The Board has consisted of the following eight members: Jordi Balari, ASF-Espana Chairman;
Ligia Nunes, ASF-Portugal, Vice-chair; Ludovic Jonard, A&D (France) Vice-Chair; Eric Selis,
ASF-Belgium, Treasurer; Dick Urban Vestbro, ARC-PEACE, Secretary; Sara Peny, ASF-Sweden,
Stéphane Plisson, ASF-France; and Antonello Iouro, ASF-ONLUS-Italia. These persons have been
elected for a period of two years. During 2007 the Board had four meetings (Hasselt in April, Barcelona
in June, Rome in September and Paris in November). In February 2008 the Board met in
Porto. Meetings have usually been attended by six or seven members. Those prevented from attending
have often been represented by another person from his/her organisation. Minutes have normally
been completed, verified, signed and scanned at the end of each Board meeting. The Board
has worked out procedures for swift communication between Board meetings, and for taking decisions by email. A large number of emails have been exchanged within the Board. At the beginning of 2008 Antonello Iouro moved to Peru, for which reason he is prevented from attending meetings in 2008.
Fifteen organisations became members as a result of the Constituent meeting in Hasselt in April
2007. A list of members with relevant information was made by the Board and has since been updated
when required. There have been some problems in communicating with the non-European
members. Our Congolese member has maintained sporadic contacts. A&D India has kept in touch
with A&D France. Concerning the Brazilian member the Board has sent numerous emails and
made a number of phone calls, so far with meagre results.
The Board has been strongly engaged in recruitment of new members. The list of persons who expressed an interest for ASF from the meeting in Vancouver in June 2006 (80 persons) was used to send out information, including instructions how to form a member organisation of ASF-Int. Only a couple replied, but the Board is confident that information about our organisation has reached many key persons of interest for us in the future. In Uganda a meeting has been held for the foundation of a chapter of ASF. It has not yet resulted in an application for membership. One person in Canada has requested material to form an ASF chapter there. In Norway there is a group which is about to form a member organisation. The Secretary has also sent material to persons in several other countries.
ASF Nepal has ratified the Hasselt Charter and sent an application for membership with reports about its activities, but so far it failed to send a verified document that is an officially registered Non-Government Organisation. ASF-Australia, ASF-Argentina and Architects Without Borders- North America have been invited to join ASF, but so far without result. Promising contacts have been established with individuals in Macau, Mozambique, Benin and Angola.
The Board has spent substantial time to have the Constitution adopted by the 2007 GA meeting converted into a legal document. For this purpose a Belgian lawyer has been consulted, resulting in an extension of the Constitution from 3 to 20 pages. At two meetings the Board has discussed the proposed additions in detail, paragraph by paragraph, both in French and in English. A final version will be presented for approval by the GA meeting 2008. After approval the original (in French) will be translated to Flemish language and signed by the Belgian king before it is registered as the legal constitution of ASF-Int. In the Board there have been differences of opinion about the nature and content of the Constitution.
Budget, fund raising, sponsor policy, bank account
The 2007 GA meeting decided about a nominal fee for members (eur 100 per year) and commissioned
the Board to raise funds in other ways than membership fees. The Board has made a budget
with the target turnover of eur 30,000, based on fund-raising for specific projects, and requests to
members to do their own fund-raising on behalf of ASF-Int. The Board considers it vital to have a
budget that allows payment for travel costs for participation in Board meetings, for other travel
costs of behalf of the organization, for maintenance of the website, for printing the project portfolio,
for exhibition material etc, and for at least a minimum of a Secretariat.
The Board has decided that the Treasurer and the Chairman have the right to sign papers and financial status on behalf of ASF-Int. A bank account has not been possible to open, since the Constitution has not been legally registered. The Board intends to secure that the bank selected will be of high ethical standards. The Treasurer has made some preliminary contacts with potential sponsors, but no formal decision has been taken, one reason being the absence of an agreed sponsor policy. Commissioned by the Board Sara Peny has worked out a draft proposal for a sponsor policy but no decision has been taken, except that the policy shall be discussed further in relation to some concrete cases. It is the hope of the Board that a well considered proposal may be submitted to the GA meeting in 2009.
