Programme Review FAQs

If  you have any questions about the Programme Review Recommendations that you would like to see answered here, please email the Governing Board.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Process Questions
  • In the PwC report and recommendations there is a cost-benefit assessment; how was this worked out?

PwC devised a way of being able to compare our (very different) programmes with each other. This required them to develop proxy values, which took into account:

•  the amount of time and effort the programmes take from volunteers to run;

•  the cost of running programmes (to International, which includes administration, training, and support);

•  the number of educational experience days the programmes offer our participants

To do this they used estimated 2017 figures and costs.

For example, with Village in 2017:

# programmes: 55 # participants: 2,860 (includes Junior Counsellors) # volunteers: 908 Average length of the programme: 28 days

Based on these input data, they made the following calculation:

Total experience days: 28 x 2,860 = 80,080  (average length times the total number of participants) Total volunteer days: 28 x 908 (average length times the total number of volunteers) Experience days / volunteer days: 2,860 / 908 = 3.2 (number of participants divided by number of volunteers to tell us how many experience days we get per volunteer day spent). Experience days per 1000 £ invested = (80,080 x 1000) / 496,858 = 161 (total experience days x 1000 divided by the total expenditure for Village. For the expenditure amount, they used the CISV International departmentalised account allocation provided).

See additional information on the methodology on page 6 of ‘Programme Review - PwC report’

  • CISV International published the recommendations. What happens now?

The goal for the next 10 months is to give the organization time to digest, ask questions, and engage in the conversation. In March 2020, the Board will publish the official motions, which will then go to our Members for decision-making in the July 2020 virtual voting window.

  • Why did we work with an external consultant (PwC)?

As an organization, this was the first time we conducted an analysis like this; looking at all of our programmes holistically and from multiple perspectives. Since this review was central to everything we do, and hope to do - we felt it deserved as many resources as possible to support it.

We also recognised that each of us - CISVers around the world - has a strong personal and emotional connection to our programmes, which makes us passionate CISVers, but it can also make it difficult for us to be objective. So, it was important for us to have an external partner who could provide an objective point-of-view.

We put out an open call for proposals and received applications from organizations around the world. With clear criteria and after a rigorous selection process, we were pleased to appoint PwC Geneva. Their team specialises in working with Non-Governmental Organizations and other not-for-profit organizations. This was a joint effort; a partnership that gave us both an internal and external perspective.

  • We see a lot about capacity and risk management, but not a lot about educational content; why is that?

We have years of educational evaluation data on our programmes. Thanks to the excellent return rate of PDPEFs (Programme Directors Planning and Evaluation Form) each year we can analyze the performance of our programmes against their educational goals and indicators. We can also compare them over years, and adapt guides and training if we see areas for improvement. Overall, all our programmes have really good results against their educational goals. That’s great news and that was a starting point for us. What we have not considered before, was how to make sure we had the ability as an organization to continue offering safe and high quality programmes. So we consciously focused on the internal realities of hosting and sending that our Chapters shared with us, the safety and quality aspects,and our capacity to grow each programme. We also looked at what other organizations are doing and what other programmes similar to ours exist.

Meanwhile, the International Educational Programmes Committee is currently working on the quality and content of our programmes.

  • Will the whole report be put forward as one motion or will each recommendation be its own motion?

We have not yet decided the best way to structure the motions. At this point in time, the goal is for the organization to engage in a conversation about the recommendations - so everyone truly understands what we are proposing and we can clarify anything that is not clear. Also, to give us time to gain a shared understanding of what we will need to do to implement the changes successfully.

  • The reports are marked “Confidential” or “Internal” – Can we share them?

The documents (which are held on our intranet) can be shared within CISV, but they are internal documents within the organization and should not be posted on any public website or other public forum.

  • Who is going to decide if the recommendations are put in place? When?

Any major changes to our programmes must be approved by the Members, in line with our Articles of Association. Some recommendations relate to more operational programme matters and may be considered by our Committees. No matter what is decided, the Programme Review will ensure that they are informed decisions. In order to give us all the time we need to think this through together, we will not bring any motions for decision until 2020.

Guiding Principles
  • If the Guiding Principles are approved, how will the changes they will mean ensure we offer a higher educational experience than we do today?

By focusing on programmes where we have less variance in the experience and by being more intentional about the educational outcomes we want to achieve (e.g. the curriculum, definition of what is an Active Global Citizen, new set of goals and indicators, new evaluation tool – a lot of things the Educational Programmes Committee is developing).

