On the 17 March 2022 REFEDS Steering Committee (SC) call, SC members completed the development of the first REFEDS Strategic Plan. You might ask, why now? REFEDS has existed for over 15 years without a formal strategic plan. Is a plan really necessary?

The global COVID pandemic taught the world many things, one of which being that remote access to content and services is critical to research and education, regardless of where you are in the world or what field you support. And yet, resources everywhere are limited. Identity Providers (IdPs), Service Providers (SPs), libraries, research infrastructures – they all found a new level of demand for infrastructure-level services so they could continue to support their primary missions. As the collaboration hub and home of federation standards, REFEDS too felt the pressure as our stakeholders made hard decisions about where to allocate resources. And so the SC took action to develop a plan that would ensure REFEDS stayed focused and provided stakeholders what they most needed to be successful in support of research & education (R&E) identity federation.

The community offered powerful feedback during the REFEDS meeting in September 2021 and as part of the consultation process. This feedback resulted in a clear and succinct mission statement, a list of our most important values, and clarify on how we will measure success.

While intended to provide direction over the next five years, the SC will review the plan annually to make sure the plan remains relevant and that REFEDS remains focused on our goals. We are always open to feedback, so if you have thoughts or questions, please reach out to the REFEDS coordinators, Nicole Harris and Heather Flanagan, to let us know!