The Interim Executive Committee will pursue the following activities in the period 2006 – 2008:
- Activity 1: Finalise the by-laws of the Chapter
- Activity 2: Develop the Chapter’s Strategic and Business Plan
- Activity 3: Setup the Chapter’s finance and accounting system
- Activity 4: Expand the membership of the Chapter
- Activity 5: Establish and consolidate the channels of communication with the members
- Activity 6: Promote capacity building in agricultural information management
- Activity 7: Make arrangements for the next Chapter’s Conference
Activity 1 – Finalise the by-laws of the Chapter
The Chapter is affiliated to IAALD and will be guided by the IAALD Constitution. However, it is important that it has its own by-laws, a set of rules chiefly for the governance of its members and the regulation of its affairs.
- Finalise the drafting of the by-laws
- Distribute the by laws to the membership
Activity 2 - Develop the Chapter’s Strategic and Business Plan
The Chapter needs a strategic approach to its activities and programmes. A well formulated strategic plan will guide the Chapter it its future endeavours. A strategic plan will also help the Chapter to solicit for financial and technical support from various stakeholders and partners. There is also a need to develop the Chapter’s Business Plan which will draw on the long term goals and objectives of the Strategic Plan and contain detailed plans and budgets showing how the Chapter’s objectives are to be realised
- Formulate and develop the strategic and business plans
- “Market” the plans to the members and partners
Activity 3 - Setup the Chapter’s finance and accounting system
The Chapter, in consultation with IAALD, need to setup its finance and accounting system. The system should also provide guidelines on the collection of membership fees and the sharing of the income from membership fees and conferences between the Chapter and IAALD.
- Setup the Chapter’s finance and accounting system
- Open a bank account for the Chapter
Activity 4: Expand the Chapter’s Membership
Article VI of the draft Chapter’s By Laws provide for the following categories of members: Individual, Institutional, Associate, Student and Honorary. There are several individuals and organizations involved in agricultural information management in Africa that may not be aware of the existence of IAALD and the Africa Chapter and therefore, efforts should be made to reach them and inform them about the Association. The more members the Chapter has the more visible IAALD will be in Africa and the more the Chapter is likely to sustain its operations.
- Develop a long term membership retention and recruitment strategy as part of the Chapter’s over strategic plan;
- Identify major meetings and conferences in 2007 and 2008 on the continent where membership campaigns are to be carried out;
- Identify individuals on the Africa Chapter EXCOM and among the members who are likely to attend these meetings and assign them responsibilities for recruiting members;
- Source IAALD publicity materials from IAALD including membership application forms for use in the membership recruitment drive;
- Establish a strategic relationship with organisers of already established national and regional information professional conferences, i.e. Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa Library and Information Associations (SCECSAL), Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA), West African Library Association (WALA), etc and encourage them to include sessions on agricultural information during their conferences in 2007 and 2008;
- Work with institutions involved in capacity building in agricultural information and encourage them to market the Chapter among participants on their courses/workshops;
- Establish and operationalize regional round-tables for each of the following Chapters’ sub-regions: Central Africa Region, Eastern Africa Sub-Region, Northern Africa Sub-Region, Southern Africa Sub-Region and Western Africa Sub-Region;
- Develop a membership online database.
Activity 5 - Establish and consolidate the channels of communication with the members
One major challenge to be faced by the Chapter in its operations is how to ensure that its members are actively engaged in its activities and are also kept up to date on various developments in the profession. Africa is a large continent and in some countries the traditional postal means (snail mail) of communication can be very unreliable, and sometimes very expensive. In this regard, the use of electronic means for communicating among the members and with the Executive Committee is more appealing even though some members may not have access to reliable and inexpensive Internet connection.
- Renew the registration of the iaald-africa.org domain name which expired on 17 December 2006;
- Develop a website for the Chapter (www.iaald-africa.org) and encourage members to use the site as the principal source of information about the Chapter and its activities;
- Setup an online discussion group to facilitate and encourage electronic/virtual participation on the Chapter’s activities;
- Liaise with IAALD and discuss the possibility of using the Agricultural Information News from IAALD blog (http://iaald.blogspot.com) for disseminating information and news on activities relating to the Chapter on a regular basis.
Activity 6 - Promote capacity building in agricultural information management
Members of the Chapter need to keep abreast with international developments in agricultural information and knowledge management.
- Identify opportunities for capacity building, i.e. short courses, training workshops, seminars and conferences, for Chapter members and publicize these opportunities to membership;
- Actively encourage members to seek opportunities for training and furthering skills in information management across the continent;
- Support the initiatives in Africa to develop postgraduate programmes in agricultural information and communication management and encourage members to enrol on such programmes.
Activity 7 - Make arrangements for the next Chapter’s Conference
Article X, Section 1 of the Chapter By-Laws states that “The conference shall take place at least every three (3) years. The Executive Committee shall determine the process for selecting the conference site”. The next conference is due in 2009.
- Appoint the Conference and Programmes Committee (Article IX of the By-Laws)
- Identify the city and country for the 2009 conference and agree on the actual dates for the conference
- Liaise with Chapter members in the identified country to set up a National Organizing Committee for the conference
- Assist with fund-raising for the 2009 conference.