What is a Partnership Steering Team?

Description
GP Chapter Steering Teams help provide opportunities to hear and coordinate GP Chapter participant opinions rather than dictate objectives. The role of the Steering Team is to promote the vision and activities of the network, recruit and support members as well as foster a sense of care, belonging, and collaboration while drawing in local NGOs, FBOs, faith groups, private sector, governmental and intergovernmental bodies. The GP Chapter Steering Team will increase its capacity to set up, deliver, manage, and report on collaborative programs, including research, as well as to raise funds for collaborative efforts. The Steering Team ensures coordination of Working Groups and the internal and external communications with participants and potential supporters respectively. The team maintains passion and vision as they help build and maintain relationships within the partnership.

The Steering Team does not do all the work for the GP Chapter partnership. The broader network of GP Chapter participants should all contribute and the Steering Team should help build consensus and develop capacity to meet shared objectives. For example, from the very start, a GP Chapter Champion will be recruited to support the partnership and its collaborative efforts. This Champion will help coordinate meetings, develop reports, raise funding, and manage resources as s/he supports GP Chapter and the Steering Team. A chapter research coordinator, or Lead Evaluator, should also be recruited early. It’s possible that one person may share the role of Champion and Lead Evaluator. Depending on the size and number of programs GP Chapter eventually commits to, there may be a need to recruit additional staff and volunteers.

Suggested Steering Team Member Time Commitments

The following time commitments are suggested to request from organizational representatives serving on the GP Chapter Steering Team. The representatives should be someone with some decision-making authority within their organization.

·    Nine 90-minute GP Chapter meetings per year

·    2-4 hrs a month helping coordinate and support GP Chapter activities

·    Participate in a one-time 2 day GP Chapter Formation Consultation

·    4-8 hours annual review and research results presentation

Financial Compensation

To encourage sustainability It is expected that Steering Team members would volunteer rather than be paid for their service as their involvement should also benefit the organization with which they serve. However, some guidelines may need to be put in place to ensure that travel and any other expenses incurred by children or youth representatives are covered. If funds are available to financially support Steering Team members, it seems best to prioritize reimbursement of hard costs directly acquired because of participation--such as travel or communications costs.

Proposed GP Chapter Structure

The Steering Team may initially get started with a chair and a secretary. However, in establishing a sustainable steering group it may be useful to s/elect individuals for some more specific positions. The  Chair, should not dictate direction but rather help build consensus toward collaborative action among diverse partners. The structure of GP Chapter Steering Teams and roles within the Steering Team may vary in your context. Traditional structure includes the Chair (or President), Treasurer and Secretary, each with defined and distinctive roles. General GP Chapter Steering Team members supplement these core roles.


Please note, it is strongly encouraged that child and youth peacebuilding leaders be identified to serve as on the Steering Team.


View sample Role Descriptions in the appendix.


Role of the Chair (or co-chair)

Aiming to support the desires of GP Chapter participants and charged with providing leadership and direction to the GP Chapter Steering Team, the Chair is responsible for ensuring that the GP Chapter Steering Team fulfills its responsibilities for the governance and success of the GP Chapter. Representatives from two organisations may also opt to Co-Chair the GP Chapter. The chair (s) should works to optimize the relationship between the GP Chapter Steering Team, any paid employees, volunteers and other members, and to achieve the GP Chapter’s agreed goals. The Chair should encourage all members to maintain key relationships within and outside of the GP Chapter.

Role of the Vice Chair

The Vice Chair can support the Chair to fulfill his/her responsibilities for the governance and success of the GP Chapter.  This may mean chairing meetings at short notice.

Role of the Secretary

The Secretary is responsible for the documentation and communication of the activities of the GP Chapter Steering Team.  The secretary is the primary administration officer of the GP Chapter Steering Team and provides the links between the GP Chapter Steering Team, members and outside agencies. The Secretary should be a good communicator, maintain confidentiality on relevant matters and have the ability to delegate tasks and supervise others. Amongst the Secretary's tasks are to prepare agendas, prepare and distribute minutes, receive and disseminate correspondence to and from the GP Chapter etc.


Role of the Treasurer

The Treasurer is responsible for the financial supervision of the GP Chapter to allow the GP Chapter Steering Team to provide good governance of the GP Chapter. The Treasurer is the chief financial management officer whose tasks include the preparation of annual budgets, planning for the GP Chapter’s financial future, monitoring the GP Chapter’s revenue and expenditure, and producing and distributing necessary reports in a timely manner. It is desirable that the treasurer is well organized and possesses a level of financial expertise.

Role of General Members

General Members, like all other members, commit to helping the GP Chapter identify and achieve shared objectives that help better support more child/youth peacebuilders in the chapter’s area of focus. General Members also make the same time commitment as that of other members.


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