  • What happened to “digital detoxing”? (as mentioned in the PwC report and recommendations, but not in the CISV document?)

We didn’t feel it required its own recommendation but it is definitely something we can consider as we further develop marketing material for our programmes.

  • Why are youth defined as under 18?

Based on global standards, that is the current legal definition we follow for the line between a ‘child’ and an ‘adult’.

  • We have added programmes for different age groups over the last decade or so, based on various inputs, recommendations and studies. Are we sure we don’t want to offer any more programmes for adults?

We believe that to enable us to deliver safe, high quality, consistent and impactful programmes for children aged under 18 (who make up more than 95% of our participants) we need to focus on them. When we devote attention and resources to programmes for adults, we take them away from the programmes for our young participants. This in turn makes it harder for us to specialise and further develop our expertise in our core competency – offering educational experiences for children.

There will have been different and recurring reasons why programmes were added. One reason was that there was a desire by past participants to have more programme opportunities and then, with time those programme also developed further.

You’re taking for granted that every 18-year old wants to be a staff, but this is not the case, and we’re taking away from them the possibility to develop skills learned outside of those required for staffing a programme in CISV.

We do not believe that every 18-year-old wants to be staff; nor do we believe that every 17-year-old wants to be a Junior Counsellor. What we do believe is that by focusing on fewer and clearer international opportunities we will be better placed to develop and support those roles.

 In CISV people aged 18+ can volunteer in international and local programmes, local activities, and be active in Junior Branch. They also have many volunteer opportunities in their Chapter, National Association, and with International. All of our volunteer opportunities give adults the possibility to use and develop the skills and interests they have learned in CISV – and they all offer experiential learning.

  • Are you saying for adults over 18 the only opportunity to experience educational activities is to become a volunteer and that if you don’t want to volunteer you should leave?

We believe that being a volunteer is an educational experience in itself. But if an adult does not want to volunteer or support CISV in some way, then they may find educational programmes offered by organizations that focus on adult participation suit them better. CISVers aged over 18 can always stay connected to CISV and each other through our alumni association.

  • Step Up is part of ‘Phase 1: Participation’, but the programme has leadership development elements and encourages the delegates to take active part in the planning. Are you suggesting to change this aspect of Step Up?

Encouraging the development of leadership skills is a big part of Step Up (as with all of our programmes). We don’t want to change that. Just because programmes are part of the same ‘Phase’ doesn’t mean they are identical and it’s important for each of the programmes to have a unique aspect that reflects the age of the participants. One of the reasons we grouped programmes for ages 11-15 together and called this phase ‘Participation’ is because participants travel as part of a delegation, with adult leaders. This is as opposed to the second phase (for ages 16-17) where youth travel alone and where even more of the focus is on leadership development.

  • You’re suggesting CISV programmes focus on youth, but shouldn’t CISV be for everyone?

One of the earliest pieces of feedback that we got from PwC is that we lack focus and that it seems that we ‘try to be everything for everyone’. Some of the disadvantages of trying to do too much - including spreading our limited resources too thinly, making it difficult to ensure quality, explain what CISV does, develop expertise, etc.

CISV already focuses on youth. It is in our name, in our Articles of Association (Constitution), and it is 90% of what we do; it is our strength. So we are suggesting to explicitly focus our programmes on youth, and build on what we already do best.

That does not mean there is no room in the organization for adults. On the contrary - our organization would not function without committed adults. And we feel there are plenty of ways for adults to engage within our organization and to apply what they may have learned as participants in our programmes as programme staff/leaders, Junior Branch (JB), Chapter/NA roles, regional roles, international roles, and trainers. There is also the Alumni Association, which is a growing network of CISVers, past and present, aged 18+. Also, there are ways to ‘apply’ attitudes, skills and knowledge gained in CISV outside of CISV. Just because someone applied the learning they gained from CISV somewhere else, does not mean we, as CISV, were not successful - quite the opposite, we have increased our impact.

Junior Branch
  • Where does JB fit in?

JB has a huge role in reinforcing and continuing to develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge youth gain in our educational programmes. JB also has an important role in keeping its members involved in CISV, giving them opportunities to apply those skills and gain organizational experience.

We see JB as playing a significant role in both Phase 2 (Leadership Development) and Phase 3 (Leadership Roles) as well as in helping to grow Mosaic.

