As Together’s Membership Outreach Officer, I want to extend my thanks to every single person who participated in our 2022 membership survey. Hearing from you about what you enjoy about membership, the changes that you would make as well as the kinds of events and resources that you would benefit from, is extremely valuable for planning how we engage with our members. We wish to provide a short summary of what you told us as well as some of our next steps.
The feedback in the survey will influence our engagement and ways of working with members, for example, the format and frequency of sharing information with you. Your feedback about events that you would find helpful – particularly, networking and training sessions – will be incorporated into the development of Together’s implementation strategy (the ways in which we will support members to learn about and support implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child legislation).
We learnt that many of our members are quite new to learning about children’s rights. A third of you said “We have started to use children’s rights in our work but would like to explore how to apply/use human rights more”. For us, this signalled the importance of ensuring that our language and explanations about children’s rights, the UNCRC Bill and reporting to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child* are as accessible as possible. As a start, we have created a glossary, or “jargon buster” of complex terms and acronyms on our website. We will also hold an event in Summer this year to introduce members to the UNCRC reporting process, the relevance of this for children and young people in Scotland and how our members can get involved.
*The UNCRC reporting cycle: Every state that has ratified the UNCRC is required to report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (‘the Committee’) on how it is fulfilling its obligations under the Convention. This allows the Committee to assess what progress a state is making in implementing the Convention. As part of this, civil society organisations can report to the Committee about the rights issues that are experienced by children in their country. The Committee then makes recommendations known as Concluding Observations which tell countries what they can do to improve the protection of children’s human rights.
Many of you told us that more guidance and practical support around implementing rights-based approaches in practice would be valuable. Recognising that many of our members have questions about conducting Child Right Impact Assessments (CRIA), we will shortly be publishing a step-by-step guide to producing a CRIA. We will also take your requests about support to implement rights-based approaches into account when planning events, such as our summer series of events with GCVS, Children’s Parliament and the Alliance. We will also place greater emphasis on signposting to training and resources provided by other organisations about working in rights-respecting ways. Shortly, we will also produce a briefing introducing participation and involving children in decision-making as well as the report of learning from the Rights Right Now! participation project.
You shared with us the importance of receiving information in a wide range of formats, such as briefing sheets, videos, presentation resources, in-person and online training, networking and forums. Knowing that you want variety of resources and meetings styles will guide the ways in which we engage and share information with you going forwards. We are hopeful that we will be able to work with more of you in person and are also in the process of translating more of our resources into videos.
Not-for-profit members of Together reflected that they receive a ‘very large number’ of emails which can be ‘tricky to keep on top of’. With this in mind, we have reviewed how often we communicate with you and will try to condense information into as few emails as possible. Conversely, individual members generally expressed interest in more frequent updates from Together, such as about the UNCRC Bill, implementation and Together’s work. For these reasons, we have started a regular email for members which, going forwards, is likely to take the form of an ‘end of month’ round-up.
Lastly, we asked about your knowledge of Together’s Board elections and interest in becoming a trustee. Your answers reflected that we need to make more information available about these processes, including how to vote and the time commitments required to be on the Board.
Thank you once again for taking the time to participate in the survey. If there’s anything further that you would like to tell us about your experience of membership or improving membership value, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org.