Draft minutes of the AGM, 24 June 2008, 12.00 – 14.00 pm Uni-Mail, Geneva Present: Ramesh Jaura (IPS Europe, president), Thomas Lawo (EADI, treasurer), Volker Hauck (ECDPM ), Cheryl Brown (IDS), Jo Kirrane (Aprodev), Wilma Roem (ILEIA), Kevin Painting (CTA), Maarten Boers (ICCO), Alan Stanley (IDS), Michel Wesselink (ISS), Richard Lalleman (Focuss), Christine Wehrli (IHEID), Susanne von Itter (EADI), Wiebe de Boer (KIT) Euforic staff: Peter Ballantyne (director), Jacques van Laar (minutes), Chris Addison, Pier Andrea Pirani, Birthe Paul, Martin Behrens Apologies: Simon Stocker (Eurostep), P.I. Gomes (Ambassador of Guyana to the EU), Ad Ooms (ICCO), Alec Singh (ACP Secretariat), Agnès Philippart (Concord), Géraldine Thomas (CIDSE) 1. Welcome from the chairperson – Ramesh Jaura After a sandwich lunch offered by Euforic to its members, the president opens the meeting at 12.30 pm. It is a pleasure for him to welcome the members since Euforic is doing well and makes steady progress. However, a lot remains to be done but he is hopeful that we really can. The proposed agenda and the minutes of the AGM 2007 are adopted. 2. Director’s report 2007-2008 (and annual report 2007) – Peter Ballantyne It is explained that the general objective of this annual general meeting is to report back, to adopt the documents and to ‘do business’. The standard procedure is that the Board prepares this meeting and the AGM approves. The current business plan positions Euforic as a ‘connector’ rather than a ‘provider’ producing a mix of services of a ‘public’ and a ‘private’ nature. In the past few years the fixed costs were considerably reduced (housing and staff), increasing the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances. At the institutional level it is mentioned that the president’s term ends in 2010. The vacancy of vice-president was filled in 2007 by Dr. P.I. Gomes, ambassador of Guyana to the EU. Recently, a review commissioned by ECDPM presented an analysis of the business model, the organisational structure and the management; its conclusions are being discussed by the Board. In terms of activities the past year has been very busy. The AGM 2007 linked up with the NGO community via Concord (while the current edition with EADI addresses the research community), and many trainings and workshops have been given. These provided a great number of opportunities to meet with members and others active in the field. Euforic’s major projects are implemented with ICCO (focusing on learning and innovation in the area of knowledge management and exchange), and with CABI (communicating DFID funded development research). An overview of approaches and tools, activities and projects that Euforic supports is being presented. Many of these are based around Web2.0. The statistics of the website are showing a steady increase, although some hights and depths throughout the year can be observed. 3. Treasurer’s report 2007 (and financial report 2007) – Thomas Lawo In his capacity as executive secretary of EADI, Thomas Lawo thanks Euforic for joining up with the EADI General Conference. He explains the financial procedures and underlines that these are professional and fully transparent. The financial position of Euforic is improving; 2006 still showed a deficit of 50.000 euros, but 2007 was closed with a profit 38.000 euros. The deficit of the general fund was reduced by 50%. The positive result over 2007 was due to writing off of 22.000 euros by ICCO (related to an old project), the increase of income, and higher operational costs. 4. Adoption of the annual report 2007 The annual report 2007 is unanimously adopted. 5. Adoption of the financial report 2007 The financial report 2007 is unanimously adopted. 6. Plan 2008-2009 – Peter Ballantyne The floor is now open for suggestions and debate. The director launches an appeal to members for the hosting of the AGM in 2009. He further explains the foreseen changes in Euforic’s management focusing on the one hand on the improvement of management information to enhance Euforic’s position as a business, and second on acquiring more capacities by appointing a senior project manager before the end of the year. It was noted that it was good that Euforic has taken up so well the advice of the business review, analysing strengths and weaknesses with the objective to become more professional. This is a positive message to the members. In reply to the question what comes next after Web2.0 it was mentioned that Euforic is very much on the ball. We need to realise that the tools will change over time, but that learning and knowledge sharing will remain constant factors. With regard to our relations with the South, the search for ‘Euforic alikes’ needs to be pursued. Currently, Euforic relates with the South mainly via the members who bring in their networks and content. This is an important element for funders. The new DFID research strategy is seen is very interesting and the director explains its communication aspects applying a new approach using blogs and videos. We need to be aware of the cooperative nature of tools and services and share as much we can. 7. Financial outlook 2008-2009 – Thomas Lawo Notwithstanding the positive evolution, the treasurer warns to remain cautious - reason why the 2008 budget is somewhat conservative – to make sure that Euforic will return to a sustainable financial footing again. He underlines that the EC project proposal is not included yet in the budgets. 8. Adoption of the 2008-2009 plan and budget The 2008-2009 plan and budget are unanimously adopted. 9. Other business Since there is no other business, the president closes the meeting while thanking the members, the Board and the team for their participation and commitment.
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