Some of the ways we believe JB will be key for success are:

•  Providing opportunities for youth to apply what they have learned in our programmes and bringing it back to your Chapter/NA

•  Creating JB opportunities locally, nationally and regionally to help retain 18-21 year olds

•  Taking a lead on growing local initiatives

Village
  • Didn't we already have a study on 21 day Villages?

In 2006, based on a motion from our Members, CISV International conducted a study where it piloted a number of 21-day Villages. The study results concluded that while there were differences, the educational goals (as they were at the time) were achieved in both 21 and 28 day programmes. The feedback from leaders and staff was mixed, with some not liking the shorter camp and some thinking that it worked fine. Ultimately, at that time the Members voted to keep Village at 28 days.

  • How will we ensure the quality of Village is not harmed by shortening it?

One of the projects that CISV International is working on is to create a curriculum for each of our programmes, to provide guidance for staff and leaders (who are often not professional non-formal educators), create more consistency in quality across programmes, and to be more intentional about the educational outcomes we want to achieve. We have never done this before. We feel that having a curriculum will not only ensure that there is no negative effect on the educational outcomes, but lead to even better outcomes. We will start with the Village curriculum. Programme curricula will of course be developed with our programme realties in mind and will give space for creativity.

  • What is the main rationale for shortening Village?

Village is our unique programme. It is also the programme that Chapters tell us brings in most new participants, families, and volunteers. However, Chapters also tell us that Village is the most challenging to host because of its length, size, cost, etc. We have identified Village as our ‘engine for growth’ to help us do more of our other programmes. So to grow Village we have to consider how to make it easier to host. A shorter length will make the programme easier to host (and possibly also easier to send to),while having a curriculum will help ensure quality and consistency.

Also, we often assume that the way we do things today is a result of research or science. But often the original reasoning was practical. For example, one of the reasons Village is 28 days is because in earlier decades, overseas travel was cheaper when you stayed 4 weeks.

 
Step Up
  • Why add a delegation?

Step Up is very popular, both for hosting and sending. Step Up can easily accommodate an additional delegation, while still giving each person the opportunity to develop and get to know the group. Why not build on it?!

Youth Meeting
  • I have seen Youth Meeting be a life-changing experience for both experienced JBers aged 16-17and those who are brand new. Is a new, younger Seminar Camp going to absorb some of the many JBers who are currently served by Youth Meeting?

Yes. Based on 2018 figures, only two additional Seminar Camps would be required to accommodate the same number of 16-17-year-olds that currently participate in Seminar Camps and Youth Meetings. Note that this does not take into account the new Junior Counsellor positions in Youth Meeting, which will offer even more opportunities for this age group.

We see a direct link to the ‘new’ Seminar Camp and Junior Branch; something we will be actively exploring with Junior Branch. We want Seminar Camp to be more intentional in helping young people to develop leadership skills – and to offer a powerful educational experience.

  • Is there a way to increase the number of age 12-13 Youth Meetings in the next year and reduce them for the other age groups, even before the proposed changes are voted on?

Though it is technically possible to do it that way, that approach does present problem in that we would reduce opportunities for the older age groups before we had the alternative options in place.

As it is today, Youth Meeting has four official age groups. What mainly determines the number of Youth Meetings per age group is the number of invitation requests for the different age groups. For example, many invitation requests for 12-13 Youth Meetings creates a higher demand for that age group, and very few requests for 19+ Youth Meetings mean we do not host more than one a year.

If we were to increase the number of 12-13 Youth Meetings and reduce the 14-15 and 16-18 Youth Meetings, it would leave potential participants in those age groups without an alternative option.

  • What is the reason that the opportunities for children to have a CISV experience during their shorter holidays will be eliminated?

There is always the possibility for children to have a CISV experience in their Chapter at any time, through taking part in a local programme or Junior Branch.

Feedback on the 8-day Youth Meeting is that while it is logistically easier to host, it is difficult to deliver on the educational goals in such a short time. That is why the recommendation is to only have longer Youth Meetings (at maximum 16 days).

Presently, several NAs that host 8-day Youth Meetings in the March-April and December-January programme seasons might not be able to host longer Youth Meetings in those programme seasons.

  • Is it correct that we will no longer have a programme that is as easy, cheap and flexible as today’s Youth Meetings? If so, how can we reach children from less affluent families?

