Wednesday, 14 June 2017

NFWI Resolutions Process

As you may be aware, the NFWI has been conducting a review to consider ways to improve the resolutions process. Feedback has been received from members, WIs and federations, and the NFWI has already made a number of changes to improve the process.

Much of the feedback received concerns the timings at shortlist stage, which for many WIs does not currently allow them enough time to consider the resolutions.

In response to these concerns, the NFWI has decided to pilot an alteration to the timings for shortlist stage for the 2017/18 process. This change will allow the most possible time for members to consider resolutions at shortlist stage and aims to allow more members to engage in this important stage of the process.

The changes to the process are explained in more detail below, but in brief they are:

  • One organisation-wide deadline of 9th February 2018 will be set by the NFWI for selections to arrive with federations;
  • This deadline will be publicised in WI Life so that all members know when they must send their selections to their federation;
  • Federations collate and count selections between 9th and 16th February, and must send in tallied results to the NFWI by close of play on 16th February 2018
  • The role of federations in counting selections will be simplified, offering federations a range of options to receive and count selections in the simplest way possible;
  • The NFWI will extend its own internal deadlines to allow as much time as possible for members to consider their shortlist selections.

A full timetable for the 2017/18 resolutions process is at the bottom of this blog post.

Benefits of the change

  • This system will allow all WIs the longest possible time to make their selections at shortlist stage, and will ensure that every WI has at least the whole of December and January to do this;
  •  It directly addresses the most commonly raised concern about the process from members;
  • It improves communication about the process as it allows this date to be printed in WI Life, ensuring that every WI member will know the deadline for their selections to be received by their federation.

The changes in detail

The NFWI has set an organisation-wide deadline for shortlist selections to be sent to federations. This date is 9th February 2018.

This change has been made in response to concerns expressed by members who often say that they do not have enough time to consider the resolutions in their meetings. This change means that every WI will have, at a minimum, their December and January meetings to consider the resolutions.

Federations will then have a week (9th-16th February) to count selections and report their results to the NFWI. Please see below for guidance about the responsibilities of federations in counting selections.

The NFWI has been able to extend this timeline because the NFWI Board of Trustees have agreed to consider the selection results remotely, rather than at the February Board meeting, and by lengthening WI Life copy deadlines.

What is the role of federations in counting selections?

It is clear that federations are adopting a number of different approaches to counting selections. This guidance is designed to clarify this role to ensure that the process of counting selections is as smooth and easy as possible for federations to undertake.

Federations are not required to verify selections received from WIs by checking forms for signatures, or by only accepting the original forms from WI Life.

Selections can be accepted by federations in a variety of ways – this is not limited to the selection form in WI Life. Selections can be submitted:

  • On the form included within WI Life, or a photocopy of the form;
  • A representative from each WI (such as the Secretary) can provide the total selections for each resolution by phone, post or email.

By adopting this approach to receiving and counting selections, federations can reduce the time needed to undertake this task.

How can federations count selections as efficiently as possible?

We hope that by clarifying the role of federations at selection stage, the process for counting selections will be simpler and less time-consuming.

Federations may also wish to consider using an electronic tool such as SurveyMonkey which can also be a very quick and easy way to count selections as all the work is done for you. Each WI can submit their selection results online, and the system calculates the totals for you.

Any WIs that do not have online access can send their selections in the usual way, and the federation can input them into the survey tool quickly and easily. Once every WI has input their results, the totals can be viewed by the federation by logging in.

The NFWI Public Affairs Department can support any federations who wish to trial collecting shortlist selection results in this way by producing a standard template survey. If you would like to trial this system during 2017/18 please do let us know.

What is the role of WIs in the selection stage?

WIs should ensure each member has the opportunity to cast an individual selection, and can use a flexible approach to achieve this.

WIs can ensure members can submit their selections by offering a range of ways to do this:

  • Completing the form from WI Life or a photocopy of the form during a meeting;
  •  Allowing members to submit their selection direct to the WI secretary via post, email or telephone;
  • Conducting a secret ballot at a WI meeting;
  • Collecting selections using electronic tools, such as via email or using a survey tool like SurveyMonkey.

