Women’s Information Technology Transfer (WITT) has entered a new phase. Earlier this year, WITT’s core group gathered in Amsterdam to discuss and decide how to move into the future and meet WITT’s goals. During the four-day meeting, participants had many constructive discussions. An interim board took charge of future responsibilities. WITT decided to broaden its horizons; instead of a specifically Eastern European perspective, it now has a European one. Christina Haralanova, the chair of the interim board, highlights and describes this new phase of WITT.
What are the achievements of WITT’s core group meeting?
The Core Group of WITT met from the 24th to the 26th of June in the IIAV office in Amsterdam. Our purpose was to discuss the structure and future development of the WITT project. The meeting was very fruitful. In just three days, we restructured WITT and made a new plan for its future development so that it can be an even more successful initiative.
WITT has changed its structure. We are now a network of women’s organizations working to promote Information and Communication Technologies in the women’s movement as strategic tools for social transformation.
The initiative, which had in the past been characterized as Central and Eastern European, is now officially European. The reason for this is that we have equal participation from representatives of both Eastern and Western European countries. Moreover, it puts the emphasis on the close cooperation between East and West, and this is one of WITT’s strongest points.
The core group has been replaced by an interim board. Task forces for ongoing projects will be created, and the position of WITT Coordinator was created in order to help facilitate communication between the different bodies.
What are WITT’s future plans?
The initial plan right now is that the newly formed interim board (I-Board), which consists of four members (Natasa Stevanic, Milica Gudovic, Eva Cruells and Christina Haralanova, chair of the Board) will decide the process of forming or electing the next WITT board and will make a call for board members for 2006. The I-Board will be active until the first real board takes office, which is going to happen in the beginning of 2006.
The I-Board has limited functions, which include the following:
Preparing WITT strategic documents (vision, mission etc.);
Making a description of the structure of WITT;
Defining the criteria for the next board; and,
Determining a specific process for selecting board members and making a call for board members in 2006.
While the interim board is focusing on its tasks, how will WITT continue its activities?
The WITT project is being currently coordinated by two coordinators: Milica Gudovic and Eva Cruells. They have divided tasks between themselves to ensure that future activities are planned and organized. Their main tasks, related to general coordination of WITT, are to plan its future, to gather information, and to be the contact persons for WITT for outside organizations. The coordinators are also responsible for coordinating the fundraising strategy of WITT for future funding, for exploring and providing information about funding opportunities, and for submitting project proposals to funders.
The coordinators report to the board with respect to their activities and contacts, and make evaluations of or propose strategic plans for WITT’s further development. The coordinators also ensure that information flows among all the people who are interested in WITT. One of their most important tasks is to monitor WITT’s different projects (the so-called task forces) and to stay informed about all the processes happening inside the network.
What are the future activities of WITT?
WITT is quite active at the moment: there are two Focal Points working in the Czech Republic and Serbia and Montenegro until the end of 2005. At the same time, WITT is developing its network online, by building a rich website, containing information, studies, research and literature related to women and information and communication technologies. We intend to continue developing this in the future. There are also activities planned for the future like regional trainings for local women in different countries, the Training Exchange Event 2006, and many more.