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18 months ILTC chair.

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An outgoing interview with Moni/CRC, former chair of ILTC.

Several chairs of the the so-called "service-" or "development-committees" stepped back from their positions in the last 2 years, mostly the official explanation was "personal reasons". One of them, is Moni/CRC, who chaired the now extinct ILTC (international leadership training committee) for more or less one and a half years. I was more curious about her experiences with the position so I was happy that she agreed to answer a few questions in the second edition of FTB's outgoing interview series.


Not everybody may be familiar with your professional background and "CISV career" before you became the chair of international leadership training last year. Can you fill us in?

Moni: I became acting chair of ILTC in January 2009, during IEC MWM, right after Mark Flores and Jane Van Fleet resigned as leaders of the team. They put my name forward as their suggestion for acting chair. My original commitment was until AIM 2009. Prior to that, I worked in ILTC as TTT Coordinator, overseeing applications, enrollment and overall coordination of the 7 TTTs in 2008-2009. I had also participated in the TTT in Brazil and AIM in Italy, both in 2008. At a national level, I have been a leader for Village and for Interchange, I did a lot of leadership training in my NA as part of the National Leadership Training Committee and participated in a big project with Colombian refugees which was one of my favorite CISV experiences ever. I studied psychology at the Universidad de Costa Rica and I worked in clinical research until July 2009, prior to AIM, since late August I left for my graduate degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Professionally is where I've done most training. Teacher professional development, conflict management for imprisoned women, community level training for senior leaders, youth training to avoid childhood labor and prostitution... I used to love that a lot.

FTB: When you started as the ILTC chair, did you have specific goals that you wanted to reach during your term in mind?

Moni: Yes. Aside from the shared goal of building a strong Education Department, I wanted to: 1) Become a useful resource of trainers throughout every level of CISV. The committee should offer resources that allow people to create and deliver stronger trainings, to innovate, be creative and more effective. All this ensuring consistency and quality throughout training in the organization. I did not want to be a committee that would add more work and forms to fill to every trainer, but rather encourage and empower trainers by offering good, high-quality support. 2) Create a communication strategy that would not only link the international level (committee) to the national level but also between trainers themselves. The committee should make sure that there is a community of trainers throughout the organization. Ex-trainers can serve as mentors through a mentorship program, new media can serve to create distance training and exchanges of ideas and information amongst chapters, and the Department should have a network to successfully have two-way communication with the grassroots level. ILTC should focus on learning from the grassroots level, where the "best stuff", I believe, actually happens. Some NAs and Chapters have developed impressive strategies and material that have only stayed within them. Why not learn from them and allow the ideas to spread? The "policy" at the international level should be informed by the practice at the ground level, and not the other way around. This is the only way that the committee will create useful resources and establish an exchange of best practices and ideas amongst all trainers.

FTB: ...and what were you able to achieve during those 18 months in office?

Moni: The first 6 months in office, where I was acting chair, my energy was focused on completing Mark and Jane's (previous Chair and Alternate Chair) plans for the year. We accomplished the successful completion of the second round of TTTs, including TTTs in Canada, Sweden, Colombia, Thailand, Germany and France. 130+ people were trained. We also completed the application process to be a member of the IPT Jane and Mark had started. Two candidates were selected to join the team. While Chair, the biggest accomplishment, which was a major collaborative effort with excellent volunteers from other committees and the IO, was the Writeshop held in January. During this event, we developed four training goals for every level of the organization with general indicators. These are now used as guides for committee-specific training goals and indicators, a major breakthrough for the entire organization. By having strong overarching goals and indicators across all programs, you ensure consistency and quality across training in CISV, as well as offer a good guiding framework for trainers in the design phrase of their trainings. Some other projects were developed during the Writeshop and the months after it, considering that we had limited time and a lot was spent on agreeing on future plans. These included an Activity Template and a Training Template, an Education Terms Glossary and group and individual training evaluation forms. I leave bitter not to have been able to do more, but I trust Cathy Knoop, the new Chair, will be able to continue with the Writeshop productions and spreading the work to every level of the organization.

FTB: Now we have to get to the more delicate issues: ILTC and EDR were the first committees fused into the new "department" structure. How did that work out for you?

