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last modified May 26, 2013 by facilitfsm

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Review Protocol, an “affirmative action scheme” about "WSF facilitation" in IC

A contribution in the working group “Future of IC”  and  relevant also for  CIfutur Group2

      ANNEX / contribution self review version B -   Annex A/  Q & A about possible review protocol  sept 2012 updated  ( to be published)

“We have a choice to make as the WSF: it is going to be that people are saying: “What are you still doing in the WSF process?”, or is it going to be:"What are you doing outside the WSF process?", and I hope that it is the second question that gets asked, because this is where it is happening, and struggle for dignity and justice will be intense, and solidarity will be a driving force”

A participant in Monastir CI meeting - 15th July afternoon –time 1h29mn


Episode 1 –“ Looking back on 9 years of WSF event and process facilitation in IC”. 2

Episode 2 – “An horizontal review protocol inside CI, designed to focus more CI on WSF facilitation tasks”. 7

Conclusion. 11

Annex : Some possible next “episodes”: 11

annex : a possible questionnaire for the facilitation contribution review


Episode 1 –“ Looking back on 9 years of WSF event and process facilitation in IC”.


This episode is not an analysis. it exposes a simplified vision of two periods in the CI operation, called learning then regressive period, and the need to develop more facilitation tasks for WSF process inside CI, leading to proposing to institute a “WSF facilitation Review protocol” inside CI, which is described in the following episode.


Global group “IC+ commissions”

“IC”, enlarged to “IC+commissions” after 2003, is a self instituted group, whose legitimacy is linked to perception by its members/participants, and by the much wider group of WSF process participants, about how this “IC+commissions” group performs a double function:
1/ make appropriate decisions with a “representative” set of international civil society networks, and
2/ be a recognized collective facilitator of WSF process, in the field of “social forum events organizing”, - a field reasonably discussed and practiced in IC-, and “WSF process initiatives organizing”, - a field so far “under discussed” and under practiced in IC.

The terms “IC+ commissions” refers then to the global group of representatives of CI members organizations, some of them present in commissions, and other participants in commissions, which are not from CI member organizations.

There are “some” documents about “for what” and “how” IC works, and much less material about how commissions could work, and who participate in their work. There does not seem to exist adopted and updated references /guidelines for IC or commissions goals and operation. Time may have come for IC to work on such documents, based on collective experience of commission operation, and vision of evolutions and needs gained with experience.

Regarding mode of operation of CI, looking back on 9 years of operation, it can be sustained, - schematically -, that the group “IC+commissions” has run in two successive “modes”, and through two successive “periods”, since its inception in 2003 after Miami.
(*the original documentation instituting commissions in Miami could be usefully be shared in the “future of IC group)


Learning period: 2003 - 2009

First, from its inception in 2001 to early in year 2009, when Rabat IC meeting participants came up with the concept the “global year of action 2010 “, “IC+commissions” has run in a “learning mode”, through a “learning period”.

This learning period has been “oxygenated” by the enthusiasm of the first years of the process, and by a significant flux of central WSF funding. At the same time, this period has probably been distorted by the presence of those same funds, which contributed to delay the moment for addressing basic “horizontal” questions: about the reality of IC member organizations contribution to WSF facilitation, and about the adequate dimensioning and role of WSF office, in particular with regards to initiatives that could, principally, be started or sustained by commissions.

The IC focus was mainly on next WSF event organizing, at an annual rhythm. WSF Events that took place did not necessarily stimulate local civil society activity after them, and some of them “stalled” ( eg Pakistan), but this was not so visible in the big picture of WSF. Also, the issue of decentralizing WSF office surfaced in the end of the period, although with questionable aspects to the solutions proposed, and it did not come to be considered an issue in the agenda of IC meetings

The “learning period” climaxed in Copenhagen IC meeting 2008, with three significant decisions, made in a same meeting: 1/first invitation to extended participation in a WSF, 2/ adoption of guidelines for organizing events, and 3/agreement on diversity of final assemblies in WSF.

2009 context in Rabat meeting was challenging, because of the world crisis, and of the many forum events that were planned in 2010 year, partly as a consequence of the move to a biannual WSF event decided in Abuja. It can be said that, during this meeting, participants felt that the process was palpably emerging from the enumeration of events.

