From having up to 12 area coordinators some years ago only 3 remained in post by SICOGA 2015.
Since then 1 has retired and the 2 remaining have completed their 3 year elected term.
As posts have become vacant national groups have decided against holding elections for a new area coordinator in their region.
It would seem that most regions no longer see a need for the role as there once was. This may in part be because contact between SI Exco and national groups, as well as with each other, is no longer dependent on having an area coordinator in post. The internet now ensures fast and reliable communication across the entire Servas network.
In terms of development a number of successful regional meetings have been organised by countries working together without the need for an elected area coordinator.
In recent years the Development Committee has also been active in supporting new national groups and encouraging regional events.
Funding for such activities is available from both the Development Fund and the SI regional meeting budget whether an area coordinator is in post or not.
Future of the role.
From our review of the area coordinator role it is apparent to SI Exco that it has gradually fallen into disuse over a number of years.
We have not found any enthusiasm to promote the role and since SICOGA 2015 we have not received any requests to hold an area coordinator election.
We have therefore concluded that the role of area coordinator should be discontinued and the functions previously associated with the post carried out by others.
We would want to encourage national groups to work co-operatively to develop Servas within their regions with the continuing support of members of the Development Committee as needed.
With the benefit of an updated SI website and the transition to ServasOnline we anticipate there will be new opportunities to promote Servas in the regions.
In coming to our conclusions we have consulted the remaining two area coordinators who support our view that the role should be discontinued.
Although there is no requirement within the SI statutes to have elected area coordinators SI Exco would like to give national groups and SI Committees an opportunity to comment.
Any contributions will be taken into account when SI Exco puts forward a review of all SI roles and committees to SICOGA 2018.
Please send any comments to me at email@example.com.
With best wishes