This was a very big change, since: 1) ILTC and EDR not only fused together but actually split into four (LTC, IPT, EDC, EVR) 2) a Department was created, implying that these committees would be interconnected and would intrinsically work together 3) an IO staff member, the Education and Training Officer, became an integral part of the committee The intentions behind this were quite good, and this structure, in my opinion, can have a lot of potential, but it needs improvement. The things that worked well for me were: - The increased communication between committees (before, ILTC and EDR did not really relate to each other) - The increased collaboration for joint projects, such as the Writeshop, in which the other committees played an important role - The involvement of an education and training expert in the work of the committee The things that needed improvement, in my opinion, were: - The definition of roles (the role of the typical CISV volunteer changes once there is IO involvement in the daily details of committee work) - The definition of responsibilities (committee responsibilities and IO staff responsibilities were still unclear, such as who would do administrative and operational tasks, who would do strategic planning, who would do technical work, etc.) In general, the biggest challenge was the fact that committee work as we know it would be redefined, with the involvement of IO staff as a key part of the Department. At the same time, this could also be the biggest opportunity since a technical expert has a lot to offer to committees made up of passionate volunteers, many times experts in the inner workings of CISV at every level, but with few or no professional experience as an educator or trainer.

FTB: Thank you for your time! 
The first ever Outgoing Interview - with Adam/SWE.

Adam impressed most people in the board with this sharp and structured analysis and provocative suggestions during his term as CISV Sweden's trustee. In 2007 he got elected into the International Executive Committee. As if that wasn't enough, he soon thereafter started to work as CISV Swedens 's national secretary. This summer he retired after two years busily innovating the structures of one of CISVs biggest NAs.


FTB: How did you experience the difference in doing a paid job for CISV compared to volunteering for the organisation?

Adam: The difference in tasks is not big. In almost all national, promotional and local chapters around the world the Secretary position is a volunteer job. The difference lies in the time you can focus on CISV. During the two years, when I had CISV both as my job (at least
40 hours per week) and as one of my volunteer commitments, many hours of the normal day was about CISV. Sometimes it became a bit too much. But almost all of the time it was a great thing - getting paid for what I was willing to do for free, and being able to do much more of

The past years I've been active in CISV programmes, local chapters, NA and PA development, and CISV International - working with various aspects of the organisation. Being able to tie all of that into the job allowed me to develop a unique experience, giving back to my NA,
and also developing me further as a CISVer, leader and manager.

FTB: What would you list as your biggest achievements during the last two years?

Adam: On an organisational development level I was pretty much interlinked with most of the larger development-projects in CISV Sweden. Meaning, I played a bigger or smaller part in most of them. Nothing could be contributed fully to me, nor could they have been achieved without the diversity within the different teams that worked on them.

During the two years we rewrote the statues for the NA and all chapters, developed a new webpage and implemented a new members-database-system, launched concrete local marketing tools, more than doubled our member base by adding an on-line community as a
chapter, developed a new training system ("Impact"), built an office, made our democratic processes more inclusive and creative, made our cooperation with LMOs more effective, and last but not least rallied the organisation behind a peace educational focus (seen concretely in
Mosquito tactics - A Book About Peace Education).

On a personal level I am proud of having been part in encouraging the development of other leading CISVers in Sweden, both in their roles inside CISV, as outside.

FTB: Sanna/SWE told me earlier this year, that she feels you have successfully turned CISV Sweden into a more professional NGO. What is she talking about?

Adam: The "professionalisation" is most visible in the expansion of the office. More staff in the office helps to better support the volunteer leaders of the organisation, so that they can focus on what is important and motivating for them (usually peace education rather than administration). Also, having more staff allowed us to develop systems (for example for training, information, members-data-base, marketing and evaluation) that could more easily be scaled up and continuously developed as the organisation grows and people change.

But mostly I'd say that the "professionalisation" is visible in the attitude change in which CISVers from Sweden today view them selves, their organisation and the work that CISV does. Basically, it its more fun to be part of an organisation that has a nice webpage, a cool
downtown office, great trainings open for all, and inspirational material (Mosquito tactics) that you can hand to your family and friends.

FTB: Can you tell us more about CISV Sweden's "quest for leaders"?

Adam: We wanted to make CISV Sweden work smarter and more together in different communication/marketing tasks. When building this we talked a lot about working in "campaigns", and by that we meant "communicating one thing, over a set period of time, thru different media".

The "quest for leaders" is the campaign we call "300". The message was "CISV Sweden is looking for 300 volunteer leaders" and the media we used was e-newsletters, ads on facebook, posters and the CISV Sweden webpage. On the CISV Sweden webpage we created a section where we put all the volunteer programme-positions in CISV Sweden (age 16+) for the coming year, app 300 different positions. The section of the webpage allowed the visitor to search on all positions, read more and click on a "I'm interested" on each position.

The results was that we got a lot of non-CISVers to click that they are interested in taking part in our programmes, and several also ended up in different programmes. But the evaluation also shows that we as an organisation were not ready (yet) to take on a lot of new motivated
volunteers a the same time. The campaign will be used again in the fall of 2009.

FTB: Being a paid CISVer did you ever experience any negative feelings towards the volunteers?

Adam: No more or less than before or after being paid by CISV.

FTB: Thank you.

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