twice the reach

numbers, words, and stuff, unaffiliated with cisv.

Top 10 NA/PA Home Pages — August 23, 2017

Top 10 NA/PA Home Pages

Twice The Reach presents the Top 10 CISV NA/PA Home Pages – 2017. Of the 70 official CISV countries, we checked out 48 websites and rated them by our first impression of their main page. The primary criteria are clear messaging (from what we can tell), simple navigation, engaging imagery, and up-to-date-ness.

On the flip side, there are also still some fun homepages you wouldn’t think are still online in 2017 (shoutout to CISV from the Balcony), but we’ll leave those for you to discover.

Without further ado, here are a few great examples of what NA or Chapter home pages could look like. Spoiler: Home pages that are still based on the old .org design obviously don’t make the cut.


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Top Ten NA/PA Homepages – 2017:

  1. CISV Finland
  2. CISV Sweden and CISV Denmark
  3. CISV Guatemala
  4. CISV Philippines
  5. CISV Italy
  6. CISV Egypt
  7. CISV Israel
  8. CISV Norway
  9. CISV Turkey
  10. CISV India

Will 2018 finally see the retirement of old .org designs? (Unlikely.)

On Track! CISV’s 2015–2016 Programme Growth (6/7) — August 10, 2017

On Track! CISV’s 2015–2016 Programme Growth (6/7)

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This blog post is part six of a seven-part series on doubling CISV’s overall reach in 15 yearsWe started this “series” in 2015 without really having a plan for all seven posts. Here’s some more stuff.

We now have CISV’s full programme participation data for 2016. This means we can compare the first two years of data from the “Vision” era of CISV – starting at Global Conference 2015 – and check whether the organization is indeed on track to double its reach by 2030. Hurrah!

We examined the required annual numbers behind this growth goal quite extensively back in September 2015. In brief, the target growth rate to double any number in 15 steps, e.g. from 2015 to 2030, is 4.8% per step (or year). You can join the fun and calculate growth rates for your own Chapter or NA in our Growth-O-Matic 2030.

While there are plenty of metrics we should be tracking, programme participation is both (1) easy to measure and (2) one of the most important yardsticks for the organization’s success. So, how has CISV fared in hitting the critical 4.8% growth rate with its international programmes over the past two years?

Table 1 shows CISV’s absolute programme participation numbers for 2014, 2015, and 2016. 2014 is included for reference only, as the Vision statement had not yet been adopted.

From 2015 to 2016, the total number of programme participants jumped from 9,415 to 9,995 – an impressive 6.2% increase. Wahey!

Across programmes, only Interchange did not grow by 4.8%, instead registering a 5.7% decrease in participation. All other tracked programmes (i.e. all except Mosaic) exceeded the required threshold with flying colours. Bravo!

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Table 1: Annual participant numbers and growth rates by programme, 2014–2016.

If we impose the 4.8% mark on the pre-Vision year of 2014, we find that only two programmes have been on track for two years running: Youth Meeting (6.5% and 7.5%) and Step Up (7.1% and 6.8%). From 2014 to 2015, Village was slightly off, with 3.1% growth, but made up for it in 2016 with a strong 6.3%.

Interchange, Seminar Camp, and IPP have had stronger fluctuations, all dipping into participation decreases at one point between 2014 and 2016. However, Seminar Camp and IPP came back impressively in 2016, growing by 21.6% and 40.1%, respectively.

It’s important to remember that a single additional camp can make all the differences to these percentages. For Seminar, this impressive growth is driven by three extra camps, and for IPP this number was achieved with just two extra camps.

Overall, CISV is well on its way to achieving a doubling of participation numbers by 2030 – only 14 more steps to go! Walk in the park. In all seriousness, the fact that the organization is slightly ahead of schedule with its programme growth rates gives CISV some leeway in the upcoming years. Having some additional growth already “in the bank” means that 6.2% growth in one year and 3,8% the next is still on track for 4.8% overall.

Two more cool facts, while we’re at it:

  • With 9,995 programme participants in 2016, CISV is poised to hit 10,000 participants in 2017 for the first time in its history. That’s a medium-sized town!
  • From September 2015 to August 2017, CISV International’s likes on Facebook rose from 34,702 to 46,731 (+34.7%)! Given the roughly 9,500 participants per year, an annual growth of about 5,000 likes seems quite realistic (and not driven by bots or fake accounts). Neat!

All this is certainly a testament to the many volunteer hours CISVers around the world put in at all levels of the organisation, as well as the IO’s key coordinating role. Very encouraging!

Because one question always leads to the next, a further step could be an investigation into the sustainability of this impressive growth. Are chapters feeling burdened, or is it mostly smooth sailing?

Electile Disfunction? A Look at Governing Board Candidacy Trends. — August 6, 2017

Electile Disfunction? A Look at Governing Board Candidacy Trends.

