The Planning and Development Commission, often shortened as PDC, is one of the most important bodies within FIDE. The crucial role played by PDC is perfectly acknowledged by the federations, but it is not so well known by the general public – at least, not to the extend we think it should. So it seemed sensible to devote a blog post to this commission and offer an update to the chess community about its most recent initiatives.
The primary goal of the PDC is the institutional strengthening of the various arms of FIDE including federations, continental bodies, and member associations. FIDE comprises 195 members of which greater than 70% are under-developed as it relates to chess activity and management within their countries.
To tackle this problem, the PDC was given the mandate in 2018 to manage the FIDE development fund, and in 2019 seventy-seven federations were approved for funding totaling just over US$1 million.
However, the support provided by FIDE and the PDC to these federations is not limited to financial support. “After having reviewed a year of the funding programme, Team PDC felt that it was critical to better understand the environment in which federations operate in order to enhance the effectiveness of the PDC's work and programmes”, explains Sonja Johnson, who currently serves as the Chairperson for PDC.
The Planning and Development Commission has been recently restructured to have a complement of four designated councilors which allowed for more active management of the various continents. It is in this context that PDC’s latest project, the PDC Fed Forums, was conceptualized.
PDC Fed Forums
Over the past two years, the Planning and Development Commission has collected quite a bit of information on the operations of federations and therefore feels it’s best positioned to engage federations in talks surrounding their development.
However, the PDC felt that in order to develop programs for the benefit of members, it is important to include the members so that they are part of this important process.
This is where the PDC Fed Forums come into play. These forums are virtual meetings of about 60-90 minutes, which aim at engaging the federations in small groups, e.g. as a zone and/or by language, since even within zones there may have different languages spoken by the members. “Our feeling is that these sessions should be structured to facilitate active participation and therefore sessions will mostly be conducted in English and allow for translation in multiple languages: French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian: while also being held at more convenient times, such as on evenings or even weekends”, explains Sonja.
This engagement seeks to:
- Determine the specific needs of the federations in that group
- Provide feedback on the performance of federations based on reports submitted as a result of prior funding
- Identify areas where there may be common solutions to needs to optimize the use of the development fund.
The PDC Chair, Councillors and PDC Secretary participate in these meetings, in which it is expected to have at least 2 members of each federation in the meeting, and not just the President.
The following forums have already been held:
Here you can check the schedule of the upcoming PDC Fed Forums.
“The initial feedback from federations has been extremely positive as federations have indicated this is the first time that they are being provided with an opportunity to directly share what matters to them. We are also committed to working with federations towards their sustained development”, concludes Sonja. The meetings are being recorded, and the outcomes shared via various means including the PDC website and a dedicated Youtube channel.
Based on the discussions, the PDC will structure a series of knowledge-sharing activities which may include: Workshops, webinars, or Panel Discussions. PDC will mainly tap into internal resources, e.g. other commissions or experts within FIDE to assist in the delivery of these sessions.