On Sunday April 28th, more than 15 PCOM members gathered for the first meeting of the year in Abu Dhabi for discussing the last updates of this ICA professional commission.
Between April 28th and May 2nd, the ICA in collaboration with the National Archives of the United Arab Emirates hosted the ICA Governance meetings and the Forum of National Archivist in Abu Dhabi. On Sunday April 28th, the members (with a few observers in attendance) of the Programme Commission gathered to discuss the last updates of the Experts Groups, PCOM general projects, ongoing programmes, the ICA annual events, and PCOM and its diversity.
Regarding the Expert Groups updates, the members of the newly created Expert Group against Theft, Trafficking and Tampering (EGATTT) were presented to the Programme Commission, including Arda Scholte (Chief Inspector, Cultural Heritage Inspectorate in the Netherlands ), Claude de Moreau de Gerbehaye (Head of the Department at the Archives générales du Royaume et Archives de l'État dans les Provinces in Belgium ), Marian Lefferts (Executive Manager of the Consortium of European Research Libraries located in the Netherlands), Papa Momar Diop (Former National Archivist of Senegal), and Joseph Marshall (Head of Special Collections at the Centre for Research Collections, University of Edinburgh, Scotland). Additionally, the Programme Commission agreed to appoint Malcolm Todd, Head of Policy at the National Archives of the UK, as the new chair of the Expert Group on Legal Matters.
The Programme Commission’s members also had the chance to know about the last actions developed around the Africa Programme and the New Professionals Programme, both PCOM’s current programmes. James Lowry, Africa Programme Secretary, presented a summary of the planning for the upcoming training-the-trainers workshops in two anglophone and two francophone countries in Africa. Sharon Smith, New Professionals Programme Coordinator, commented on the 2018/2019 NP cohort which currently has 7 active new professionals, and the preliminary results of the call for applications for selecting the 2019/2020 cohort. Geographically, Smith mentioned that the applications came from: Canada, Uganda, United States, Australia, Nigeria, Brazil, England, Germany, Kenya, Scotland, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Benin, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, India, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Oman, Samoa, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
Moreover, Margaret Crockett, ICA Training Officer, presented the launch of the online learning platform on 6 May. Crockett explained that the first online course was on records management and based on the PARBICA Good Governance toolkit. Further courses were being planned on the Universal Declaration on Archives and Digital Archives Preservation.
Finally, the central conversation of the meeting was around PCOM and its diversity, topic that was discussed in breakout sessions facilitated by Vilde Ronge, Rita Tjien Fooh, Anthea Seles and Basma Makhlouf Shabou. Each of the groups presented their thoughts and suggestions regarding PCOM memberships, the meaning of diversity inside the ICA/PCOM, ways of ensuring a diverse membership, possible actions to engage young archivists, among others. Azza Mohamed Alkaabi, UAE National Archives International Relations Coordinator, shared with the group the following statement: “diversity is important as it built trust and respect among us and also a bridge of understanding across cultures.”
The next PCOM meeting will be held in Adelaide, Australia before the beginning of ICA Annual Conference scheduled between 22-24 October. In this second session of the year, it is expected to continue the conversation around diversity and engagement of the ICA/PCOM membership, the last updates of the PCOM ongoing programmes, and the priorities for 2020 in light of the PCOM Strategic Plan 2018-2020.
From left to right: Francis Mwangi (Kenya), Azza Mohamed Alkaabi (UAE), Meg Phillips (USA), Basma Makhlouf Shabou (Switzerland), Margaret Crockett (UK), Jean-Paul Nenga Mukanya (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Ian Wilson (UAE), Odile Welfele (France), Joan Boadas Raset (Spain), Esther Olembe (Cameroon), Julia Mant (Australia), Vilde Ronge (Norway), Padré Lydie Gnessougou Baroan-Dioumency (Ivory Coast), Desi Pratiwi (Indonesia), Rita Tjien Fooh (Suriname), Margaret Turner (UK), Emilie Gagnet Leumas (USA), Jamaâ Baïda (Morocco), Maria Paula Garcia Mosquera (Colombia), Shuangcheng Liu (China), Clarissa Angus (UK), Hamad Abdulla Al Mutairi (UAE).
Normand Charbonneau, Anthea Seles and Henri Zuber attended this meeting but due to a protocolary event they were absent at the end of the session.
Photos courtesy of the UAE National Archives.