Moving forward with new StreetNet International Council

30 January 2017

By Oksana Abboud, StreetNet Media Officer

Pictured are StreetNet Council members during the Leadership Training

A three day Leadership Training for the members of StreetNet International Council took place on 23-25 January in Durban, South Africa.

The training program was aimed on getting new Council members to be familiar with StreetNet structure, policies and power as well as outlining strategic areas for the next three years.

The training method was participatory, with participants breaking into language based groups who had to read through the clauses of the StreetNet Constitution which describes the roles of the office bearers (clauses 9.5 to 9.9), as well as the powers and duties of the International Council (clause 10.6), and the StreetNet policies.

Pictured are StreetNet Council members during the Leadership Training

The groups reported back describing the relevant Constitutional clauses and developed some suggestions which included the following:

  • Greater clarity needed on International Council member responsibilities, particularly in relation to regional authority and responsibility e.g. Council members should be responsible for bringing in new organisations from the region into StreetNet, and should be able to travel to other countries in the region;
  • Policies should be more concise;
  • Code of Conduct is comprehensive and needs no additions.

The Fundraising strategy and information about specific donors was presented by Pat Horn, StreetNet International Coordinator, which turned into a lively discussion among participants and resulted in proposals’ list to be discussed at the International Council Meeting on 26-27 January.

Pat Horn emphasized that while approaching the donors, we have to create confidence and make sure that we are continuing to evolve in a way that is collectively supported by the leadership. Donors get very worried if old decisions, obligations and planning are abandoned by new leadership.

She also reminded that a big task for the coming period is to raise funds, as currently there is very little money in the StreetNet’s pot.

Day two of the StreetNet Leadership Training was aimed at Strategic Planning. Jane Barret, WIEGO International Coordinator was facilitating the whole day sessions.

Pictured are StreetNet Council members during the Leadership Training

The participants were working on the following issues: Impacting on laws and urban policies through collective negotiations; how to roll out to all StreetNet affiliates using the New Urban Agenda; Implementation of R204; gaining access into tripartite forums; extension of social protection; social solidarity economy structures. The Council Members also discussed the issue of regional impact and informal cross-border traders, regional alliances, how to roll out to more regions. Consolidating a strategic plan for current International Council mandate was successfully achieved.

The third Day of the Training was focused on management of resources in order to equip the new leadership to lead on these issues, and to make any recommendations for amendments to the systems in the International Council meeting. Pat Horn, StreetNet International Coordinator introduced to the Council Members the issue of Resources Management and Annelene Muhammad Shafi, Financial Administrator clearly briefed about current StreetNet financial situation.

During the evaluation session, the participants expressed their views and satisfaction about the training, pointing on learning a lot of useful and necessary knowledge about StreetNet functioning and other interesting topics.

Leadership of Ubumbano Traders’ Alliance, StreetNet affiliate from Durban, visited the Training to greet a new StreetNet President and the Council Members.

Pictured is StreetNet International Council during its Meeting in Durban

On 26-27 January, StreetNet International Council took place in StreetNet Office in Durban.

Lorraine Sibanda, StreetNet President professionally chaired the Council Meeting which had a lot of items on its agenda.

The first Council Meeting was held successfully as all the agenda issues were discussed and agreed by the Council members.

The Council also adopted a Draft Strategic Plan which indicates main four strategic focus areas for StreetNet work going forward. The strategic areas are the following:

  • Using collective negotiations and other related strategies of mobilization and pressure to influence laws and urban policies in favour of street vendors and other informal workers;
  • Implementing ILO Recommendation 204 at country level including gaining access to tripartite forums, extension of social protection and advancing social solidarity economy structures;
  • Building regional solidarity between StreetNet affiliates across borders and building regional alliances to advance the interests of cross-borders informal traders;
  • Continue growing and developing StreetNet International.

International Coordinator’s report and recommendations have been also supported and adopted by the International Council.