Terms of reference for Task Forces
Task Forces are set up to allow members of the Europeana Network Association to take on specific subjects or areas of common interest to the digital heritage field. Task Forces are designed to help achieving goals, objectives or supporting activities expressed in the running Business Plans.
They run for a limited period of time (usually six to nine months) and result in the delivery of a set of publishable recommendations on their respective subjects. The work and budget of Task Forces are overseen by the Europeana Network Association Members Council.
Working Groups, on the other hand, are set up to facilitate ongoing discussions on topics of interest to (a group of) network members; Working Groups are proposed and led by a member of the Members Council (MC).
Initiative: Task Forces can be submitted by any Europeana Network Association member through the following form. They can be submitted anytime through the year. Note that Europeana Foundation is eligible to submit one Task Force every year.
Membership : (x10 people maximum)
All TF members need to be Europeana Network Association members.
The TF is constituted as follows:
- The chair
- 1 Members Council representative
- 1 Europeana Office representative
- 4 to 6 Europeana Network Association members appointed by the chair
- 2 open seats for Network Association members; call for participation is currently circulated through the Network newsletter. If more than 2 Association members volunteer, it is up to the Chair to select and complete his TF constituency.
Selection process: Financial limitations and organisational as well as administrative requirements imply that only 8 to 10 Task Forces can be supported and monitored every year. A selection process is, therefore, necessary to evaluate Task Forces’ objectives and relevance against the running Business Plan:
- 3 to 4 Members Council appointed by Europeana Office based on Councillors’ expertise review and evaluate each Task Force proposal through the following evaluation form. Those Councillors inform the whole Members Council accordingly. >50% of the Members Council must approve the proposal before a Task Force is officially launched.
- The Task Force Chair is informed of the Members Council decision through the Europeana Office representative: approval, conditional approval on specified revisions, or rejection.
- Once approved, the two open seats will be advertised so that all Association members get the opportunity to participate in the Task Force. If more than 2 Association members volunteer, it is up to the Chair to select and complete his/her TF constituency.
- The Councillors involved in the selection process will also monitor and peer-review the Task Force final recommendation.
- The Member Council representative on the TF will liaise with the Councillors involved in the selection process and participate in the peer-review of the Task Force final recommendation.
The selection process can take up to 2 months between Task Force proposal and launch if approved.
Outcome: Task Forces deliver actionable recommendations by the end of their mandate. These recommendations are peer-reviewed by at least 3 to 4 representatives of the Members Council and support Europeana activities. Actionable recommendations that have been approved will then integrate the Business Plan development process.
Recommendations development: Task Forces accomplish most of their work either virtually or through a maximum of two physical meetings. Task Forces use Basecamp, an online project coordination tool as a coordination platform. They are overseen by the Members Council and supported by the Network Coordinator in the Europeana Office. Regular updates on progress, a mid-term report, as well as a signed attendance list after each physical meeting, should be sent to the Europeana Network Coordinator.
Timeframe and recommendations implementation: Task Forces run for a limited period of time, with a maximum of 9 months. The final recommendations are made available on Europeana Pro dedicated space. TF members are encouraged to disseminate outcomes within their own communities (see below Communication). The recommendations implementation must be considered through a close collaboration with Europeana Office and through a timetable projection so that TF members, Network Association members as well as Europeana Office can safely turn recommendations into actionable “product and services”.
Communication: Task Force members are encouraged to disseminate and promote their recommendations through (Europeana Pro) blogs, social medias (Twitter, LinkedIn), and communication with relevant stakeholders and communities. Task Forces are also encouraged to publish their recommendations in sector-related journals or submit them as conference papers. Chairs should liaise with the Europeana Office representative on the Task Force and the Network Coordinator to make sure relevant awareness supports the publication of the recommendations. All recommendations are published on Europeana Pro.
- Task Force members are reimbursed for travel and accommodation expenses of two physical meetings at most, with a negotiable budget of up to a maximum of € 5,000.
- Proposals for a physical meeting must be approved by the Network Coordinator in advance of any booking.
- Expenses will be reimbursed on an individual basis, according to the Europeana reimbursement rules, and only if a filled-in attendance form is presented to the Network Coordinator within 6 weeks following the meeting. Note that costs for catering and venue hire cannot be covered; these have to be covered by the hosting institution. Any expenses other than travel and subsistence costs will have to be approved by the Network Coordinator in advance.
Roles and Responsibilities
Chair proposes the Task Force, oversees its activities and makes sure the recommendations are delivered, actionable, reviewed, approved and published. He/She provides information on Task Force progress through the mid-term report, and updates upon request.
Members Council representative maintains the link between the Task Force and the Association. He/She is also responsible for updating the Members Council about Task Force progress at meetings and, if necessary after liaising with the Management Board, prompting the Task Force to meet its objectives in case these are not being met. The Members Council representative is also involved in the TF peer-review of the final recommendations.
Europeana office representative acts as the liaison between the Task Force and the Network Coordinator and provides admin support to the Task Force.
- Ensures all members of the Task Force are registered as Association members and makes sure the Task Force membership list is kept up to date
- Informs the Network Coordinator in advance of the dates and location of physical Task Force meetings, for approval
- Makes sure the attendance form is signed for every meeting
- Updates the Network Coordinator on progress after each meeting and liaise with Europeana Office
- Ensures the Task Force abides by the reimbursement rules and remains within budget
- Makes sure the Task Force uses Basecamp as its sole platform for communications
- Ensures the Task Force dedicated page on Europeana Pro is being kept up-to-date
Network Coordinator aligns and coordinates communications between the Association, Members Council, and Task Force Chairs; helps coordinate meetings; supports financial planning; makes sure recommendations are being peer-reviewed; reports Task Force updates/outcomes to the Association.