Revised by the Board on the basis of proposals from the group work during the GA meeting. This activity plan of ASF-Int is to be valid from the GA meeting 2012 until the meeting 2013. The proposal is based on the Strategic Plan for 2011-2014, adopted by the GA meeting 2011. One of the important objectives of the Strategic Plan is to build a worldwide network of organisations which focus on development issues. The main conditions for success are considered to be: a) information development; b) internal network improvement; c) financial autonomy.
The main aims of the Activity Plan are to make ASF-International a resource for the members, to increase the number of members and to strengthen our financial resources. It is proposed that this is done by focusing on these main themes:
1. PROMOTE THE SOCIAL PRODUCTION OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS
This aim is to be achieved by a) establishment of a newsletter that is internationally distributed; b) continued improvement of the website; c) writing debating articles in professional journals; d) publishing a book on the social production of habitat and professional ethics; e) inviting colleagues, mass media and others to a seminar/conference in connection with the GA meeting 2013.
The newsletter should target both member and an external audience. It is to be produced 3 or 4 times a year to start with. It is important to publish the newsletter regularly, while it is less important to have many pages. The aim is to produce the newsletter professionally, but since it will take time to acquire resources for this, improvements are to be made step-wise. The responsibility for the newsletter shall be delegated to co-editors on a rotating scheme. In the first year Board members should be part of this scheme. A layout dummy has already been established. The secretariat is to be in charge of the final editing and the distribution of the newsletter.
It is considered important that ASF members write articles in professional journals. Members should be encouraged to write about their activities in general and also articles that contribute to the debate about social responsibility within the professions of architecture, design and planning. The Board is to send out examples of articles that convey messages in line with the Hasselt Charter. It is desirable that articles are compiled in an archive with the Secretariat and that links to such are articles are listed on the website.
To make ASF-Int (and member organisations) better known our network should work more with press releases and in general improve dissemination of information to media. The Board is to appoint a person responsible for media contacts. Lists of relevant professional and other journals should be produced and these should be to advertise projects of general interest, the newsletter, other publications and seminars organised by ASF. Each GA meeting should result in press releases about the main decisions from the meeting.
Seminars arranged in connection with the General Assembly meetings ought to be open to the general public. They should be advertised to students and professionals in the country of the meeting host, to members on the ASF interest list and in professional journals in several countries. Mainstream professional organisations can be invited to act as co-conveners of seminars and other meetings. ASF-Int can select prominent keynote speakers and offer journals to make interviews with them.
During the past period well-attended seminars have been arranged in connection with Board meetings. This was the case in Milano in April 2011 and Lisbon in September 2011. These types of seminars should continue during the coming year, and preferably be arranged in collaboration with local professional organisations.
Concerning the proposal to make a publication on the social production of habitat and professional ethics it is suggested that an editorial group is appointed, including non-Board members. The group should invite ASF members to contribute and survey existing articles that may deserve re-publication. The book should describe the aims and activities of ASF-Int, present a selection of projects and attempt to include more theoretical discussions about developmental aspects of architecture and planning. The aim is to launch the publication in connection with the GA meeting in 2013. If the budget does not allow to print hard-copies the publication can be produced in electronic version for downloading free of charge from the website. It should be oriented to serve the purpose of fund-raising.
2. PROMOTING PROJECT PARTNERSHIP
In order to promote project collaboration information is to be collected about members in the form of a data bank. Up to the GA meeting 2012 two thirds of the members had filled in the form sent out in the preceding year. The remaining members shall be asked to supply basic information about themselves. The data bank can be used to introduce members to each other in order to coordinate joint projects. The bank can be updated and extended continuously over time.
The Secretariat is to have the main responsibility to maintain the data bank and for starting common projects. Therefore it is important to give priority to develop the secretariat during the coming period. In the future an interactive form in pdf format may be established, to be filled in and updated by members. The Secretariat should work out procedures for common projects.
It is desirable that common projects are shown on the website. As a start the Development Architecture Education project and the various Haïti projects are to be displayed on the website. Member organisations working in the same country and with similar type of projects should be encouraged to collaborate and learn from each other’s experience.
3. IMPROVE COMMUNICATION
Members need a clear and easy way to contact the Board and to get regular information. A procedure needs to be worked out how members shall contact the Board and each other. In the past this has mainly been through the Secretary, but this is not satisfactory. There should also be a more long-term strategy for both internal and external communication.
The newsletter is an important instrument to meet this demand. See point 1 above. Member organisations should be encouraged to contribute regularly with reports about their activities in the newsletter. Such reports should also be published on the website.
The website is another important instrument to improve communication. The potential of the website as a place to promote the work of our members is not currently being fully realised. It needs to be updated more frequently and should be used more for information about activities of members. The data base can be made available on the website so that members in an easy way can find out about each other.
For external communication the updated portfolio can be used more actively than in the past. Also other types of material can be used, such as exhibitions, articles and report about member activities. Facebook and other social media should be used. While internal information can be rather informal it is important that external information is more stringent and well edited.
4. INCREASE MEMBERSHIP
ASF-Int strives to establish a world-wide network of professionals committed to development aspects of design and planning, social responsibility, sustainable development and professional ethics. One way to do this is to increase the number of members from 24 to at least 30 during the coming three year period. Many individuals have contacted ASF-Int in the past years expressing a willingness to work with ASF. Some of them are prepared to work for the establishment of an ASF chapter in their own country. They should be assisted to do so. In this work an emphasis should be put on developing countries. The experience of ASF members can be used when such members visit countries where no ASF branch exists. Existing NGOs working with the built environment and planning should be invited to join ASF-Int. Like in the past statutes of existing members can be sent to groups that want to register an organisation. Other types of material can also be made available. If the financial situation allows this, individuals about to form an organisation may be invited to GA meeting in order to make contacts and discuss common projects.
Concerning individual support membership, see the following section.
5. FINANCIAL AUTONOMY
In 2011 it was decided to raise the fee to Eur 300 for all members, effective from 2012. The GA meeting this year decided to replace the fixed fee with a scaled membership fee proportional to the budget/turnover of each member organisation, to be effective from 2013.
The membership fee is not sufficient to cover the needs of ASF-Int. To achieve financial autonomy it is necessary to raise funds from other sources as well.
The following tasks are considered most important to support financially:
To achieve this aim a fund-raising committee has been established. When seeking donations and sponsors the sponsor policy agreed upon in 2011 is to be used. Existing personal contacts are to be used to start with. An attempt should be made to see how existing international networks for Corporate Social Responsibility can be used. Both the European Union and the United Nations have policies of this kind (see http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/poli... and http://www.unglobalcompact.org/). We should also explore the possibilities to get core support for ASF as an NGO.
A fund-raising event is to be organised in connection with the GA meeting in 2013. The experience of ASF-Denmark and ASF-Espana is to be used for this purpose. The event can be fruitfully combined with exhibitions and a cultural program.
Considering the fact that many people contact ASF-Int trough the website, and that many individuals express an interest to become attached to our network even in countries where no member organisation exists, an investigation should be made how to provide for individual support membership with the purpose to raise funds.