In the spring of 2018, select YPARDians came together at the Czech University of Life Sciences to deliberate on the strategic direction YPARD should take. Part of those discussions centred on the governance structure of YPARD and the dire need for a review as highlighted in the YPARD 2017 external review.
The Charter was last revised in 2014 and we have seen a lot of changes since then. As a member-driven network engaged the network members on the review process starting from November 2018 and finally ending in July 2019.
The third version of the Charter was democratically approved by members and the YPARD Steering Committee and incorporates some suggestions made by the 2017 external review and 2018 strategic planning meeting
Some of the notable changes include
The change in the YPARD vision and mission as per the strategic meeting in the spring of 2018.
The replacement of the YPARD guiding principles with the new YPARD values.
The YPARD Steering Committee (SC) is a self-constituted committee. It replaces its members using the following procedure: a) suitable candidates are proposed by SC members or a call for candidates is advertised and a shortlist is developed by the GCU or the SC b) Candidates are contacted (and submit their application for the position, if direct nomination) and are invited to a 15 minutes interview with the chair and/or director. Minutes of the interview are written for the rest of the SC and c) the SC elects the new SC member by consensus, or majority vote if consensus is not possible. The Chair and Vice-Chair coordinate this process. As soon as practically possible, the SC will implement a democratic election process for SC members
The YPARD SC meeting face to face once a year when funding permits. The SC is accountable towards the members and donors for any action or decision undertaken. This includes reception of criticism and feedback as well as providing documented justification for the decisions taken.
The responsibilities, structure, membership and functioning of the SC will be reviewed at least every three years by the SC or an external party to ensure effectiveness and introduce necessary changes.
If an SC member is unable to attend a meeting, they are required to provide written notice to the Chair or the YPARD Director. If an SC member misses more than two meetings without giving reason or notice the SC will convene to replace that individual on the SC.
The SC Chair will conduct an annual performance review of the SC in consultation with the GCU at the annual SC meeting to identify challenges and constructive solutions.
On national chapters registration: While the original intention was not and does not intend to become a formalized institution, It is recognised, however, that as the situation of the organization evolves, formal registration may be required at national/regional or global level.
On Hosting arrangements: The roles and responsibilities of the host should be jointly formulated during the development of the partnership between YPARD and the host. A document, such as a Memorandum of Agreement describing the roles and responsibilities will be these will be formally approved by the SC and the hosts governing body. If either party fails to adhere to the agreement or cannot meet the terms set out in the agreement, the agreement can be dissolved. Adequate notice and time frame for alternative arrangements should be negotiated and agreed upon. The agreement shall be renewed every three years. In selecting a potential hosting organization, there should be space for independent programmes (YPARD should be working under its own charter and not according to interests of the host. Areas of shared interests will however be explored)
The term of the Regional coordinator must be jointly decided by the GCU and Hosting Institution, in consultation with the SC. Unless under special cases, this should not exceed two, three year terms.
The country representative is a voluntary and non-remunerable position. If the CR engages in externally funded programs that require significiant time investment they may be remunerated in exceptional circumstances.
Country representatives will serve for a period of two years, which can be renewed once for another two years. If the CR wishes to renew her/his mandate s/he is to inform the regional coordinator before the end of the original mandate. Any renewal must and this has to be approved by the regional coordinator and national working group by consensus.
The advisory group provides suggestions and comments on YPARD strategies and activities as well as connecting the YPARD Director to networking opportunities supports such as donor entities. One of the many formulated roles and responsibilities of the advisory group is to connect the GCU to donors and other opportunities within the Agricultural Development space. It is expected that each AG member will espouse at least two connections between the GCU and a potential donor organization. Connections could be made through introductory notes and facilitating face to face meeting between the Director and potential donor.
Intentional inclusion of the YPARD network members in the governance of the charter. Every five years YPARD will review its charter, in a process which engages the YPARD community, and the final version approved facilitated by the SC. This will be done in the light of increasing the level of participation of the constituents in the decision-making and clarifying an evolving structure.
And lastly, the YPARD members can call on the amendment of the Charter following the guidelines set by the GCU. A decision will be made by the SC. The decision will be made through the two-thirds-majority vote during the SC annual meeting.
Click here to download the full copy of the revised YPARD Charter.