Branch action plan

CHAPTER 3. RUNNING A YALDA BRANCH:

9. What Expectations Does YALDA Have?

“High-performance relationships are the foundation of high performance teams And high-performance teams are the building blocks of high-performance organizations.” — Hacker Wilson and Johnston.

The expectations that YALDA has for each of its branches is not limited to, but can be summed up in, the acronym PACT. As you know, a pact is a promise or agreement that two parties make to each other that should not be broken.

  1. Participation in YALDA Global Efforts
    Every branch is expected to fully support global YALDA initiatives and programs, such as the social media outreach, monthly webinars, newsletter, magazine, the international i-Boot Camp and the inter-collegiate Model African Union (IMAUS). Participation can be defined in many ways including, but not limited to: financial support, appointing members to committees, taking leadership positions in global events, and providing other resources as necessary. You may refer to Chapter 5 for more details. This also includes spreading the word about YALDA through Branch Expansion by helping to start other YALDA Branches in Africa and/or within your respective country or region (see Chapter 4, Section 15 for details).
    To help increase your branch’s participation in YALDA’s global efforts, the organization requires that all branches host activities or events at their universities that address all the four YALDA target areas at least once in one school semester. You may also have events that combine some of the target areas. For example, you may choose to have a workshop on Gaining Critical Leadership Skills for Work in African Development, which would cover target area A. and C simultaneously. The target areas are summarized below (for more details please refer to Chapter 4, Section 14)
    1. Increasing Knowledge on Africa and African Development
    2. Facilitating the Brain Gain (through Career and Volunteer Opportunities)
    3. Gaining Critical Leadership Skills
    4. Building a Strong and Committed YALDA Community
    In 2009, the YALDA International Headquarters introduced a mandatory branch-wide initiative: the annual YALDA Inter-Collegiate Model African Union Summit (IMAUS) in order to address the theme/target area A, increasing our members’ knowledge on Africa and African Development. At YALDA we have been working on encouraging our branches to actively engage in learning about the continent through various means. However, we feel that using a YALDA-wide initiative, such as YALDA IMAUS, in addressing the target area specified above would be more entertaining and exceptionally exciting while helping garner more support among young people. Moreover, through the involvement and support of the African Union youth desk, YALDA is officially recognized as the organization that holds Model African Union at different university campuses around the world. Above all else, it imperative to remember that YALDA IMAUS is more a learning experience done in a creative way, and your resolutions are read by the African Union staff and members. Details on how branches are expected to run the initiative can be found in Chapter 5, Section 21.
  2. Ask Questions & Share your Opinion
    YALDA is a young and growing organization. As we continue to grow, the Headquarters desires input from all branches. Please continue to direct your questions to the Headquarters when things are unclear. Also, feel free to share your opinions with others on any topic; you will find a chat room and message board on the website .you can also email YALDA directly or use any of our social networking pages.
  3. Communication
    We hope to keep the velocity of communication high, be in touch with YALDA several times a week to several times a day. Feel free to communicate with the YALDA Branches Coordinator or your YALDA Regional Associate about all your YALDA related questions. Below are some guidelines.
    Note: All branches are required to communicate even during school vacations
    1. Monthly Communication with your YRA
      1. Once a month we would also like to hear your opinion by having global conference calls or online instant messaging (Skype, MSN, Google Hangouts, Groupme or Whatsapp as convenient for all branches in your region).
        These are in no way to detract from your autonomy as a branch. It is, however, to keep the forum open to suggestions and creative and innovative ways of doing this. As the mediator between your branch and the YALDA Headquarters the YRA keeps everyone on task and communicates certain themes and goals that we would like to have met as an organization. This is why frequent communication is a must, especially in the beginning stages. We hope to communicate with you at least once every two to four weeks once the branch is up and running. In no way, shape or form is the YALDA Headquarters here to serve as a "BIG Brother" eye watching your every move. We are here to serve as a resource for all of you, so please let us know your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) so that we can help you come up with an analysis on how to improve and overcome all of these situations.
      2. Please do prepare for these monthly conference calls/chats. Topics of interest or issues that you want to raise are completely upto you, but possible discussion topics could include:
        1. SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)
        2. Events and Activities
        3. Keeping members engaged; retention strategies
        4. Achievements
        5. Interesting points from meetings
        6. Progress on project (if your branch is currently engaged in one).
    2. Quarterly Executive Director Leadership Enhancement Program
      1. Developing Executive Directors.
        1. YALDA is committed to growing youth leaders and as such launched this program to ensure that all the Executive Directors get the fundamental training they need to be effective YALDA branch leaders and also to interact with other Executive Directors across the world.
      2. Format of Sessions.
        1. Sessions are compulsory for all current YALDA Executive Directors or Presidents. The Executive Director may invite other members of his or her team to join these trainings at his or her discretion.
        2. Trainings will take place on the Saturday before the deadline of the Branch Quarterly report. Dates will be announced via email and Whatsapp and inputted in the YALDA annual calendar.
        3. Trainings will be 2 hours with 1 hour dedicated to the training and the other hour dedicated to discussing successes and challenges and branches.
      3. Certificate of Completion and Monetary Award for Branch.
        1. All Executive Directors (and others) who complete all 4 sessions of the training and have their branch in good standing will receive a certificate.
        2. Outstanding participants will receive additional personal recognition awards, including monetary award to go towards activities at their branches.
    3. YALDA Branch Quarterly Reports
      1. Branch Quarterly Reports
        1. These are usually done and sent by the Inter-University Representative with the help of the Local University Coordinator and other board members. There is a standard report form with a unique format that all branches must complete (see Appendix D) but you must complete the report online here: http://yaldafrica.org/yalda-branch-quarterly-report.
        2. The report is meant to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of all YALDA branches as it clearly identifies core focus areas you should be reporting on. This will also give YALDA International and other branches indication on how you are doing and how they can help you.
        3. The report indicates what was accomplished that past quarter at your branch and also your agenda for the following quarter.
        4. In this we would also like to know about certain events, themes, and fundraising drives that you plan to have for the upcoming month.
      2. In your quarterly report each branch shall submit a profile or an article that might be posted on the website homepage for the ‘professional affiliate of the quarter’.
        1. This is to ensure that communication between members and professional affiliates is on-going.
        2. And, to acknowledge and thank our professional affiliates for the work they do with us in the network.
      3. Also, in your quarterly report your branch must submit their ‘member of the quarter’ profile.
        1. Reasons why this person was chosen and their achievements should be highlighted.
        2. These members shall automatically be eligible to attend the YALDA biennial international conference in Africa.
        3. These members, as well as other nominees, will be entered in the YALDA wide selection for the three most outstanding YALDA members of the year, who are eligible for prizes at the international conference.
      4. Branch Quarterly Reports Submission Deadlines.
        1. The Inter-University Representative of all the branches is required to submit their quarterly reports to the YRA in charge of their region, regardless of whether or not school is in session, on the following dates:
          • 22nd of December
          • 22nd of March
          • 22nd of June
          • 22nd of September
        2. The YALDA quarter runs for 11 weeks and the 12th week is intended for YALDA Branch Quarterly Report submission, to allow enough time for the Headquarters to assess the progress of your branch and give constructive feedback.
        3. Note: Failure to submit the Branch Quarterly Report on time will be taken very seriously by YALDA International and appropriate action (which might include suspension from YALDA activities, blocking of your branch and its members on the YALDA website) will be taken.
  4. Transparency
    While we hope that every branch will enjoy its autonomy, we believe that transparency on our and your part is highly important. Therefore, we hope that when you send us your quarterly reports, they are truthful. We would prefer to know that something has not been accomplished, or has been delayed, as opposed to thinking that everything is going on track in a timely fashion. Again, if things aren't going as planned or if obstacles are becoming unbearable, please let us know immediately how we at the Headquarters can be helpful.

MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS AND RECRUITING

YALDA presently requires that all branches have a minimum of 30 active members which also includes the 8 members of the Executive Board. These members should be actively involved in the various YALDA committees of their choice (see Section 11 of this Chapter). This means at your branch you must try to actively recruit an extra 22 members, apart from your Executive Board.

Recruiting members to meet the minimum requirements might prove to be challenging but we have give some ideas on recruitment in Chapter 2.5. Though these methods are used for starting a new branch, every year/semester you have the challenge of re-starting and attracting new members, so it is useful to always refer back to Chapter 2.5. It is important that the Assistant Executive Director encourages YALDA membership to grow and also encouraging members to actively participate in committees (as outlined by the Constitution), but he/she must also ensure that every semester the minimum membership requirement of 30 is met.

Another way to meet the membership requirement is to encourage the Executive Board and all existing members to invite at least 3 new people (friends, colleagues, people they don’t know etc.) to the next YALDA meeting; or to have them actively recruit three new members to be part of the organization, not just to attend a meeting. You may even set this up as a competition and have those that recruited:

  1. the most number of members,
  2. and the new recruits have been actively involved at your branch, in committees and as a member for a semester/year (whatever you feel is the best timeline) since being recruited, Then have the individual who recruited them win a prize, together with those new members he/she recruited. This will encourage the member not only to recruit the minimum of three but go beyond that, and even act as a mentor/motivator in order to encourage the new members to stay actively involved and engaged in the organization