It was then a good time for “IC+commissions” to move from “learning mode” to a more “mature mode”, focusing not only on one yearly event, as had been done in IC up to 2009, but also focusing on the relations between many connected events, and the visibility of the overall 2010 process.
The sequence of those tens of 2010 events was allowing to shape a more tangible WSF process based on them, and including also their interactions, and world level campaigns “growing” from one event to another etc.. This vision was surfacing in the talks held in Rabat, and the moment was favorable to start “process initiatives” designed to give visibility to the WSF process at large, as a collection of interconnected events.

Regressive period: 2009 - 2012

In the next meeting after Rabat, in Montreal, “IC+commissions” resulting from the learning period reached some limits they had in their capacity to articulate ideas and actions. With the IC meeting agenda management, and commission liaising performed by a Liaison group, instituted in 2007, they started to run in what could be called a « regressive mode”, and through a “regressive period”, with internal and external aspects.

This mode and period can be called “regressive”, in the sense that both collective operation and output of IC are not felt as being up to the necessities of the WSF process development that are perceived by a significant number of IC members, through their declarations in plenary discussions. Collective operation and output of “IC+commission” seem to be re-using forms, and re-focusing on themes that were explored in the “learning period”, without adding enough new elements of operation, or new elements of reflection and action

In Montreal, as support to the large set of 2010 events announced in Rabat, IC came up with the idea of one physical “banner” with messages posted on it about “people’s alternatives”, physically carried from one event to another by a few selected people. This was less participatory, visible, communicable, and potentially inclusive, than a permanent webpage where to receive horizontally the “alternatives to the crisis” throughout 2010, an option which was not seriously considered in Montreal. Nevertheless, this modest “manual scheme” was not implemented.

That is to say, on this 2010 occasion, IC did not establish concretely any “process initiative”, collectively organized, and sustained between a sufficient number of IC members organizations, so as to be inclusive and attractive. Such an initiative would have offered a “space”, where actors participating to this 2010 process would have made visible their “people alternatives to the crisis”, as was said then.

Also, In the same Montreal meeting, differences on vision and practices surfaced between Liaison group, instituted in 2007, WSF office, acting as “liaison group secretariat”, and IC Communication commission, which since 2007, was exploring, albeit with some questionable aspects, some level of “self organized operation”, and “process initiatives”, with approved central WSF funding, which stopped end of 2010.

This could be welcomed as a  first serious “stress test” for “internal IC organizing scheme”, and, beyond the opinions on the substance of the debate, - potentially a very useful debate -, it did not yield a good image of IC collective capacity of real internal organization dialogue. Some issues related to this debate have not been appropriately discussed since then.

In 2010, challenging news started to knock on the IC door: some continental social forum processes came silently to a stop, as consequence of their progressively reducing attractiveness for many actors. During the following years, flux of application to IC membership dwindled. Contrary to 2007 discussion in Berlin that was scheduling WSF events on a six year horizon, there is not a great visibility on where would be next WSF events.

Also, central WSF funding flux lowered progressively. It can be understood that “IC+commissions” group appeared to potential funders, -with tighter budget due to the crisis-, more as a kind of “WSF senate, representative of main participants to WSF event”, which had a hard time resisting a “cost to output institutional analysis”, and not enough as a “WSF process facilitating body”. A facilitating body populated with organizations motivated by WSF process, -and thus inspiring about it -, that could creatively, though self organized collective WSF process initiatives, aligned with WSF values and practices expressed in public Guidelines, take the WSF process forward to further expansion.

This “ regressive mode” and “period” have been progressively developing its effects in Dakar, in Paris, in Dhaka, and finally MonastIC meetings.
However during this period, IC has not divided, and has not been highjacked by specifIC actors, which is, of course, essential, when thinking about “Future of IC”.

Among many possible examples of manifestation of this regression, one can mention:

a/- Persistence of declarations by a significant proportion of IC members organizations representatives, indicating that, after years of membership in CI, they still essentially focus on the next WSF event, and not on the process at large, and that they do so mainly as participants expecting good services by the organizing committee, and not as co-organisers of the event.

b/-Inexistence, or missed opportunities, of collective work on “WSF website portal”, theme identified and delayed since 2009.