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CISV International has an elections problem. Electile disfunction, some might say. In fact, if we look a bit more closely, the organization might actually have several issues with Governing Board candidacy. They mostly center around the candidate number – the main symptom is that CISV can’t seem to get it up in important situations. We need to talk.

This post aims to lay out some thoughts and offer some potential ideas to rectify what many involved CISVers see as concerning developments. However, as we’ve previously remarked, CISV isn’t all that bad at adapting to negative trends:

2015’s candidates marked a change in comparison to the past years’ regarding sex.

2013 and 2014: 8 female candidates out of 37 – 21%.
2015: 6 female candidates out of 7 – 85%.

The 2015 uptick in female candidates after two years of mainly males is encouraging. What can CISV learn from it?

Here are three tricky issues CISV International has increasingly faced with the recent elections: numbers, youth, and diversity in experience.

Graphic from one of our previous posts.

Problem 1: Numbers

Ever since the Governing Board has existed, both the total number of candidates and the number of candidates per open spot have decreased every single year. Year after year, we have less hats in the ring. When do a few alarming events turn into a trend?

In 2017, this pattern progressed to the extreme – having only three candidates for three spots. Of course, this is a very disappointing showing, even if these candidates are hypothetically the best people for the job.

Competitive elections showcase a diversity of ideas about the direction of the organisation and give the Members a true choice about those directions. More ideas being circulated in candidate questionnaires means a healthier and more challenge exchange about CISV’s future.

The fact that only three people felt they wanted to take on the role in 2017 – weighing time commitment, tasks, work/volunteer balance, and so on – also speaks to the current perceptions of the role of Governing Board Trustee within CISV. (Though the Board has taken steps to clarify this, see below.)

Are there less candidates because there is now less ongoing AIM-style politicking? Does the increased focus on the regional level draw more volunteers to the regional level? Whatever the case, let’s hope 2018 doesn’t give us the worst-case scenario – less than three candidates.

Problem 2: Youth (or JB) candidates

Young CISVers are very rarely elected to the Governing Board, and rarely run in the first place. Personal reasons such as post-JB burnout and the desire to focus on university or work are surely part of the explanation. However, CISV’s Members and International Junior Branch in particular should pause for some introspection as well.

First, when given the chance, the Members certainly have not shown themselves particularly eager to put young CISVers into leadership roles. Most prominently, two experienced and qualified JBers ran for the Governing Board in 2015, and neither was elected. This has possibly deterred other capable JBers from running. Similarly, having “professional experience” was mentioned as an important qualification in an info film by CISV International. Maybe not an ideal message for making the Board more diverse in age?

Second, the JB-elected Governing Board spot in 2016 was ripe for the picking – a virtually guaranteed election for any qualified young CISVer with a somewhat well-known face. Still, not a single current or recent JBer ran. As has been commented by Marcos over on Facebook, a coordinated effort by JB to fill some spots would probably be successful – and would change the face of the organisation’s international leadership.

Problem 3: Diversity of Candidates

For this, we won’t focus on geographic diversity (as we partially did back in 2015).

In 2013, the novelty of, and buzz around, the Governing Board system gave CISV quite a few candidates from outside the world of international committees – chapter volunteers, programme specialists, and so on. 2013 and 2014  also saw a few formerly very involved CISVers run for spots. Since then, the experience levels of candidates have seemingly become more uniform and less diverse – primarily recent regional and international involvement.

Of course, having first-hand experience with Governing Board Trustees and seeing the role up close before running will make volunteers more likely to run. Having extensive experience with the international structures you’ll be involved in is a plus. Nonetheless, this decrease in diversity could possibly indicate a growing distance between the Governing Board and local and national volunteers.

Possible solutions:

This is where it gets tricky. Surely most would agree that three-for-three is no model for the future. There is certainly no easy fix  but for the health of the organisation it is vital that we (as the whole CISV community) try.

  • The Governing Board has taken very helpful initiatives such as detailed and honest info videos (this one and especially that one). Keep ’em coming! (Keeping the specific target audience for future material in mind).
  • “Team” candidacies – groups of volunteers getting together and putting their names forward in part because they’d want to work together – could motivate more people to run.
  • Build a stronger relationship between the Board and the Members. One of the elements that did pass this year was that the Board must “find better ways to communicate with and to the Members”. Small changes are already taking place to make the Board more visible – such as having minutes referenced in the IO update. Let’s keep up this trend. And we promise we’ll do our minutes commentary more regularly.
  • Jiggle the system – perhaps the size of the job really is too great? Some elements of the role could be taken away, such as being chair of a committee.
  • More recruitment and info sessions at JB events (!) and RTFs. Here, the goal would be an increased understanding that the Board are just people and that the job is not completely overwhelming (while still being honest about the commitment, of course). Board presence at the regional meetings has been important and successful over the past years!
  • Global Conference – in the past, AIM played a key role in recruitment for roles across of the organisation. Although the motion this year tried to bring back an annual international meeting, it failed (hurrah). Perhaps this loss of meeting is partially to blame for the lack of candidates. So, when we do have a meeting, let’s take full advantage of it as a tool for recruitment.