While Youth Meeting as it is today would change to be for one age group and be of one length, we think it would still be easier to host and relatively less expensive, than say Step Up, as it is shorter. We also believe that we can widen access significantly through developing more local programme models.

  • Will the new programme be for both ages 12 and 13 together or 12 separately from 13?

We are recommending that the programme will be either for ages 12 or 13, similar to the Step Up model.

  • What about the December-January and March-April programme seasons?

The requests to host Youth Meetings have grown dramatically over the last years; demonstrating a desire from Chapters to host shorter programmes. This makes sense considering they are cheaper, easier to find staff, etc. However, we have to balance that with programme quality. The feedback we received for the 8-day programme was that it is too short (effectively 6 days) to achieve meaningful educational outcomes, not worth travelling far for, and requires a very experienced adult group to make it effective.

We understand that only having a 15-day option may make it harder for some NAs to host in December, but longer programmes are hosted successfully in that season now. It may, however, be almost impossible for some to host in March-April. That said, we think there could be other exciting opportunities to do more locally during those times of the year, such as a national or local camp (see Mosaic recommendation).

  • The shorter programmes made it easier for Chapters to host, especially developing Chapters that cannot take on a Village. Wouldn’t this make it harder?

We understand 8-day camps are easy to host, but balanced against educational value and quality we recommend to stop doing 8-day camps. That said, we do see the value in having some shorter (easier to host) programmes, which is why we recommend that the programme for 12-13 year olds and Seminar Camp should be around 16 days. We feel that would still give Chapter the option to host a shorter programme, while not having negative impact on educational value.

Seminar Camp
  • I have seen Youth Meeting be a life-changing experience for both experienced JBers aged 16-17and those who are brand new. Is a new, younger Seminar Camp going to absorb some of the many JBers who are currently served by Youth Meeting?

Yes. Based on 2018 figures, only two additional Seminar Camps would be required to accommodate the same number of 16-17-year-olds that currently participate in Seminar Camps and Youth Meetings. Note that this does not take into account the new Junior Counsellor positions in Youth Meeting, which will offer even more opportunities for this age group.

We see a direct link to the ‘new’ Seminar Camp and Junior Branch; something we will be actively exploring with Junior Branch. We want Seminar Camp to be more intentional in helping young people to develop leadership skills – and to offer a powerful educational experience.

  • How can we ensure the quality of the programme isn’t negatively affected by the shorter length?

One of the projects that CISV International is working on is to create a curriculum for each of our programmes, to provide guidance, create more consistency in quality, and to be more intentional about the educational outcomes we want to achieve. We have never done this before. We feel that having a curriculum will not only ensure that there is no negative effect on the educational outcomes, but will lead to even better outcomes.

  • If we change the age group to 16-17, wouldn’t we be changing the nature of the programme?

Changing the age group to 16-17 from 17-18 may slightly change the nature of the programme, although much will be very similar. The Seminar Camp model is rich and powerful and can be adapted to focus more clearly on leadership skills. The issue today is that having ‘children’ (under 18) and ‘adults’ (over 18) as participants together creates a variety of risk and legal issues for us as an organization. Therefore, we think we will gain more as an organization by minimizing this risk than we would ‘lose’ from changing the age.

  • Will this mean that someone can go to Seminar Camp first, and then be a JC?

Technically, yes. You will now have 2 years in which you can be both a JC and participate in Seminar Camp, without a specific order prescribed. Each one offers a different type of leadership development opportunity. This is possible today as well.

Interchange
  • If we phase out Interchange, how do we hold on to all those volunteers who are passionate about it?

That is a good and valid question. Hopefully, these volunteers are passionate about CISV in general and not just the Interchange programme. While it’s natural to have a stronger affinity to one programme over another, we would encourage those people, as well as all people, to be open to the broader considerations around this recommendation. It’s important to remember this recommendation is not meant to discount their positive experience, it’s just trying to focus us as an organization on things that work better for us globally.

  • How do we make people understand the overall value of focusing our organization on camp-based programmes so that we can take a step back from the emotional attachment to Interchange?

See answer to the question above. Why focus? Because when we try to do many things, we can’t always give them the attention they need; when we focus our time and resources on fewer things, we understand the needs better, we develop specialization, and can deliver better and more consistent quality, better programmes and more impact.

  • How will you phase it out? What would be the process and how will we ensure that we create enough ‘spots’ to replace Interchange?

There are two age groups that currently participate in Interchange.