c/-Absence of update or follow up of the three decisions of Copenhagen IC meeting, since 2008:
1/- On occasion of “pre WSF event” IC meetings, in Dakar and Monastir, and despite the positive assessment made, IC has not issued, an invitation to “extended participation” in WSF11 and WSF13, as was done for WSF9.
2/-“Guidelines for organizing WSF events” have not been officially updated,(the 2008 version arranged for an annual update), and the current 2011 version, drafted by a working group of methodology commission created in Paris meeting in 2011, is pending, waiting for “an IC meeting able to focus on it”.
3/- The methodology on “convergence assemblies and final moment” has not developed: lately, Monastir meeting agenda has not focused discussion on the form of “final moment of WSF13”, which can be deemed a necessity, after two rather boring editions of “assemblies of assemblies” in WSF9 and WSF11, rallying each less than 2000 people, and with a forcedly passive audience, dwindling as the session proceeded.

d/A contribution, recently made in this group about “future of IC”, mentions the non processing of IC member applications in Monastir by expansion commission, which has not emitted views about process expansion in a long time.

This contribution calls the manifestations of this regressive mode and period a “disarticulating disease”. Manifestations of Mutually neutralizing, paralyzing, and silencing effects for “IC+commissions” participants could be also described.


Reasons for the establishment of this disease, description of its manifestation and its effects on IC operation, both face to face and on line, on Liaison group, on commissions, on WSF office, could be usefully analyzed. Analyses and comments could be shared in this “Future of IC” working group, based on concrete topics and cases. This would allow IC to refine its collective views on still pending problems, and draw recommendations out of real collective experience.

Two fields of needed “facilitation for WSF process at large”

The current perceived priority is not to make “history of regressive period”, it is to find ways to get out of it, from where “IC +commissions” stands, and put back “IC+commissions” into a “working mode”, focused on contributing more to much needed WSF facilitation tasks, both on events and process initiatives.

“Facilitation” activity is a buzzword, on which CI, as political and methodological body, has not dedicated much practical discussions in the past years. With regards to WSF process, it can be schematically described with two aspects: event organizing facilitation, and process initiatives organizing facilitation.

Facilitation is a strategic necessity inside WSF process, which has little “vertically controlled” resources, and potentially huge “horizontally controlled” local resources: its participants and their own resources.

“Someone” has to start producing and maintaining the “open spaces” for the benefits of “everyone”, and the good news is that this “someone” can, progressively, include “everyone”: every participant can be also, and in many ways, co-producer, or co sustainer, of the open space, especially if the atmosphere created by the starting facilitators is “inclusive”. It can be advocated that IC itself, with its double identity of representative and facilitating body, should be a laboratory and a demonstration field for this inspiring human and political vision, which, however, as can be seen, does not come true by sheer incantations.

Facilitation of “Social Forum Events” organizing

“Event facilitation” is a, - relatively well known now-, set of tasks that “ Someone” ( eg a set of local organizations in a given country ) has to perform for a “WSF process forum event”, of any scale and type and geographic location, to exist, and /or to have more “quality” for “Everyone”, in content, form, participation, outcome, etc. Those WSF process forum events are the fundamental component of what is referred to as “WSF process”.

Since 2001, Event facilitation is spontaneously taken up by “entrepreneur groups”, that are willing to develop new events, and this generates an ongoing flux of events, even if their number is not increasing in the last years as one would hope, and some areas have faded away on the WSF map, without visible support initiative taken in IC to do something about that. The collective experience about “event facilitation” has logically been formulated in guiding principles for organizing events, published in 2008, which needs updating.

Facilitation of “WSF Process initiatives”

In the regressive past years, “IC+commissions” have accumulated little experience on this second kind of facilitation, and have discussed little on it in IC meeting agenda, although these initiatives are a necessity to go beyond WSF process being “just events”

CI, started in 2001, and IC commissions, started in 2003, are indeed the first two “WSF process initiatives”, taking WSF process as their permanent object. Their facilitation is not an easy task…

Facilitation of a “WSF Process initiative” is a set of tasks that “ Someone”, - a group of IC member organizations, active in some commissions, in the first place , and evidently other actors in WSF process-, has to perform to start and sustain a “WSF process initiative”.

Such initiatives aim at making global WSF process more visible, attractive and inclusive for “ Everyone”, both former and future event organizers and participants, with a “trans event” or “pluri event” dimension, and an horizontal relation to events and other initiatives.

WSF Process initiatives help participants to consolidate their ownership and vision of WSF process, and contribute to this process, whatever their distance in time and space to the various specific “events” that are positioned inside the process.