How else could CISV International do to get candidacy number back up? How can the organization – specifically Junior Branch, perhaps – encourage more young candidates both from its ranks and not for Governing Board? Finally, should the role of Board Trustee be attractive to people outside the world of international committees, and if so, how can this be driven?

It’s time to have a talk about CISV’s electile disfunction. What do you think?

Move over, Dutch girl. —
Less Hats in the Ring — May 17, 2017
Minute by Minute – 10/2016 — April 29, 2017

Minute by Minute – 10/2016

Welcome back to our short monthly commentary on Governing Board minutes.

After a somewhat extensive hiatus we are catching up with the past few months, so here we go for the October 2016 Governing Board meeting.


The “Harris Legacy” is a seemingly quite large, unexpected donation CISV International received in 2016 (see the minutes in our last post). We hope the board has exciting plans for this pot, and it doesn’t become under-utilised like the Peace Fund.

On an unrelated financial note, it would also be interesting to see the effects of Brexit on CISV International’s finances.


Super interesting! We love the idea. Where can CISV volunteers check out this dashboard?


What does a “more strategic” Strategic Plan entail? Where can the work being done to determine CISV’s definition of growth be viewed?

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: CISV’s committees through the years, 1985–2016 — April 13, 2017

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: CISV’s committees through the years, 1985–2016

How has CISV’s focus and direction changed over the years? The organisation now offers more experiences for all ages, has widened its educational aims, and increasingly stresses chapter development. This much we know from memory, but what can we trace by simply examining the changes in committee structure over the past decades?

CISV International’s directory, 1986 vs. 2009. Far more names!

Organisational charts are representative of their organisations (early candidate for truism of the year 2017). They show which areas resources are allocated to, indicate how different areas of the organisation are weighted in terms of importance, and show how these points change over time. Check out the image on the right, comparing the Annual Report committee directories from the 1986 and 2009 editions. CISV gained a whole lot of committees and international volunteers, and increasingly focused on education and organisational growth, for example.

Without further ado, we present a year-by-year table of all CISV committees since 1985, taken from the Annual Reports and Financial Statement on (additional notes below).

Higher resolution version here.

…that’s quite a handful, so let’s break it down into some paragraphs with findings that jump out. Check out the chart while reading these paragraphs.

“Research” seems to have disappeared as a primary field of CISV’s interest, or at least greatly decreased in importance. Until 1988, it was a standalone committee. In 1989, “educational development” was added to the portfolio. By 2009, the area seems to have undergone a transformation to focussing mainly of educational activities and themes, dropping “research”. Today, work on academic research is (probably?) handled by IO, with little volunteer involvement. Certainly stemming from CISV’s origins in child psychology, academic research was an important aspect of the organisation’s first few decades. Today, at least on paper, this focus is far less present in CISV’s self-presentation. However, CISV does have a great corner of with an archive of current and past research. Definitely worth checking out. So great, in fact, that a post on this topic might be in the making.

The past ten years have been a phase of relative calm regarding Programmes. The 1990s saw the inclusion of Summer Camp and Youth Meeting into the committee structure and the dawn of IPP. Since the transition of Local Work to Mosaic, CISV seems to have grown content with its Seven Wonders (save for the Summer Camp–Step Up transition). Considering this period of relative calm, how is CISV ensuring that its programmes are continuing to be innovative and developing?

Next, Global Conference now (kind of, not technically) has its own committee – Conferences & Events pretty much appeared out of nowhere. This shows the great importance and priority Global Conference now has in CISV, and deservedly so. Before 2015, AIMs were completely organised by the host NA. AIM as a working meeting, Global Conference is a motivational event for chapter members.

Some more cool stuff:

  • There was a committee exclusively dedicated to “long-range planning” up until 1986. Interesting!
  • The Risk Management portfolio was created in 2004, under the field of “Operations”. It was moved to Training and Quality Assurance in 2014.
  • In terms of committees, CISV has been on the net (!) since 2009. An “electronic communication” taskforce, however, had been around at least until 1997.
  • Going strictly by committee names, what has CISV International aimed to “develop” since 2000? From 2000–2004, it was NAs, from 2004–2013 the entire organisation, and finally chapters since 2013.

Please do share any observations you may have taken from the timeline yourself.

Some footnotes

  • All of the observations should be prefaced with “judging from the committee structure…”. Committees are represented as they were listed in the Annual Reports – therefore, a pre-2000 IPP working group may have existed, but is was not mentioned in the directory. Therefore, it is not included in the graphic for simplicity’s sake.
  • Some of those boxes are dotted because the committees they clustered seem to just have been very loose groupings (on paper), while the post-2009 ones were a bit more institutionalised (if we’re not mistaken).
  • The graph excludes Taskforces (which were sometimes listed) other than the Transition Team.