Thursday, 18 November 2010
WORKSHOP ON GOVERNANCE FOR FAWE CHAIRPERSONS
For three days (17th to 19th November 2010), the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) is holding a workshop on Governance at the Jacaranda Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop has brought together Chairpersons of the FAWE National Executive Committees from: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Comoros, Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe and the FAWE Regional Secretariat staff.
FAWE is present in 33 African countries where its National Chapters (NCs), which are the implementing arms of the organisation, work to promote gender-responsive education policies and practices to empower girls and women. Each NC is registered as an independent national non-governmental organisation (NGO) but must have a constitution that is in line with the constitution of FAWE at continental level. A chapter is also bound to FAWE through the use of the name “FAWE” and through a charter. Each FAWE NC has a National Executive Committee (NEC) headed by an elected Chairperson, who is usually a prominent woman educationalist. A FAWE chapter is managed by a National Chapter Coordinator (NCC) who heads the National Secretariat of the chapter and reports directly to the National Executive Committee. The roles and responsibilities of the NEC are clearly defined in the constitution of the National Chapter (e.g. governance, leadership, internal control, guidance and supervision).
The effectiveness of the National Chapters depends on close partnership between the NEC and the NCC. National Chapters are the backbone of FAWE and have made FAWE what it is today: a well-respected and credible African NGO who is considered a reference in all matters related to girls’ and women’s education in Africa.
Although the roles and responsibilities of both the NECs and the National Secretariat are clearly stipulated in the NCs’ constitution, it appears that in some chapters these roles are not always clearly understood or adhered to.
The purpose of this workshop on governance for FAWE Chapter Chairpersons is to provide a platform for FAWE National Chapter Chairpersons to discuss governance issues affecting their chapters and to identify practical ways of resolving them. It will be an opportunity for participants to share experiences and best practices in good governance to strengthen the effectiveness of Chapters’ operations at country level. More specifically, the workshop aims to:
- Re-acquaint Chairpersons with the FAWE Constitution and Charter (a review of the charter will be conducted in group work).
- Identify what works and what hampers and causes tension with the necessary partnership between the NEC Chairperson and the National Coordinator.
- Strengthen the capacity of the Chairpersons to lead and govern by exercising the duty of care, the duty of loyalty, and the duty of obedience.
- Provide an opportunity for the Chairpersons to exchange information about their specific situations and to learn from each other, identifying practical and feasible solutions to the weaknesses of governance that they encounter.
- Set up a mentoring mechanism through which Chairpersons from Chapters encountering difficulties can be coached and mentored by those from stronger chapters.
- Agree on a clear and binding plan of action and timeline for addressing issues identified.
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