A basic example of process initiative is a “space for exchange of experience between social forum event organizers”, - a strategically important community for WSF dissemination. This initiative has been discussed in methodology commission in 2011, and is modestly implemented to date, through a working group decided at the very last minute of Dhaka CI meeting. It currently revolves around the update of a “WSF agenda”, where organizers of each event, -social forum or not social forums-, which are all autonomously organized, can make visible their location in WSF process, and can share with other fellow organizers, on a mailing list, some information and memory about their respective events.

Considering WSF concept and values, these “WSF process initiatives” are mainly taking the form of “open spaces”, each one with a special focus related to WSF process as a whole, and open to WSF process participants or wider public. Their “facilitation” consists in providing and maintaining those spaces, performing some service tasks along public guidelines that can be defined by consensus between facilitators, aligned with WSF values and concepts.

In order be inclusive, transnational, and cost effective, these “WSF process initiatives” need to have a strong on line component, which can combine with all kinds of partial face to face meetings, held between organizations participating in a same WSF process initiative. These meetings can in particular be self organized, on the occasion of the multiple “events” taking place in the WSF Agenda.

“WSF process initiatives” in IC meeting agendas and in commissions

During the regressive period, little collective reflection and progress has been made in “IC+Commissions” about “WSF process initiatives” Ideas of such process initiatives appear randomly, as “wishful thinking”, during working group on line, or during some IC meeting. A collective vision could emerge, through discussion and examination of existing concrete experiences, and projects in commissions, or plenaries. However, IC meeting agenda management by Liaison group has given little, if any, time for this in IC meetings.

It can be also mentioned that, in 2007, during institution of Liaison Group, some “Objective Groups” were mentioned by written, some of which could have evolved in such “process initiatives” (on expansion, on communication, on content etc..), but they were not stimulated by Liaison group when it started operating. Maybe if was too early in the development of the process…anyway in 2009, the picture about WSF process was clearer.

In 2009 and beyond, It appears that none of IC commission has had the internal autonomous strength, - i-e without the help and focus of IC through discussion and information-, to start some of these WSF process initiatives with a good collective dynamics and explicit guidelines. Some commission have started some initiatives, but without enough IC members participation. This weakness in self organizing maybe related to the fact that during the “learning period”, the tasks of commission had been essentially to produce ”ideas”, that were to be implemented by another body : the next WSF event organizing committee.

Being able to sustainably Facilitate “WSF Process initiatives” can be assessed as a strategic necessity for IC, and “IC+commissions” could be a demonstrative field, where concrete experience is developed, allowing to draft the much needed “Guidelines for organizing WSF process initiatives”.

Episode 2 – “An horizontal review protocol inside CI, designed to focus more IC on WSF facilitation tasks”


Episode 1 has given a background on the two fields of WSF facilitation on events and process initiatives, and mentioned their imbalance of time allocation in IC meetings, and the need to get out of “regressive mode”. This second episode examines a practical “affirmative scheme” that IC can adopt, as an incentive for IC member organizations to value and practice more “WSF process facilitation work”.

Considering WSF concept and values, such a facilitation” affirmative scheme” inside “IC+commissions” can only be based on a horizontal and transparent review protocol adopted by CI, and involving participants on a mutual and voluntary basis.

The Facilitation Contribution Review proposed is indeed nothing else than:
1/ inviting written, responsible, publCI, and accountable “announcements of contribution to WSF process facilitation” by IC members organizations, and
2/ inviting third party IC members organizations, to confirm perceived existence of each announced contribution (i-e “this has been done”), to appraise perceived “direction” of this contribution ( i-e “this is going in a good direction for the process”), and to add “contributive comments” on those confirmations and appraisals.

Of course this is, to start with, a mutual and collective revision process, and a stimulation for many horizontal interactions between IC member organization about WSF facilitation, informal and in commissions. These interactions otherwise, might not occur with same intensity during the occasion of IC meetings.

Goal of review protocol: stimulate contributions of IC members to WSF facilitation

Review Protocol is about instituting inside “IC+commissions” an “affirmative action scheme” to promote internally self funded, and self organized “event facilitation work” and “process initiatives facilitation work”, performed by IC member organizations.

Hopefully this promotion makes “WSF facilitation tasks” a stronger component of IC activity, balancing the activity of IC as a “representative body of networks participating to WSF process” which is also useful, but has drained too much time of IC meetings lately, partly out of habit, and for progressively less and less results.

