OUTCOMES OF THE MEETING OF THE NEPARC BOARD OF DIRECTORS HELD ON MAY 4, 2006 IN SEBASTOPOL, CALIFORNIA
Tom Buruku - Chairman (Uganda Red Cross Society)
Shimelis Adugna - Vice Chairman (Ethiopia Red Cross Society)
Monique Coulibaly - Board Member (Cote D'Ivoire Red Cross)
Dalmari Steward - Board Member (South Africa Red Cross)
Paul Birech - Representing Focal Point (Kenya Red Cross Society)
Lynn Fritz - Fritz Institute
Anisya Thomas - Fritz Institute
Vimala Ramalingam - Fritz Institute
Winnie Ngugi - Fritz Institute and NEPARC
Razia Essack-Kauaria - Board Member (Namibia Red Cross Society)
Chrystold Chetty - Board Member (ACROFA)
Fritz Institute hosted the 2006 meeting of the Board of Directors of NEPARC at Lynmar Winery in Sebastopol, California. The purpose of the meeting was to take stock of the activities of NEPARC since August 2005 and make decisions regarding its membership, activities and strategic course.
Communications: The BOD felt that there needed to be clearer communications between the BOD and the secretariat of NEPARC as well as with current and prospective members and partners.
- In order to ensure efficient communication with NEPARC, all future e-mail communications should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and copied to the Chairman, Tom Buruku (email@example.com), and Vice Chairman, Shimelis Adugna (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- The Chairman, Vice Chairman, NEPARC Coordinator (Winnie Ngugi), and Fritz Institute committed to participating in a monthly telephone conference to update one another on NEPARC activities and to ensure the appropriate division of responsibilities.
- The Chairman, Vice Chairman and Coordinator committed to meeting every eight weeks. A quorum for this meeting will be two. The Coordinator will be responsible for distributing a schedule for these meetings.
- The quarterly NEPARC electronic newsletter will now be circulated to National Society presidents, secretary generals, communication officers, and general e-mail accounts to reach a wider audience and support advocacy of NEPARC.
- The NEPARC Coordinator was asked to develop a document that outlines key decisions and resolutions made by NEPARC and its Board Members since its inception that will be posted on the NEPARC website by the August 2006 General Assembly.
- The NEPARC Coordinator will collect members’ best practices (i.e. sample codes of ethics, constitutions and framework for actions) on a regular basis and post on the NEPARC website as received.
Constitution: The Constitution Committee, led by Governor Paul Birech, presented the revised NEPARC Constitution.
- A new draft NEPARC Constitution was discussed by Board Members and will be distributed to each member for feedback in June. At that time a decision will be made about presenting the Constitution to the membership for a vote at the General Assembly meeting in August.
Membership: The terms and conditions of NEPARC membership still remain unclear to some.
- The Board clarified the conditions for NEPARC membership which is open to any African Red Cross or Red Crescent National Society that abides by the following membership requirements:
1. Annual membership fee of $500
2. Participation in the Governance (SGS) Audit process within 12 months of
membership (24 months for founder members)
3. Attendance at Annual General Assembly meetings
- African National Societies wishing to join NEPARC must communicate their intent by e-mailing the NEPARC secretariat (NEPARC@yahoo.com).
- The Chairman will communicate with the Kenya Red Cross Society in order to identify which members paid their membership dues in 2005 and inform societies in arrears of their status.
- The NEPARC Coordinator will send 2006 membership fee invoices so that the members may submit their dues at or before the August 2006 General Assembly meeting.
- A vote will take place at the August 2006 General Assembly meeting to determine the ramifications for members not in compliance with membership requirements.
Audits: NEPARC has requested Fritz Institute to develop a set of 3 audits that will be useful to its members and communicate competence and excellence to donors and other stakeholders. These include (a) the governance (SGS) audit, (b) a program effectiveness audit and (c) a sustainability audit.
- The Governance Audit has been taken by 11 NEPARC members.
- A communication will be sent to all members to schedule the Governance Audit for the first time or for National Societies to undertake a re-audit.
- The Program Audit test tool for HIV AIDS programs has been developed by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative in collaboration with Fritz Institute and the Kenya Red Cross. It now needs to be piloted.
- The Ethiopian Red Cross Society reaffirmed its commitment to host KPMG in June in order to help develop the Sustainability Audit tool. It is anticipated that the draft tool will be completed by August 2006, to be piloted before the 2007 General Assembly meeting.
Partnerships: NEPARC BOD reaffirmed its commitment to strengthen partnerships with the IFRC and other entities in the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.
- The Secretariat will endeavor to participate in IFRC meetings in Africa and seeks member support in making the Secretariat aware of upcoming meetings.
- The Board Chairman committed to meeting with the Secretary General of the Arab Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to learn about its legal status, secretariat structure and its activities as it is a model from which NEPARC would like to learn.
- The Secretariat will work with the British Red Cross in order to apply for DFID funding for NEPARC operations.
- The Secretariat will organize a meeting for NEPARC members at the International Conference of Red Cross and Red Crescent in Geneva June 20-21, 2006.
- The Board set the dates for the 2006 General Assembly Meeting of August 4th and 5th 2006. The meeting will be hosted in Addis Ababa by the Ethiopian Red Cross Society.
- The Board remains committed to organizing a meeting between NEPARC members and disaster management units within African governments. NEPARC will be looking for a senior level focal point in one of the member governments.
- Board members recognized Abbas Gullet’s invaluable contribution to NEPARC as the focal point. In view of the his current responsibilities as Secretary General of the Kenya Red Cross Society, however, the Board decided to end the ad hoc arrangement and appointed Winnie Ngugi as NEPARC Coordinator. Fritz Institute will continue to provide the majority of Secretariat services to NEPARC.
- NEPARC will recruit a bilingual Francophone Program Officer, preferably based in West Africa (in a country in which a Board Member resides). Monique Coulibaly and Chrystold Chetty will be the focal points to identify an appropriate person and provide recommendations to the Board.
- Paul Birech, Governor of the Kenya Red Cross Society, committed to providing office space at a subsidized rate to accommodate the NEPARC Secretariat.
- The NEPARC Coordinator will research the process and consequences of NEPARC becoming a legal entity.
- The NEPARC Coordinator will create a calendar that incorporates important dates of the Federation, IFRC Africa region and 8NS initiative.