For ages 12-13: If we make all  Youth Meetings (YMs)  for 12 or 13 year olds, based on the current and planned number of YMs, we would  be able to create more than enough spots in YMs to accommodate all 12-13 Interchange participants. So this age group is not going to require phasing out.

For ages 14-15: We will need to build up more capacity for Step Ups in order to accommodate all current 14-15 YM participants and 14-15 Interchange participants. The phase out of Interchange will be aligned to the building up of additional Step Ups so that we don’t end up ‘losing’ 14-15 year old spots in the process.

  • Could you provide the exact calculations behind the statement that there will not be a higher number of leaders needed if we cancel Interchange and focus on camp-based programmes?

The International Office is working on revamping those numbers, which will be shared soon. Stay tuned.

  • Many of the NAs that host many Interchanges are also generally strong NAs. Could it be that there’s a correlation between their overall success and the fact they host Interchange?

The 10 NAs that make up 75% of all Interchanges are some of our longest established with a strong volunteer base. Some of them take part in Interchange because it helps them recruit, engage and retain volunteers. Others take part in Interchange as it is a relatively easy way to create additional international programme opportunities when there are not enough camp based spots. That said, even of the NAs that rely on Interchange, Chapters told us that there is a clear preference for camp-based programmes. Also, it is our only programme that some NAs actively choose NOT to take part in.

  • The programme review highlights risks involved in a home-based exchange experience such as Interchange. It also notes this is where we have the most competition. How are other organizations mitigating these risks and succeeding?

In CISV, Interchange has a very different risk profile to our camp-based programmes, and in recent years, several difficult cases were reported. There is an inherent risk in placing an individual child in a home that requires a much higher level of regulation and oversight than we currently offer. We can only meet an acceptable standard by making it harder and more expensive for Chapters to participate in Interchange.

There are several differentiators between CISV and its competitors (when it comes to exchange programmes) that make them more successful at handling these risks:

  Most of these ‘competitor’ organizations have exchange as their core focus and devote the majority of their time and resources to delivering them safely

  Many of these organization have a much higher number of paid staff, both internationally and locally. AFS, for instance, has a much higher level of paid staff than CISV and has stringent internal risk management processes, and meets the demands of external accreditation

  Most competitors organizations charge proportionately much higher fees allowing them to invest more in providing safer programmes

  • If we feel home-stays are more risky, why don’t we recommend to remove home-stays from camp-based programmes, as well?

Home stays associated with camps are very short and children are always placed in pairs, so no child is placed in a home on their own. This reduces the risks considerably. That said, we still need to make the same checks on the families offering the home stay as we do for Interchange.

  • Hosting an Interchange doesn’t demand much investment from Chapters, whilst camp based programmes demand a lot. Wouldn’t this be placing additional burdens on Chapters?

Yes, in many ways Interchanges are easier to host, though many Chapters report a growing difficulty to find Interchange families. As mentioned above, to maintain Interchange in today’s world of more stringent child safeguarding requirements, it will become a lot harder and more expensive for Chapters to take part in. We want to look at how we can help Chapters with the demands of our camp-based programmes and encourage local, less demanding, programme models.

If Interchange is dropped, is there any way to provide more financial support for hosting to new and smaller Chapters with fewer resources?

Chapter Development is looking into various incentives that would make it easier for Chapters to host more camps.

  • CISV wants to increase professionalism and address a shortage of leaders. Teachers could be a good target audience but some would prefer Interchanges to camps. Wouldn’t taking away Interchange harm our ability to recruit teachers?

We want to attract more people with an educational background for many of our volunteer opportunities – most particularly in our camps. Teachers could definitely make excellent leaders (and staff) in all of our programmes. We heard from most Chapters that the number one issue they have is recruiting staff and leaders. Based on this feedback, we will launch a recruitment campaign for leaders this year that will focus on the personal and professional benefits of volunteering with CISV as a leader. The resources will include a promotional video, new leaflet and presentation, and also recruitment ideas and good practice. CISV Portugal, for instance, is very successful in recruiting trainee teachers and teachers for leader and staff roles in camps through its links to teacher training colleges. We can also offer other volunteer experiences to teachers who would prefer not to lead an international camp delegation, for instance in our local programmes. While some teachers may prefer Interchange, we do not feel this is a sufficient reason to change the recommendation, in light of all the other findings.

