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membership development team

2009 was a very exciting year for membership development. Member groups articulated key membership-related questions and then proposed developing a Membership Development Strategy (MDS) in order to develop general answers to these questions. The MDS was subsequently drafted and will be circulated for further consultation in the regions in 2010.


At the inter-BGM in Swaziland in 2007, the federation began the implementation of its Strategic Plan. Additionally, member groups initiated discussions and teamwork around critical new areas of work, such as membership development. Strategic planning discussions showed that the federation needed to define targets in relation to the development of the federation itself, and for the first time strengthening FoEI was adopted as a strategy.


Based on the FoEI vision, mission and values, and our strategic plan, the drafting of the Membership Development Strategy has brought greater clarity to FoEI’s membership areas as prioritized by the strategic planning process and subsequent discussions.


These priority areas are:

  • the revision of membership criteria
  • the strengthening and involvement of member groups in the international programs
  • evaluation
  • expansion of the federation
  • the organization of FoEI membership issues, including the formal delegation of membership issues to regions, and
  • decision-making and conflict resolution.


The decision to revise the membership criteria followed from the belief that the current membership criteria were too general and therefore too difficult to enforce. The revised membership criteria will be narrow enough to function as a tool for guiding expansion and evaluation, and to help ensure alignment.


Since the success of FoEI’s campaigns is entirely dependent on member group participation, and since this participation is dependent on member group capacity, the MDS is also geared to increasing the capacity of member groups.


In addition to the membership criteria themselves, we have developed a series of indicators of organizational capacity, in order to gauge the different obstacles our members face to participating in the programs. Based on need, individual capacity building plans are to be developed for groups, and shared at the regional level, rendering FoEI more fully a learning organization.


The MDS is also explicit about the need and ways to regionalize much of FoEI’s membership development work, as well as generally strengthening FoEI’s regional structures. Following the 2010 BGM adoption of the Membership Development Strategy document, the Membership Development Team will have a mandate to take the strategy’s implementation forward in 2011.

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