It is the responsibility of the WI to keep a record of the number of selections cast for each resolution.

What is the NFWI doing to ensure WIs can take part in the selection process?

In addition to this change, the NFWI has produced a wider range of supporting materials to enable WIs to consider shortlisted resolutions. These materials include:
  • More engaging briefing notes;
  • Powerpoint presentations that can be used to present each issue in your WI;
  • Online and printable quizzes to test your knowledge;
  • Resolution discussions guide;
  • A frequently asked questions document.
All supporting materials for the 2016/17 shortlist selection process were published on the NFWI website during the first week of November, significantly in advance of the arrival of WI Life.

We aim to continue this commitment for the 2017/18 process, with a range of materials available from the first week of November. This means that WIs that meet in the middle or end of November can discuss the resolutions then if they wish.

These materials will continue to be promoted via the Public Affairs Digest e-newsletter, social media and in WI Life. Please do pass on details of these resources to WIs in your federation.

What other changes has the NFWI made to improve the resolutions process?

The NFWI has made the following changes to make it easier for members to get involved in the resolutions process:
  • New submission materials including a clearer timetable document, updated resolution submission form and clearer explanatory notes to support WIs who wish to put together a resolution;
  • More support and guidance offered to federation Resolutions Advisers and proposers prior to resolution submission;
  • Promotional campaign to encourage WIs to submit resolutions, including infographics for social media and blogposts from resolution proposers of successful campaigns;
  • Online submission option introduced;
  •  Where possible the Public Affairs Department agreed revised wording for resolutions prior to the shortlist selection stage;
  • Revised approach to the shortlist selection meeting to support federation representatives to make their decision;
  •  Guidance note on potential next steps provided to all unsuccessful proposers, and detailed feedback provided to those who requested it;
  • More engaging resolutions materials provided in a range of formats, including consistent format and structure, explanation about how the WI could work on the issue if it was passed;
  • Online content to support resolution discussions including videos and social media Q&As to answer member questions.
Should you have any questions about this change, please contact the Public Affairs Department on 020 7371 9300 or

NFWI Resolution timetable 2017/18
This timetable gives all of the major dates and deadlines for the 2017/18 resolutions process. Please use this to plan your meetings within your WI or federation. In addition, information will regularly be added to the NFWI website ( and the Moodle.

1 July 2017
Resolution submission forms sent to federations and WIs.
15 September 2017
Closing date for resolutions to be submitted to the NFWI – federation deadlines may be earlier.
25 September 2017
Federation shortlisting representatives notified of details of resolution shortlist selection meeting. Resolutions longlist circulated.
2 October 2017
Federation representatives meet to compile shortlist of resolutions, supported by NFWI trustees and staff as appropriate.
1 Nov 2017
Shortlist resolution resources including videos and PowerPoint presentations published on NFWI website
17 Nov 2017
WI Life
Shortlisted resolutions, paragraphs of essential facts and points, and selection slip appear in November issue of WI Life.
December & January
Federations and WIs hold meetings to discuss the shortlisted resolutions. Members select the resolution they support the most.
9 Feb 2018
Deadline for resolution selection results to be returned to your Federation. (Check arrangements for this with your WI Secretary)
16 Feb 2018
Deadline for Federations to return tallied selection results to the NFWI
Late Feb 2018
NFWI Board of Trustees finalises resolution/s for
2018 Annual Meeting agenda, based on the number of selections from WI members.
1 April 2018
Annual Meeting resolution/s briefings and wording sent to federations, WIs and WI Advisers.
April 2018
WI Life
Annual Meeting resolution/s published in WI Life.
April & May 2018
Federations and WIs hold meetings to discuss the AM resolution/s. WIs vote for or against each resolution.
4 May 2018
Deadline for resolution amendments and urgency resolutions sent to the NFWI.
June 2018
Vote on resolution/s held at the Annual Meeting.
If you would like to get up to date news and information about the resolutions process and WI campaigns in general, sign up to the NFWI public affairs digest through the website.


1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure the time for submitting resolutions is a good one as it is over the summer when it is holiday time and , also, time to be out and about. Not many will want to stay in and mull over wording. Also many WI's choose not to have an August meeting or go out on an outing instead.