Expected effect of an horizontal protocol

Hope is that, through the Review, tasks related to WSF facilitation, on events and on process initiatives, will become progressively more visible and valued, better known, and more relevant to be discussed inside CI, better “guidelined”, better “co-owned”, and finally more attractive, internally and externally.

Expected internal impact would be that more IC member organizations will become «WSF facilitation contributor», and that existing contributing organizations will contribute more, and will cooperate better in commissions.
Expected external impact would be a more legitimate and dynamic perception of CI, attracting other organizations than IC members to be participants in IC commissions, in “event organizing committees”, and in “process initiatives spaces”.

Critique may arise that the Review protocol itself will be considered childish by IC members, or, on the contrary, will be distorted by biased practices, or, that raising profile of procedures in IC would be depoliticizing it, etc…. Those arguments will be discussed in a “question and answer” episode, after a first round of reaction in the “future of IC” group.

Elements of Review protocol

The various elements of the protocol are :
1/ Review Protocol includes the Review itself, and its implementation guidelines
2/ Review Group, and its operating guidelines
3/ Systematic “WSF facilitation Slot” in plenary on the third day of CI, intangible and two hours minimum, focused on WSF process facilitation, with an agenda defined by the Review Group, and not by liaison group
4/ Raising the WSF facilitation capacity of IC being explicated as a major dimension in the terms or reference of the Liaison group or its successor

The basic resource of the Review protocol, which is described below, is simple and zero budget. it is the expected motivation of each and every IC member organization to take the WSF process forward, which is IC main human and political horizontal resource.

Implementation of Review protocol is done with e-mail and verbal messages, paper sheets posted on walls, a list of IC member organizations, and laptop computers. It is within reach of a motivated team of IC members, interested in visibilizing the “bottom up WSF process facilitation plan in IC “, which stays otherwise “latent”.

Nature and form of announcements made in the Facilitation Review

Facilitation Review is based on three types of announcements, public and on written form, made on voluntary basis during an IC meeting :
1-Announcement, by an IC member organization, of “contribution items”, for the period to come until next IC meeting, indicating for each item : name of persons involved and what they are doing, with who ( a useful indication to stimulate connections inside IC) and in connection with which commission(s)
2-Announcement, by this same organization, of real progress made since last IC on contribution items,
3-Statement made by an IC member organization; about announcements 1 & 2 made by another member organization. The statement can be twofold, and commented in a positive and contributive way
a/”Confirmation” of perceived reality of announced contribution (“what was announced has been done”), and b/“Appraisal” of direction of this contribution (“this is going in a good direction for the process”).

“Good direction” is evidently an opinion that can be informed by the “Strategy of IC facilitation for WSF process,” that could be relevantly defined in IC with support of IC Strategy commission, and by other Commissions work plans. Participation in the Review is on voluntary basis, consisting in writing one or two pages of announcements per organization, structured as a series of items, linked each to at least one IC commission.

Status of “WSF Facilitation contributor” for IC member organization”

In the Review process, IC member organizations make contribution announcements to facilitation of WSF process, about what they have done since last IC meeting, and what will do until next IC meeting. Subsequently, they receive confirmations and approvals from other IC members organizations.

To maintain a sense of quality and commitment in the “Announcement of contribution to WSF facilitation”, and not let it be degraded to a simple “lip service exercise”, the number of “Confirmations” and “Appraisals” received by one given IC member organization, and coming from all fellow IC member organizations who wish the give them, should be made public by the Review group, and be above some wisely defined “threshold”. This would allow IC member organizations that want it to obtain and maintain a status of «WSF facilitation contributor». Details about threshold can be discussed.

Status of IC «WSF facilitation contributor» member is basically “pragmatic” in IC. Also, to a certain extent (eg a proportion of 75% of membership), it is a requisite to be member in Review group, or in Liaison group or its successors. This is because these two groups have responsibility of taking forward the collective WSF facilitation capacity of CI, and thus statistically require a high proportion of “heavy duty” members.

Open and one shot Review Group

Review is performed at each IC meeting, by a specific “Facilitation Review Protocol Group” or “Review group”, which is set up one shot for each IC meeting ( from one month before until one month after ). It is an open group with minimum 8 people, working along established Review guidelines, which are part of the Review protocol. (and need to be drafted…).
Max 75%, and min 50%. of its members are from «WSF facilitation contributor» IC member organizations, Between 25 and 50% of members were present in last meeting, so as create a sense of continuity. One person can stay in the Review group only for two consecutive meetings, and has to step out on the third.

