No profit from hosting an AIM?

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Just a few days ago at the ETG (European Trustee Gathering) it was decided to push forward CISV France as the host for the AIM (Annual International Meeting) in 2012. So if the trustees at the AIM in Guatemala agree, it will be "Je t'AIMe"...

Why do countries want to host an AIM? Some ideas have previously been discussed here at FTB when I presented the countries that hosted in the past. As one popular motivator for NAs was mentioned, that they hope to recruit lost CISVers, and boost the activities of their volunteers.

Now that I compiled the hosting and sending numbers into a spreadsheet and a wonderful graph, I though I could use these numbers to answer whether this "boost" rally happens. Lacking other ways of measuring the success of an NA, I took the number of hosted international activities to see, if NAs do host more following the year of the AIM. Now, here I present the results of the AIMs between 1999 and 2004:

I "indexed" the number of hosted activities as 1 in the year the NA hosted the AIM and plotted the 5 years prior and after the AIM relative to that. A few things are worth noting:

  • NAs don't seem to cancel out other camps in the year hosting an AIM. That's good.
  • Israel's numbers should probably be removed, simply because the amount of hosted programmes pretty much also depends on the safety situation.
  • Austria seems to be the only country that significantly hosted more after AIM - all other countries stayed the same or even hosted less (like Costa Rica).
Of course there are a few things to criticize about this graph: Motivation of volunteers can't only be measured in hosted camps. Also maybe 5 years is not long enough to see any effect. But altogether, I think NAs hosting an AIM should not expect too much of a boost to their activities. I do hope that we will find AIM hosts in the future, nonetheless.

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I think the number of hosted international camps is probably not the best way to measure this. I'm trying to think what would be a good way, but in some cases there might be no direct effect. It would be interesting to look into the reasons behind the sudden rise in Austria and the no changes in other countries. Also JB activity might be useful to look at.
I also assume the reason for wanting to host an AIM may be similar to wanting to host EJBM. What I saw of that was some kind of pride to be able to say "yeah we hosted one, it was terrific" to show how good and serious-CISV-program-compatible the country is. Of course the hope to advertise the organisation locally could also be in there, but I don't see how that could make a difference. Probably only because I have no idea how an AIM looks like. :)
Maybe that makes my ideas invalid, who knows... :)

Hey Reka - I think your comments are quite valid, even if you never experienced an AIM. NA-pride is sureley one motivator for hosting. I also agree that the number of hosted international programmes could be insufficient: It would be interesting to compare the number of members, the number of JB events or the number of chapter events. Unfortunately I don't have those numbers, so I have to deal with the hosted international programmes as an indicator of NA activity. Oh...and I'm very curious what happened in Austria, because they've made such an amazing development in the last 10 years. Maybe some one can tell us...?

Well, I guess since we CISVers are generally nice people if you (we/anyone) would send a questionaire to the NAs who hosted an AIM and ask for data on JB growth and other numbers they would give an answer. I would think that the NAs keep some kind of a track of this. (or am I naive?) :)
If I find out anything about Austria I'll definitely share the secret, we all need that kind of development. :D

I think that the development in Austria has many reasons, AIM might be one of them- most of the people that staffed AIM or participated stayed involved in CISV for some time after... Also, this was the time when we changed the structure of CISV Austria to a more decentralized one (4 chapters instead of one)- this structure kind of "forced" to better organise ourselves sometimes. But I guess most of it is lucky motivation- that partly also came from AIM of course.
Still, I think that it is somehow not adequate to measure the development of a NA just in hosting numbers (leaving out JB strength, international participation, etc...)- We had an AIM in Italy last year and the delegation from Austria was 3 (!!!) people (it's a cardrive).
That's the way I see it- no secret, just prioritizing Village, Summercamp and Interchange...

In multi-chapter NAs (USA and Brazil), I think it might be more worthwhile to look at the specific chapter that did the hosting. I know that Cincinnati had a significant boost in many chapter dynamics after hosting AIM in 2001.

@Babsi: I agree that the "Austria fairytale" is probably a combination of clever restructuring, AIM boost and maybe also pure chance. However, there must be something that other NAs could copy?

@Martin: You're probably right, that maybe the hosting chapter does take a share in motivation - but shouldn't that also reflect in the overall NA numbers?

I've also been thinking lately, that AIM is something that a lot of long-involved CISVers chose to do as "the last thing in CISV I always wanted to do". At least in Germany the AIM team mostly consists of CISVer that have been on the "retirement plan". So in the end, fun and motivation from hosting an AIM reaches those that were about to leave anyway.

There's one thing, however, that I'm sure that AIM helps with, is to involve people in international committees: In search for new members for committees presence at AIM usually makes it more likely to find your way into an international committee, and with a whole bunch of homestaff present during AIM, this surely happens. I just don't have the numbers to prove my point.

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This page contains a single entry by Nick published on April 27, 2009 6:52 PM.

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