The strongest chapters in the world.

| 6 Comments | No TrackBacks
I was wondering which NAs have the strongest chapter(s). To answer this question I did an easy calculation: I divided the average number of programmes hosted in 1996-2007 by the average number of chapters an NA had during that time. So what I got, was the average number of programmes hosted per year by one chapter. The strongest chapter in the world would be the one hosting the most programmes per year.

Here is a display of the results in a graph:


These statistics count all programmes as equals, so one Village or one Interchange count as one. My thoughts:

  • Quite surprising to find the Netherlands, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico and Hungary in the first 5 places. None of these NAs are generally considered "strong" NAs.
  • All the top NAs before Brazil each have one chapter, only.
  • As you may know, the NAs are structured quite differently, and the number of chapters say nothing about their size, or their organizational purpose. For example CISV Denmark has (or had?) a chapter,  for hosting Mosaics only. Also whereas the Netherlands and  Austria probably have more or less similar country sizes (in population and area), the former NA has one and the latter 4 chapters.
  • In some multi-chapter NAs the hosting is shared by the various chapters in quite unevenly. So some chapters host a lot of programmes, while others host only very little.
The remaining question is what size an ideal chapter would be? When does it make sense to break up a chapter into two, or consolidate two into one? Is it a question of "infrastructure", or geographical outreach?  

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:


I think it might be better to do this analysis with all programmes but Interchange.

Hosting a Village, Summer, Seminar or IYM requires much more people: Staff, Host Families, Kitchen Staff, etc.

So a "weak" chapter might not have enough people to host it very often, but an IC requires only up to 12 families (and many times, even less).

I'd like to see this graph without ICs. I wonder if we'll get the same results?

By the way, where do you get all this data from, Nick?

I tend to disagree: I think having "only" 12 families willing to participate in an interchange, willing to take care of a kid for 2-4 weeks, is quite a sign of chapter strength. A 19up youth meeting you could probably organize with 4 staff only and no chapters support.

About the data: A while ago I took the time entering the numbers from the back of the Annual Reports into an Excel spreadsheet. Also, Bebbe from IO sent me some more detailed numbers - but I haven't really looked into them because they are a bit more messy.

I would hesitate judging strength of chapters based only on the amount of prorgrammes that they host. I know for a fact that most chapters in the US host only one camp every other year, be it Village, Summer, or Seminar Camp. Every chapter hosts/sends interchanges.

I would agree with Martin that including Interchange in this metric skews things. Hosting a "camp" requires many more monetary and volunteer resources on the chapter level as compared to an interchange. The total budget required of the chapter for a Village in the US might be $15,000-$50,000+. Interchanges have no site, no food costs, and relatively little hosting costs (aside from the minicamp weekend).

Only part of a chapter's strength should be measured by hosting. I know of several chapters in the US that host nearly every year, but are unable to fill delegations to send to other camps. There are chapters with many members that don't host as often, and smaller chapters that put on high-quality activities.

I've got a couple of questions about this one:

1)Are programmes measured equally (e.g. does a village count the same as an IYM or an Interchange or even a Mosaic project) or is this a weghted average? The costs of programmes are very different and if counted the same, the "strongest chapters" conclusion may be different..

2)What happens with countries who changed their number of chapters in the process? Is the average calculated each year?


Good question Zé! CISV USA added four chapters during that time (if my memory serves me right). As a condition of their becoming a chapter, they are given three years to host a Village, at which point, I believe they revert back to pre-chapter status if not hosted/given an extension by the Board of CISV USA.

Yes, all programmes are counted equal - however, I don't think Mosaics are in this statistic yet. A change in chapter number was accounted for by using the average number of chapters during that time. Some NAs also reduced their number of chapters.

My general perception of CISV is, that chapters usually have little problems filling delegations, once invited. In fact, in Germany, we've had to increase the fees paid by the families with hardly any effect on the number of kids applying to go to a village. Also, finding leaders is usually fairly easy, when a trip to a foreign country is involved.
However, getting volunteers to staff a programme, raising funds, finding a campsite and organizing kitchen staff is quite some work. Nevertheless, there is also often the situation where chapters do have problems finding participants for a specific programme - to a specific country on a specific date, for a specific age group. Strong chapters have the critical mass, but smaller chapters just don't.

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick published on June 17, 2009 2:04 PM.

Superpowers update. was the previous entry in this blog.

Site of Horror: CISV Uruguay. is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.