Insertion of Review in IC meetings

The Review is prepared on line before the IC meeting (i-e call for announcements, publication of early announcements…), and goes on during first two days of IC meeting in parallel to IC activity. Publicity and transparency is granted by posting announcement and comment sheets on walls of IC meeting venue. This allows all kinds of informal contacts between IC members and among IC commission participants, and makes the IC meeting more active in a decentralized way.

For each «WSF facilitation contributor» IC member organization participating in the Review, what is displayed is :
1/ copy of last meeting Announcement sheet,
2/current Report sheet on execution of last meeting announcement,
3/ Announcement sheet  towards next IC meeting,
4/Confirmation, Appraisal, and Comment sheet, which is for other IC members to comment the contribution of this organization making announcements 1 2 3. All IC members organisations are invited to sign confirmation or approval of those announcements, and to comment them (Review guidelines are also covering the comment process).

Review closes evening of second day of the IC meeting, in order to have outcomes in the same meeting, and generate post meeting dynamics. Transcribing and translating the last minute items of announcement and reports, and all the comment made is something well within reach of a motivated team of IC members.. Transcription and translation can be made in parallel of announcement and comments arrival during the two days of Review.

If too many people in IC think this kind of facilitating task (i-e implementing the review) is not “up to their personal status”, or is not serious enough, this must be openly discussed. IC needs a core capacity of people able and willing to perform tasks that “Someone” has to do“, so that “Everyone” can benefit from them. The downsizing of WSF office is now obliging to face this delayed issue.

Output of Review : “WSF Facilitation plan in IC version 1”

The direct major outcome of the Review is not the update the «WSF facilitation contributor» status of some IC member organizations; it is the “version 1 Bottom up WSF facilitation plan in IC”.

This plan is compiled by Review group, from the elementary inputs made in the Review, whether contribution Announcements, contribution Reports, or third party Comments on them. It is a spreadsheet document collecting good quality, responsible, public inputs, and allowing sorting the contribution items by IC member organizations (announcer or commenter), by commissions involved, by topics, by persons etc.. It is compiled “first hand”, and nearly without transformation, and released by Review Group on morning of third day of IC meeting.

“WSF Facilitation slot” in IC meeting agenda, facilitated by Review group

Review group analyzes the version 1 collectively, while it compiles it, and proposes some “facilitation issues” to be discussed in IC plenary during a systematically guaranteed “facilitation slot”, not less than two hours long, reserved for this purpose in the IC meeting agenda on that third day.

This guaranteed slot is integrant part of the Review protocol. Liaising group or its successor is not legitimate to define the agenda of the Facilitation slot. This is to avoid, based on experience, argument of priority crushing the necessary time for collective discussion on development of facilitation work inside IC. Looking back on 9 years of operation, it appears that priority is not necessarily where it is instantly perceived.

Review group facilitates this meeting and issues a report on it, before dissolving until a new group emerges before next CI,with between 25 and 50% of last time members, in order to create a sense of continuity.

Adjustment phase in commissions: WSF Facilitation plan in IC version 2

The various commissions are invited to “digest” this bottom up plan version 1, and to try to accommodate the agglutination of those “organisation “ contributions into “commission work plans “,which, in the absence of guidelines for commission operation are established along the mode of operation of each commission.

This requires:
1/ commission’s facilitation teams who are reactive and proactive enough, and
2/responsible management of their contributions by each IC member organization, taking into account comments, through sincere and creative /positive discussions, on line and face to face.

Adjustments of each contribution, either resulting from inter-personal interactions between IC member organizations, or from the collective discussion held in commissions, in the wake of IC meeting, should be reflected in a version 2 plan produced by Review group, compiling a version 2 announcement of contribution, to be sent by each «WSF facilitation contributor» IC member organization, one month after the IC meeting at latest.

If notable differences persist between formulation of a given commission plan and the bottom up plan version 2, it means that the level of consensus on vision inside this commission is not yet so good, and this is a matter for the facilitation team of the commission, or for the liaising mechanisms between commissions. This is not in the scope of action of Review group.