  • It has been mentioned that hosting more Step Ups and YMs can meet the demand that today is catered for by Interchange. What is the plan, in numbers, to assure the existing demand will still be met? How many Step Ups and Youth Meetings will need to be hosted to meet the demand?

Based on 2018 numbers, to accommodate the same number of 12 and 13 years-olds that currently participate in Youth Meeting and Interchange we would need a total of 52 ‘New Youth Meetings’ (each with 8 delegations of 4 participants). That is seven fewerYouth Meetings than we hosted in 2018.

To accommodate the number of 14 and 15 years-olds that currently participate in Youth Meeting, Interchange, and Step Up we would need a total of 61 Step Ups (each with 10 delegation of 4 participants. That is 14 more Step Ups than we hosted in 2018.

  • How has CISV dealt with Interchanges with low educational outcomes in the past?

About 10 years ago, CISV International adopted a consistent structure across our international programmes for educational goals and indicators. That alone was a big step. At the same time an educational evaluation tool called the Programme Directors Planning and Evaluation Form was introduced. Since then, evaluation data has been collected and trainer recommendations have been provided to help leaders work with the indicators that have performed low.

The efforts from about ten years ago were big foundational steps towards putting the focus on educational quality. And while those steps certainly increased our attention to education, the job is by no means done and we know we have to develop further. One example of that is what the Educational Programmes Committee is doing now – reviewing the programme goals and indicators. The point is not to only look at how well the existing goals and indicators perform in a programme, but whether we are measuring against the right goals and indicators. A programme that performs well on paper, but where the indicators are either too easy or not relevant is essentially missing the point.

All to say that while Interchange appears to perform well against its current goals and indicators, we continue to have concerns around the educational value of Interchange, in terms of intentionality and depth. One aspect that sets Interchange apart from other programmes is the consistency when it comes to programme quality and our ability to influence quality.

The type of experience delegates have in an Interchange ranges from incredible, through 'okay', all the way to a bad experience. The latter is rarely the case with camp-based programmes. This is mainly due to the fact that there is more diversity of delegates to socialize with, more diversity within the adult group and their level of experience, the educational experience is more intentional, and the location of the programme has less impact on the overall experience in camps.

It is this very high variance and our limited ability to ensure quality (due to the programme structure) that makes it a more problematic programme from a quality perspective. Since we found that most Chapters say their participants prefer camp-based programmes, it seems like the right step forward for us to focus on them as they are (1) preferred and (2) provide a more consistent, more intentional educational outcome.

  • What can we offer to families that are not wealthy enough to afford the more expensive camp-based programmes for their children?

First of all, although Interchanges are easier to host from a Chapter’s perspective, from a family perspective it is reported to often be more costly than camp-based programmes. The question of cost limiting accessibility is a big question we’ve been dealing with for years. On one hand, we realise our fees exclude families that cannot afford it, on the other hand we know that our fees don’t cover the actual costs of hosting a programme and are much lower than some comparable organizations. Considering this, the review recommends increasing accessibility by introducing a variety of local/national programme models, to replicate our international experience on a local level, thus making the CISV educational experience more accessible and allow work with the local community. Also, some Chapters already offer ‘scholarship funds’ for international camps for participants from less wealthy families; we think this is something more Chapters could consider.

  • Interchange is the third biggest contributor in terms of revenue to CISV International after Village and Step Up; how will we make up the loss?

By offering the same number of invitations in camp-based programmes instead (that is, Youth Meeting and Step Up).

  • Did the review team and PwC only consider the ‘marketing’ lens and what will be easier to ‘sell’?

While both PwC and the CISV Programme Review Team did consider the place of CISV and its programmes in the market, in terms of the competition and demand, this was by no means the only or strongest lens. Both teams gave as much weight to the organizational benefits, the risks, and the educational quality of each programme, the effort and cost to deliver the programme in relation to the number of participants, as well as the hosting and sending preferences of our existing Chapters and NAs. We did not rely solely on the information gained through the survey done last year but also from extensive surveys that focused on operations done in recent years and work done by the Educational Programmes Committee. The Programme Review Team gives reference to all of our sources in the report.

  • If we stop doing Interchange, will there be enough camp spots to accommodate those who can no longer do Interchange?

For 12-13 year olds: based on the 2018 participation numbers, if we take all the Youth Meetings for all ages that Chapters have committed to host and make them all for ages 12-13, then we would create enough participation opportunities for all 12-13 year olds - and even have some extra camps. So this age group will not be a problem and we can stop doing Interchange for this age group in one year.

