IFAJ 2017 World Congress South Africa

Taking place between the 2nd and 8th of April 2017 in Gauteng- and the Western Cape. 
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IFAJ 2018 - The Netherlands

Theme: Dutch Roots

Main congress: 12- 15 July 2018

The main congress will start in the region Food Valley and further visits are planned to a diversity of hotspot in the Netherlands.

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For more information: Esther Rozeboom – esther(at)catch-on.nl

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Sponsorship opportunities

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Moving forward on transparency

Owen Roberts, Canada
Vice-president

At this year’s highly successful congress in Sweden, transparency was a recurring theme among executive members, delegates and the presidium.

It’s certainly an important topic – in a global organization such as ours, communications with members must be constant. Decisions must be open.

Owing to the breadth of countries that belong to IFAJ, we only meet once a year as delegates and twice a year as an executive. That means a great deal of administrative activity must occur outside of our general gatherings to keep the organization running smoothly.

And as we’re realizing now, that infrequent schedule also makes the need for transparency and clear communications even more important.

So with that in mind, greater transparency measures are underway.

For example, to address what could be a more open election process, a constitution sub-committee has been organized, chaired by President Markus Rediger of Switzerland. This sub-committee is charged with reviewing matters such as the existing rules which permit withholding the number of votes tallied by candidates during presidium elections.

As well, consideration is being given to publish meeting minutes on the IFAJ website, so all members can see what their executive and presidium are discussing.

That measure would serve to communicate another transparency step taken by the finance and sponsorship committee at the Swedish congress – where the executive committee was given details of individual sponsorships received by the federation for professional development initiatives, particularly contests. 
 
Another move towards greater transparency was a decision to state the IFAJ’s facebook policy on its facebook page, to let users know they are welcome to participate in discussions as long as they follow guidelines surrounding good taste and relevancy. The policy, passed by a motion at the executive meeting, supports efforts to control cyber bullying and let all members have a voice for discussion, without fear of ridicule.

And finally, the professional development and education committee will be asked to make recommendations to Secretary General Riitta Mustonen of Finland about judges for the all-important IFAJ star prizes. This will help open the judging process and broaden the field of judges. 

All these efforts are designed to make IFAJ more open and accountable. Please send me a message at  owen(at)uoguelph.ca and let me know what else you think could be improved. The presidium is very interested in what you have to say.