In the absence of funds for a Secretariat the Board has accepted the generous offer of ASF-Belgium to take care of secretarial business of ASF-Int – in collaboration with the Stockholm-based Secretary. Thus the Hasselt office has organized the project portfolio, the ‘bank of expertise’, the archives and other matters of value for our organization. It is the intention of the Board to include the issue of the Secretariat as a central part of the Activity Plan for the coming year.
ASF-Int has a minimal website hosted by A&D-France, but it is not maintained. The Board has had some difficulties to establish a functioning active website during the year, although it has been an issue of priority. After several proposals and contacts in various countries the Board decided to accept the offer by the Porto company “Connecty” to build a website (free of charge), provided that it is worked out in collaboration with appointed members of the Board. It is estimated that the maintenance of the website will require a share of the budget in the future.
Media contacts, international visibility
It has been the intention of the Board to work more with press releases and an active media policy, but it has not been possible to implement this intention because of too many other priorities. One reason is that the Board decided to first work out a project portfolio, an expert register, a brochure and other material to be used for external contacts. Such materials will be used for contacts with other organisations, with mass media, and for presentation at international fora such as the UIA Congress in Turin and the World Urban Forum in Nanjing in October 2008. It is likely that Paula Morais, Sara Peny and Ludovic Jonard will represent ASF-Int at WUF IV. It is hoped that the GA meeting 2008 will result in good publicity about ASF-Int.
Contacts with other organisations
During the year the Board has worked actively to establish good contacts with organisations of
interest to us. Thus ASF-Int has attended a special meeting of the International Union of Architects,
which among other things resulted in an agreement that ASF-Int will have a special program at the
UIA Congress in Turin 29 June – 3 July 2008. Through Eric Selis we have established contacts
with (Emergency) Shelter Cluster Group. Jordi Balari is discussing possible cooperation with United
Cities and Local Governments (UCLA) and Habitat International Coalition (HIC). Antonello
Iouro has been in touch with the International Alliance of Inhabitants; and Stéphane Plisson with
CRAterre (a centre for earth technology in Grenoble). ASF-Int has also made contacts with Architects for
Humanity, inviting this organisation to join ASF-Int (without positive result so far).
The Board has noted that Architects Without Borders-North America (AWB-NA) has a website that includes members of ASF-Int as if these are members of AWB-NA. The site also includes the logo of ASF-Int. The Board has requested Craig Williams to remove the ASF names. Despite several reminders no corrections have been made.
Project portfolio, list of experts
At the decision of the Board, members have been invited to submit four projects each, such that can serve as good examples of what ASF-Int stands for. The request has resulted in the compilation of about 40 projects, out of which 20 have been selected for the first version of a project portfolio. This will be displayed at the GA meeting, at the UIA Congress and as part of a brochure at WUF in Nanjing. The Board has also decided to compile an information bank with documents showing the expertise that ASF-Int possesses. Many have responded to the request, but much remains to be done.
The Office of ASF-Belgium has established an archive of financial documents, membership applications, ratified Hasselt charters, minutes from GA and Board meetings, reports from member organisations, correspondence on paper and by email, and other documents of ASF-Int. All email correspondence of principal importance carried out by the Chairman, the Secretary and the Treasurer is copied to the official email address of ASF-Int.
Registration of logotype
Already before the 2007 GA meeting a competition was carried out for a new logo of ASF-Int, a competition that resulted in the logo that is now being used. The Board has decided to register this logo legally. ASF-Espana has kindly offered to let ASF-Int take over its legal rights to a logo. Thus an application has been sent to the office in the European Union bureau of property rights. Almost the whole costs (3200 euros) will be paid by the Colegio de Arquitectos of Catalunya.
Through an application by ASF-ONLUS-Italia funds were granted by the European Union Leonard
program in support of recently graduated Italian students who worked as apprentices in offices of
ASF-Belgium, ARC-PEACE (Stockholm), ASF-Portugal and ASF-España. Among other things
the Leonardo students have established a substantial archive of literature on disaster prevention and
remediation (available in Stockholm), reports about social inclusion through planning, an archive
of scanned pictures about slum conditions in developing countries and a new website of ARCPEACE.
The Board has furthermore discussed the possibility to publish a book reflecting ideas and works of ASF-Int; an electronic newsletter, and the production of business cards for Board members.
On behalf of the Board
Dick Urban Vestbro, Secretary