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Guidelines for hosting an Assembly

[This article is reproduced from Patsy Clarke's piece in the SSBR Newsletter 5 of 3 August 2009]

Rationale

The idea of Assemblies is based on experiences from community based models that encourage inter-project linkages and collaborations across a programme.

In contrast to the face to face and online activities organised by the SSBR support team, Assemblies are activities where the projects self organise linkages and collaborations with other projects. Assemblies focus on topics that are meaningful to the participating projects’ contexts and perspectives and that help to move their projects forward.

Assembly Planning

Assembly Planning

Examples of Assemblies from the Phase 2 Projects can be found at:

The format of the BRII assembly was a ’small but friendly gathering where we could exchange ideas, issues and problems related to stakeholder engagement’. The size enabled contributions from everyone. In addition to presentations and discussions there was an invited guest speaker, followed by breakout sessions.

The weCAMP hosted assembly with iBorrow explored the potential for collaboration between the two projects. Included in the outcomes is a plan for a future assembly to involve sector stakeholders. There is also the possibility of a joint bid for benefits realisation funding.

Criteria: At least two projects to be involved in an Assembly.

The weCAMP assembly is an example involving two projects while the larger BRII assembly included 6 projects and a guest speaker. Both provided good opportunities for the collaborating projects.

Funding : Up to £1500 is available per assembly. This is to cover certain expenses of those participating in the hosted assembly. The host project applies for the money and makes the payments for those involved from attending projects. The funds might cover the travel/refreshments/venue. It might cover an external guest speaker/consultant.

  • Funding may NOT cover the time of anyone already part of any of the funded Lifelong learning Workforce Development/Institutional Innovation projects.

Process decisions

  1. Who is the host project?
  2. What is the topic and purpose?
  3. Which other projects are interested /will attend?
  4. Platform? Online, (e.g. Elluminate, Second Life), face to face? If online is there a need for familiarisation sessions? Do participants have appropriate access and equipment? A suggestion in the Assemblies session at the programme’s July event indicated that initial face to face contact was providing a useful stimulus to fruitful subsequent follow up by email, telephone and Elluminate contact.
  5. Format:? Seminar / visit / speaker / workshop / planning / trouble-shooting….?
  6. The purpose? Information sharing? Filling gaps? Exploring commonalities? Solving a problem etc. In the longer term there might be the potential of leading to a Benefits Realisation?
  7. Date:/duration? E.g. a face to face day or a scheduled time in Elluminate.
  8. Output? Assembly outputs need to be publishable/ shareable so that they can benefit other projects e.g. the earlier mentioned BRII assembly site is also the assembly output (here)
  9. Host project submits completed Expression of interest/ application form to their project LLLWFD link person (e.g. the Phase 3 LLLWFD projects contact Patsy or Ellen) who will forward it appropriately to get the go-ahead. Form downloadable from (here)
  10. Invitations/notifications? SSBR support team members via the email list and the newsletter and the Assemblies blog site can help publish advance information to broaden participation.
  11. Project receives confirmation to go ahead and takes place..
  12. Outcomes/outputs shared with the other projects via the website, blogs, newsletter and the Assemblies blogsite at

Other Assembly related links:

  • Expression of interest Assemblies (application) form, downloadable from (here)
  • SSBR newsletter items on the programme Assemblies: (here)