with the US; and helped open up dialogue with Russia with whom cooperation has been difficult in the BNP area.

BNP Challenges

For all its success, the BNP stream faces several challenges in the second half of the GPP funding period. In order to continue to realize its objectives, maintaining staff stability in BNP will be important to sustaining productive relationships in FSU states. Indeed, Canada's standing in the area of biosecurity and biosafety among recipient states and within the global BNP community is very much because of the quality and professionalism its staff. A second challenge will be to ensure that current initiatives respond to the recognition that for BNP program outcomes to be sustained, long-term training and engagement will be required beyond the current funding window of 2012. This is particularly so for the bio-containment facilities now being planned for, which will be running well after the GPP program has ended.

Improving spin-off benefits to Canada is another area that will present challenges to the BNP stream. Currently, spin-off benefits other than those related to having enhanced international security in the area of biological weapons and materials are not formally being pursued. This may limit the potential to establish a more sustainable long-term engagement with the FSU region that can be achieved through economic and institutional links. A fourth challenge is related to establishing BNP as a separate stream of GPP with substantially more funding than it currently is allocated under the existing Global Partnerships Special Project Fund. This growth will bring new responsibilities, a more direct link the science centres, and require a full staffing which has been difficult to achieve since being elevated to full-stream status in February 2006.

BNP Extension

Finally, as BNP moves towards 2012, there is considerable interest within the biosecurity community and among donor countries to see Canada continue its leadership role in the area of biosafety and biosecurity. In particular, given the global nature of the threat, there is a need and interest in having Canada extend the regional focus of its successful strategy to outside of Central Asia and Russia. Such a move will require that in-depth deliberations and planning begin in the near future if key personnel are to be maintained beyond 2012.

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8.0 Recommendations

Recommendation 1:
Continue BNP but with full stream funding

BNP has thus far achieved a number of important results in a relatively short time frame and in a cost-effective manner that are consistent with the overall objectives of GPP. Moreover, it is on the cusp of expanding significantly, with current planning underway for the construction of one of two Level-3 Biological Containment Laboratories. These are expected to have a significant impact on program objectives. It is therefore recommended that BNP be continued but at a level of full-stream funding that will allow it to realize its current strategy.

Recommendation 2:
Enable BNP to manage relevant programs and funds directly with ISTC and STCU

To allow for improved program planning, it is recommended that BNP have the ability to contribute BNP program funds directly to the ISTC and/or STCU. Having such an arrangement would sever its dependence on RFWS for ISTC and STCU access and give BNP the needed authority to allocate resources effectively over the longer term for its diverse initiatives.

Recommendation 3:
Enable BNP to manage relevant programs and funds directly with ISTC and STCU

The BNP stream has a diverse project portfolio that is set to become more complex with the construction of the containment facility in the Kyrgyz Republic. To improve oversight of existing initiatives and assist in the delivery of an expanding program, it is recommended that more resources be committed to the Russia/FSU region either within the ISTC or in the countries themselves. This will help improve information flows between the project sites and Ottawa, and allow for quicker responses to issues that will emerge with the facility construction.

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Appendix A: Management Response and Action Plan

RecommendationsIGX Management Response and Action PlanResponsibility CentreTime Frame
Recommendation 1: Continue on current course with full-stream funding
BNP has thus far achieved a number of important results in a relatively short time frame and in a cost-effective manner that are consistent with the overall objectives of the GPP. Moreover, it is on the cusp of expanding significantly, with current planning underway for the construction of one of two Level-3 Biological Containment Laboratories. These are expected to have a significant impact on program objectives. It is therefore recommended that BNP be continued but at the level of full-stream funding that will allow it to realize its current strategy.Agree

This is the approach taken in the GPP Phase III TB Submission, with full stream funding proposed for the BNP stream, and funding allocated for up to three biocontainment laboratories.

IGX DG/Director/BNP SPMFY 2008-09/Ongoing
Recommendation 2: Direct contribution to STCU and ISTC
i) To allow for improved program planning, it is recommended that BNP have the ability to contribute BNP program funds to the ISTC and/or STCU within the IGX budget. Having such an arrangement would sever its dependence on RFWS for ISTC and STCU access and give BNP the needed authority to allocate resources effectively over the longer term for its diverse initiatives.Agree

In Phase III, it is proposed that BNP have the ability to work directly with and through the two Science Centers.

BNP SPMFY 2008-09/Ongoing
ii) Given that the involvement by Canadians, particularly in partner projects, increases the chances of long-term sustainability, continuous intellectual threat reduction and science and technology and industrial benefits to Canada, it is recommended that DFAIT remove the budget constraints to allow for more flexibility in RFWS programming, such as contributing part of the costs of collaborating with FSU scientists either through other streams of the Global Partnership Program and/or other programs at DFAIT.Agree

The Phase III TB Submission also proposes that the Biological Non-Proliferation Stream contribute to the ISTC and STCU to fund activities (see below).

RFWS/Biological Non-Proliferation (BNP)Portfolio SPMOngoing
Recommendation 3: Increase resources in the field
The BNP stream has a diverse project portfolio that is set to become more complex with the construction of the containment facility in the Kyrgyz Republic. To improve oversight of existing initiatives and assist in the delivery of an expanding program, it is recommended that more resources be committed to the FSU region either within the ISTC or in the countries themselves. This will help improve information flows between the project sites and Ottawa, and allow for quicker responses to issues that will emerge with facility construction.Agree

As the project advances to the construction stage, staff will be added in the field to manage increased activity. ISTC and Embassy personnel will be increasingly leveraged. To date, the assistance of the Embassies in Moscow and Almaty, as well as the two Science Centers, have been very helpful, particularly Embassy support in advancing the Kyrgyz Republic lab project and the bilateral treaty negotiations.

IGX DG/Directors/SPMsOngoing

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1 BNP program and BNP stream are interchangeably used in this summative evaluation report. Initially designed as sub-streams of the Global Partnership Program (GPP), BNP and the other four streams of the GPP have developed into full-fledged programs from a design, management and implementation perspective.

2 Note: All funding through ISTC is reported in US dollars.

3 The Australia Group (AG) is an informal forum of countries which, through the harmonisation of export controls, seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons. Coordination of national export control measures assists Australia Group participants to fulfil their obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention to the fullest extent possible.

4 K. Alibek. 1998. "Behind the Mask: Biological Warfare" Perspectives, Vol 9, No. 1

5 K. Alibek. 1998. "Behind the Mask: Biological Warfare" Perspectives, Vol 9, No. 1

6 Orlov et al., Guidebook: Global Partnership, pp. 85-6, cited in P. Cornish The UK Contribution To The G8 Global Partnership Against The Spread Of Weapons And Materials Of Mass Destruction, 2002-06.

7 SIPRI Report, "Strengthening European Action on WMD Non-Proliferation and Disarmament: How Can European Community Instruments Contribute", prepared for the UNIDIR. November 2005.

8 Interdepartmental Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Between The Global Partnership Program (GPP), Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and Technical Security Branch Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), DRAFT September 2007.

Office of the Inspector General


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Date Modified:
2012-10-02