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Evaluation of Ireland's Expo 2020

Ireland’s participation at World Expo 2020 Dubai was designed, planned and implemented by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), in partnership with other Government Departments, State agencies, National Cultural Institutions (NCIs), public institutions and external partners from the cultural, business, and educational sectors, and supported by representatives of the Irish community in Dubai.

The evaluation examined Expo 2020 against the criterion of effectiveness, to capture insights and to serve as a mechanism for accountability. Evaluating large-scale promotional events is essential to inform strategy, business planning and potential participation in future events, as well as to provide a mechanism for accountability. The evaluation adopted a mixed methods approach, engaging stakeholders from within and outside the DFA. It included a visit to the Expo in March 2022, a review of 145 key documents and an analysis of peer countries’ participation.

Originally scheduled for 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Expo ran from October 2021 to March 2022. Expo 2020 was the first World Expo held in the Middle East, as well as the first hosted by an Arab country. DFA adopted the “Team Ireland” approach to contribute to the delivery of Global Ireland goals in the region, it aimed to showcase Ireland as a great place to live, visit, work and learn and to facilitate the discussion of prominent global issues. This report presents the findings, lessons learned and insights for future projects.

Evaluation of Irelands Expo 2020