Investment Framework for Environmental Resources (INFFER)


INFFER's purpose is to help people determine whether the environmental/natural resource projects they are investing in will deliver tangible results within budget; whether the tools and technical capacity needed to attain those results will be available to the project; and whether the people who need to come on board to make it happen will be there when the time comes for action.


The Investment Framework for Environmental Resources (INFFER™) is an approach to developing, assessing and prioritising activities and projects aimed at addressing environmental issues. It is a comprehensive framework designed to help managers achieve the most valuable environmental outcomes with the available resources.

Organisations involved in protection protection want to make the best use of the money that is available, but the issues are complex and it is difficult to tell what uses would be the “best”.

The development of INFFER was motivated by a belief that we could achieve a lot more with the available resources if they were allocated well and projects were clearly thought out and well designed.

INFFER assists decision makers to assess and rank environmental and natural resource projects, comparing aspects such as value for money, degrees of confidence in technical information and the likelihood of achieving stated goals.

The INFFER process involves these seven steps.

Step 1: Identifying significant assets – A list of significant natural assets that are candidates for investment is prepared.

Step 2: Filtering significant assets – Using a simplified set of criteria, the list of significant assets is filtered down to ~20-40 assets.

Step 3: The Project Assessment Form – Using the INFFER Project Assessment Form, develop an internally consistent project for each asset on the reduced list. This process draws together readily available information, consisting of desktop review of publications and reports, and consultation with the community and with relevant experts. Information required at step 3 includes: asset significance, threats, project goal, works and actions, time lags, effectiveness of works, private adoption of actions, delivery mechanisms and costs.


Step 4: Selection of priority projects – Select a short list of priority assets/projects based on the information in the Project Assessment Report and other relevant considerations.

Step 5: Investment plans or funding proposals – Develop investment plans or proposals for external funding (depending on whether INFFER is being used to allocate an internal budget or to develop and assess projects for external funding).

Step 6: Implementing funded projects – Implement those projects that receive funding. In many cases, the first stage of a project should consist of a detailed feasibility investment, involving targeted collection of additional information to strengthen the assessment done in step 3.

Step 7: Monitoring, evaluation and adaptive management – Monitor, evaluate and adaptively manage projects. After feasibility assessment, and at regular intervals thereafter (say every two years), the data in the original Project Assessment Form for each funded asset/project should be updated to reflect lessons learned, progress towards outcomes, and any new data or analysis that has become available.

The INFFER framework has been designed as a holistic system. To achieve the greatest benefits, it should be used in a comprehensive way, working through steps 1 to step 7. However, it recognised that it is normal for people to want to use any new framework in ways that suit them, and that some users may benefit from elements of INFFER without adopting the comprehensive INFFER process.

All the necessary documents, tools, examples, FAQs and other information is available via their web site.

State of Development Please Select

Development Contact

David Pannell
+61 8 64884735
University of Western Australia


Outcome Areas Environmental
Management Domains Ecosystem Services, Land
Steady State or Dynamic Unknown

Input & Output Data


Open/Closed Source Please Select

User Information

User Interface Please Select
Ease of Use Please Select

Technical Considerations

Model Structure



INFFER Website

INFFER - Training Overview

Key References

Pannell, D.J., Roberts, A.M., Park, G., Alexander, J., Curatolo, A. and Marsh, S. (2012). Integrated assessment of public investment in land-use change to protect environmental assets in Australia, Land Use Policy 29(2): 377-387.

Pannell, David J. ; Roberts, Anna M. ; Park, Geoff ; Curatolo, April ; Marsh, Sally P. (2010): Practical and Theoretical Underpinnings of INFFER (Investment Framework For Environmental Resources). Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society (AARES),  2010 Conference (54th), February 10-12, 2010, Adelaide, Australia

Sally P. Marsh, April Curatolo, David J. Pannell, Geoff Park, Anna M. Roberts (2010): Lessons from implementing INFFER with regional catchment management organisations. Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society (AARES),  2010 Conference (54th), February 10-12, 2010, Adelaide, Australia

Associated Case Studies

Other Key Case Studies

Report on INFFER Analysis (2009)

Gippsland Lakes, Victoria, Australia

Wetlands benefit from decision-making framework

York Plains of north-central Victoria, Australia

Piloting INFFER in Tuscany

Pacini, G.C., Gabellini, L., Roberts, A.M., Vazzana, C., Park, G. and Pannell, D.J. (2013). Assessing the potential of INFFER to improve the management of agri-environmental assets in Tuscany, Italian Journal of Agronomy 8, e7. DOI: 10.4081/ija.2013.e27