Proposals for Working Groups membership selection process
- Timeline of the Process
- Context & Detail
- Q&A & Sharing
For questions, comments, feedback and sharing
The Residents’ Assembly Service (RAS) has received two requests to present proposals to the community on the topic of the working group membership selection process. After some deliberation it was agreed between the Working Committee & Selection Process Taskforce (with the exception of two members) to present all the options together. As per the 2007 Residents’ Assembly Decision Making Policy (RAD Policy) the RAS is calling for these to be presented in a General Meeting, to be held digitally and with an exhibition in town hall due to lockdown, before they are issued to the community for Residents’ Assembly Decision(s) (RAD).
Context & Details
The RAD Policy specifies that RADs can be requested by the Working Committee, working groups, or by a group of 60 or more residents, and that the topic must be raised first in one or more General Meetings except in emergencies as determined by the Working Committee (an Emergency RAD).
The initial RAD process to revise the manner of choosing members for the working groups was initiated by a petition spearheaded by concerned residents in June 2019, after which GMs were held and the taskforce was created to conduct a community-led process, integrating feedback, and working up proposals for the working group membership selection process, towards having an RAD. There have been 5 General Meetings to discuss proposals from the community regarding methods of working group members selection. 23 Jul 2019, 3 Aug 2019, 20 Aug 2019, 9 Sept 2019, 17 Oct 2019. Three proposals have been presented for 2-week community feedback on 29 Nov 2019. The RAS handed over feedback received to the Selection Process taskforce for further incorporation (19 Dec 2019).
In the meantime, the term of office of some members of the working groups came to an end, and it was necessary to find a temporary solution to fill the vacancies. In view of the urgent need to keep the working groups functional, the Working Committee called an emergency RAD to approve an Interim Selection Process proposal which was created within the framework of existing PWG 2018 (Participatory Working Groups guidelines). 23 Dec 2019 – 2 Feb 2020.
The selection process, based on the Interim proposal, took place on 14-15 March 2020, just one week before the lockdown.
Restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 spread situation put many community activities on hold, including the GM to present the final version of the proposals by the taskforce.
RAS with the support of the Auroville Council organised a meeting (May 2020) with the selection process taskforce due to concerns about the time taken to bring the proposals to the community for RAD especially with new members needing to be selected in November 2020.
Recently the Working Committee and Auroville Council submitted a proposal, built on the approved Interim Selection Process, as they considered it had strong community support and so should be made available (with some amendments) as an additional option for the permanent selection of working group members. They requested it to go for a 2 week feedback period.
To avoid confusion, the RAS encouraged the taskforce, Working Committee, Auroville Council to reach a common position so all options can be presented to the community together. Initially agreement couldn’t be reached to have all the proposals presented to the community at the same time. After some further reflection the selection process taskforce agreed to incorporate the Working Committee’s proposal into a single GM to best serve the community, despite feeling that the situation compelled them to accept an otherwise unfair involvement in their community-led process (NB: this decision was not supported by Balu K and Paulette, members of the taskforce).
Hence, all the proposals will be presented together with space for comments, questions and feedback before the final versions are shared with the community for Resident’s Assembly Decision, with all the options clearly introduced and explained.