Link between Review and operation of commissions

Of course, «WSF facilitation contributor» IC member organizations, having made announcement in the Review, are logically actively participating in the activity of relevant commissions “where” they have placed items of contribution. Inconsistencies will be detected and addressed by Review group, while preparing plan version 2.

A commission working plan with full consideration of the Facilitation bottom up plan version 1 and 2, needs to be drafted, after plan 1, and finalized considering version 2. Of course this is not a self evident process, but at least the bottom up facilitation plan version 1 and 2 are a tangible and legitimate basis.
This commission plan drafting operation could be described in the “Guideline of operation of IC commissions”, defined by CI, prepared in Methodology commission, with consultation of other commissions, and taking into account existence of Review protocol.

More information and elements on Facilitation Review protocol

More descriptive feature of protocol will be given in a “Question and answer” episode, including some protocol Review forms: Announcement, Report, Confirmation Appraisal and Comment, and a timeline.

Decision and Transition to institute the Review protocol in IC

Setting up such a Review protocol, after discussion in “future of IC” group, would not be very complicated: Decision about protocol could be taken in the first two days of Tunis IC meeting. The open Review group could emerge just after the discussion: (intended volunteers can prepare some work and forms beforehand), so a first announcement of contribution could be made during the last days of Tunis, with possibility of comments.

This would allow outputting a first version of the “WSF facilitation bottom up plan by IC version 1”. A first plenary slot on WSF facilitation could be held in this same CI, with a session agenda defined by this Review group, or facilitation agenda could be at least proposed by Review group on line in IC list.

Then, during next IC meting post Tunis, the standard Review protocol agreed would be fully implemented.


If IC members organizations make a collective decision of pledging to practice this Review for the needed contribution of IC to common good of WSF process, there will be motivation to proceed.
“WSF Facilitation Review protocol in IC” will be then viewed as a collectively owned zero budget realistic scheme, that gives every member organization in IC a concrete and equal occasion to think, consult, and commit about: “what can we do for WSF process”, and “how can we be a piece of the change we want to happen in IC”?

As an echo to the statement quoted at the beginning of this document, institution of Review protocol may have positive mid-term effects on IC operation, and then on perception of organizations outside IC about WSF process, leading them to asking each other: “What are you doing outside the WSF process?".

Annex : Some possible next “episodes”:

Episode 3 – “Questions and answers about IC facilitation Review protocol”, This part could be fed with some feedbacks received from the group future of IC on the Review protocol as described in episode 2.

 Episode 4 – “Considerations on commissions operation, process initiatives, and inter-commission liaising”:
Beyond the small scale “commission participation experience”, that has accompanied the operation of IC so far, reaching a mode of “self organized and sustained operation “of commission is needed, in particular to be able to stimulate durably “process initiatives”, which are useful and probably necessary tools for further expansion of WSF process as a whole. This episode may also include some ideas of such process initiatives and orientations about “guidelines to organize process initiatives”, similar to “guidelines to organize events”. Horizontal Inter commission liaising is a necessity that can be addressed in several ways and the institution in 2007 of a liaison group which paradoxically did not require active participation in commission from its member is obviously only one among other possible ways.

Episode 5: “Elements on inclusion of 2011 movements” in “IC+ commissions”, and in WSF process at large”:
The term “2011 movement” is a convenient name for Arab spring, indignant, occupy etc.. IC members are sensitized about this issue. As a way forward, “local assemblies”, often used in those 2011 movements, could be facially considered as “local organizations” in Social Forum methodology, and thus entitled and encouraged to organize activities in social forum events, especially  those “assembly” could be local activities organizers or telemeeting activities partners  included in extended format of events . IC members could in parallel try to cooperate in order to sustain proximity between those movements and “IC + commissions”.

Episode 6- “Size and form considerations about IC+ commissions “The current “IC+ commissions” system has worked throughout learning and regressive years at a scale of 100p plenary +10 people on line in working groups and commissions. Also the dominant form has been the plenary with sequential word circulation, working groups, and mailing list. That scale is way below what is needed to expand WSF process, and the same time it is “cosy” and simple to operate inside a small human group. The forms and their proportion in IC meeting can also be assessed in relation to activity or passivity of participants and to scale. This small scale operation also contributes to sustain the regressive mode “IC+Commissions” is in. A criterion for thinking about IC face to face and online modes of operation is then the capacity of these modes to include much more people, as active members or participants.