For 14-15 year olds: This age group is trickier because we are suggesting to take away both 14-15 Youth Meeting and Interchange. Based on the 2018 participation numbers this means we need to create enough Step Up spots to accommodate all of those participants. This may not happen within one year so we are suggesting we do a gradual phase out of Interchange for 14-15 year old olds. In other words, build capacity for Step Up first before stopping Interchange for this age group.

There are a few ways in which we can increase Step Up spots without requiring many more ‘new’ camps:

•  We are adding one delegation to each Step Up

•  We will have extra Youth Meetings after we accommodate all 12-13 year olds, so we can ask those Chapters to consider hosting a Step Up instead (perhaps with some kind of incentive)

•  There are currently more Seminar Camp hosting requests in the plan than historical Seminar Camp demand, so we can ask a few Chapters that have requested to host a Seminar Camp to consider hosting a Step Up instead.

  • Should the fact there are some organizations that also offer exchanges stop us from doing Interchange?

No. It’s not the mere fact that others do it that drives this recommendation. It is a combination of the facts stated in the Programme Review Report (please see report for further detail):

Many Chapters/NAs don’t want to do Interchange; most Interchanges are done by a small number of NAs while a large portion of the organization does not engage with it; it has always been our most ‘controversial’ programme

•  Chapters and participants/families prefer to send to camp-based programmes, when given the choice

•  The quality of the programme is inconsistent and hard to quality-assure

•  There are broader risks and safety issues than in a camp-based programme and Interchange requires different risk management capabilities and training

On top of this, there are many other organizations that offer some form of long or short exchange, including many schools. These exchanges are not identical to Interchange, but they do share many of the goals and aspects. This means, that we could consider partnering with other organizations and refer to them if we have a family or participants that want an exchange experience.

  • Interchange helps my Chapter engage volunteers and recruit parents for roles in the Chapter board. What will I do now?

It is true that one of the greatest benefits of Interchange is that it allows parents to experience an international programme first-hand and can help create motivation to become more involved. We are not arguing this fact. What we are suggesting is that on its own, this fact is not strong enough to outweigh the other issues with Interchange. So, while we recognize that this will be a price that we pay, we think it is still the better way forward and that this can be an opportunity for us as an organization to think creatively and share best-practices around new ways to engage families and recruit parents into Chapter roles.

We know that moving away from Interchange will mean a considerable change for a small number of NAs, while others will not really be affected. We will work with the NAs that offer Interchanges to see how we can help them in this transition period so that they can can continue to meet demand for participation spots.

  • Why can’t we just let the NAs that like Interchange keep doing it?

It’s not so simple. CISV International has a responsibility to assure safety, quality, and build a foundation for each international programme that happens under the CISV umbrella. This means there is a fixed level of investment required in any one of our programmes, regardless whether we host 10 of them or 100 of them. Today the safety and quality of Interchange is not sufficient. This means that if we keep Interchange, we will have to make a significant investment in bringing the safety and quality up to an acceptable standard, regardless of whether 8 NAs host it or all of our NAs host it.

IPP
  • IPP is the only programme we have that lets participants put into practice what they learned in other programmes. Isn’t this going against our goal of creating Active Global Citizens?

We definitely want our participants to be active global citizens and to put into practice the things they learned in our programmes. However, this does not have to happen within CISV. There are many opportunities for us all to be active global citizens - in our schools, our communities, our careers; this helps CISV to increase and demonstrate our impact. There are also great opportunities to put into practice what they have learned within CISV - as programme staff or leaders, in JB or in organizational roles, and through Mosaic.

  • IPP provides a great opportunity to create community impact. Why should we take that away?

We love the community aspect of IPP and we want to continue to do more community impact work by investing in Mosaic. Mosaic will give the opportunity to create more sustainable impact as you can build a longer term collaboration with local organizations or communities.

  • This was an opportunity for adults to be participants in a CISV programme. What opportunities will they have now?

It’s true that IPP allowed adults to be participants, but demand for IPPs has always been very low and CISV International has had to limit the number of IPPs that can be offered per year (otherwise they get cancelled due to lack of participants). The Chapter survey actually showed that people aged 19+ prefer to be staff or leaders.

That said, we think there are various opportunities to stay involved in CISV as an adult such as staff/leaders, JB, Chapter/NA roles, regional roles, international roles, trainers/trainees. There is also the Alumni Association,which is a growing network of CISVers, past and present, aged 18+. Finally, as we mentioned above, there are many ways to ‘apply’ attitudes, skills and knowledge gained in CISV outside of CISV.

Mosaic
  • Will I no longer have to fill out paperwork to run a Mosaic? How will CISV do quality assurance on Mosaic projects?

There will be template Mosaic projects that look to address a local need or raise awareness of an issue and require working with a partner organization. Those template Mosaic projects will not require additional paperwork for approval as they are pre-approved - in the same way that Village is a pre-approved model. You would report on Mosaic in much the same way as you do for our other programmes.

In the past two years, CISV International has also conducted a study of educational activities (not done as ‘Mosaic’) that are run locally and nationally to try to identify best practices. Those best practices will be developed into approved ‘template’ local educational projects that can easily be replicated within your Chapter/NA. Some will be based on existing local or international models so they should not require additional training; in fact, running them some of them will provide a hands-on training experience to help develop staff and leaders for international programmes.

With both these template Mosaic models and the new local educational programmes, CISV can increase our local programming in a way that will reach more people and give them a distinctly CISV educational experience.

  • What if my Chapter wants to do a local activity that is not a template Mosaic or new local educational programme?

The goal of the template Mosaic projects (and the new local educational programmes) is to make it easier for Chapters as they can just adapt them to suit their local reality and run them. That said, if a Chapter wants to do something else, they are welcome to. This will not require approval from CISV International, and will also not require reporting. We are always happy to hear about new projects, though, and potentially add them as a new template that others can follow.

Organizational Recommendations
  • Looking at international trends and understanding that CISV wants to grow, one can conclude that India and China are key to CISV’s growth. Can we gather information about those two NAs and what they need to grow?

We do indeed see these two countries as key to growth, along with the whole Asia Pacific region. We have gathered such information about what they need to grow from CISV India and China, along with external market information, and we know that their demand is for camp-based programmes – and particularly Village.

  • Does the fee structure recommendation mean that we will increase the fees for our programmes?

The Programme Review is simply flagging that our current international fees do not cover the cost of hosting a programme - the local, national, and international costs. This means Chapters need to make up that difference, which they often do by charging parents a fee that goes to the Chapter. It also means that internationally, we may not be able to provide Chapters with the support they need to make sure our programmes are safe and high quality.

The Programme Review report does not suggest a specific path forward, just says that it’s time for CISV to do a review of the fee structure (regardless of the outcome of the programme recommendations). This is something the Governing Board has included in the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan. Any resulting increase in the fees above 3% will, of course, come to the Members for a vote, in accordance with our Articles.

  • What will happen to the fees of the programmes that we are shortening?

This answer has two parts. One is in the long term, and one is in the short term. In the long term, this is part of what will be looked at in the review of the fee structure. In the short term, we will need to take a decision about what happens in the interim (e.g. between voting on the Programme Review and when the fee recommendations come). We have not yet determined any possible interim fee changes - fee changes that may result from changes to programme lengths - but we will definitely present them prior to the motions coming out in 2020.

  • Won’t professionalization change the volunteer nature of our organization?

We don’t think so and other organizations have professionalized while retaining their essential volunteer ethos. We actually think that it will incentivize more volunteering.

The idea of professionalization is not just about hiring more paid staff. It’s an approach and an understanding that we need to bring more expertise into what we do. That could mean identifying areas that require paid staff, but also identifying areas where we want volunteers with specific professional skills, creating better materials, processes, etc.

As for having more paid staff, we feel that today we sometimes expect too much from volunteers. We also know that some roles are very difficult to do effectively in our spare time, without being able to focus on them more regularly. By identifying those areas and shifting some responsibility to paid staff, at every level of CISV not just international, it will actually mean that what we expect from volunteers (who will still be responsible for the VAST majority of our efforts) is more reasonable. This will hopefully encourage more people to step up and be willing to take on volunteer roles.

  • Does this mean that we now will pay programme staff and leaders?

This is not one of the areas we think require paid employees.

  • What areas are you thinking of professionalizing?

The Governing Board has asked the Secretary General to come to the Board with more detail on which areas may require professionalization, including paid employees. One area where we already know we need more hired professionals is in risk management. This has to do with building a foundation as an organization to protect children better and putting the right practices in place to safeguard the organization against future risk situations.

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