of evaluation results
the SIETAR Europa Congress 2003 Budapest
purpose of the evaluation of this year's SIETAR Europa Congress
was to discern the effectiveness of the new format; obtain input
for future SIETAR Congresses as well as collect suggestions
from members vis-à-vis topics of interest. What follows
is a summary of the analysis of completed evaluation sheets
which were returned by participants who had experienced the
entire Congress process. It was handed out to participants on
the morning of the last day of the Congress.
participated in the SIETAR Europa Congress 2003?
to the final registration list, there were a total of 128 congress
participants. A total of 51 completed evaluation sheets were
completed which reflects a return rate of 39.8%.
informal polling of the chosen stakeholder groups and the participants'
country of residence was made during the registration process.
It is interesting to note that the results of the informal polling
reflect similar trends as seen in the questionnaire results
top three stakeholder groups present at the Congress (in numerical
NGOs and social workers were under-represented. This implies
that planners of future SIETAR Congresses should work to identify
representatives from these professional communities to become
more actively involved with SIETAR and encourage them to attend
its yearly Congress.
majority of the respondents found the stakeholder categories
appropriate to use as a basis for the activities of this year's
Congress. However, many mentioned the challenge of having to
select only one category since they were active in a number
participants of the SIETAR Europa Congress 2003 equally represented
both the new and younger members of SIETAR (1-2 years) as well
as more senior members (3-5 years and over 5 years). This would
imply that the questionnaire results could be interpreted to
reflect the opinions of both of these facets of the SIETAR membership.
majority of the participants were females. The majority of the
participants were in the age categories of 30 - 40 and 40 -
overwhelming majority of the participants lived and worked in
Western Europe, while the second largest group originated from
Eastern Europe. A minority of participants represented countries
from outside of Europe. These results imply that additional
effort will be needed to attract a culturally more diverse audience
for future SIETAR Congresses.
design of the Congress utilized new learning environments as
the basis to foster discussion and personal learning. Each of
these learning environments was rated by the majority of congress
participants as follows:
to process: Average to very good
discussions of 4 people: Very good to excellent
discussion of 6-8 people: Very good to excellent
learned a lot when I had the chance to get to know the people
I was working with (with their background context)
to the entire group: Poor to average
always have difficulty with large group feedback, especially
when there are many reports. Perhaps it is a necessary evil.
Report to the entire group poor. However the changed
format assisted process
plenary discussions: Fair to very good
Open plenary discussion - it is always the same people giving
Average to excellent
opportunities / Open Space: Very good to excellent
Moderation / Facilitators: Very good to excellent
number of themes emerge when this feedback is looked upon as
a whole and can provide food-for-thought for SIETAR and future
Congress planning teams. The opportunity to discuss and work
with colleagues in a small group format (up to 8 people) was
highly rated by the participants. Exploring ways to integrate
this kind of format into future SIETAR Congresses would provide
a "value-added" to participants. On the other hand,
the group discussion process was not as well received. Adjustments
to the group reporting process were made during the Budapest
Congress which improved the discussion process. However, new
ways to moderate group and plenary discussions must be further
explored in future Congresses. There was an overwhelmingly positive
response to using scenarios as a way to explore issues. This
would imply that the participants are open and interested in
exploring new avenues to enhance informal learning in future
Congresses. Last but not least, the collaboration opportunities
/ open space were highly rated. The number of working groups
which evolved out of this process collaborate this result. Presentation
of the on-going work of these groups as well as an exploration
of ways to continue the process would be an appropriate follow-up
for next year's Congress. Reports of the discussions from the
Collaboration opportunities session of the Congress will be
posted on SIETAR's web site.
goal of the Congress is to explore new learning strategies and
environments with the participants of the SIETAR Europa Congress.
The quality of the discussions during the following Congress
sessions was rated for their usefulness to the participants'
work in the cross-cultural area as follows:
Focus on learning experiences: Average to very good
of the past: Average to very good
of current trends and link to own learning environments: Average
of envisioned future: Average to very good
of scenarios: Average to excellent
of scenarios: Average to excellent
of desired futures: Average to very good
opportunities: Very good to excellent
of collaborative plans: Average to very good
participants rated the Congress as a very good forum for participants
to Make a collective experience and provide opportunities for
them to Influence the process.
Expectation for the Congress
content presentation Meet with colleagues/ networking Meet potential
clients Experience new conference format Budapest location
11,9% 33,9% 5,9% 29,7% 18,6%
results suggest that a significant reason for members to attend
SIETAR Congresses congresses is to meet with colleagues and
network. Ways to foster networking within the Congress are necessary
to integrate within its structure.
Comparison of Budapest format with previous Congresses
majority (71%) of the evaluation comments are positive about
the new format which was tried out in Budapest. Some sample
engaging, very stimulating, worthwhile, small (4-8) groups right
was able to really meet with people, getting an understanding
of where they are, that we share many common experiences / fears
/ joys. Excellent opportunity to rethink, to win trust and perhaps
collaborate in the future. Not so academic as before and relevant
to me / my business."
good - good opportunity to get to know each other; interactive;
better learning experience; also learning that not everybody
is willing to dare to share!?"
collaborative, 2) sharing, 3) inclusive, 4) personal"
really liked the interaction and the mixing of people from different
backgrounds and interests. I hope that some element of this
format can be kept in combination with more standard formats."
this way, there should be more variation."
thoroughly enjoyed the format. Gained number and quality of
contacts. Most in-depth thinking of "other". Found
format inspiring & exhausting."
should be more balanced between quality (e.g. presentations)
good and important for a mixture format next year."
Many opportunities for exchange and real contact with others."
Moments during the Budapest Congress
A majority of the comments about learning moments during the
Congress stated that it occurred most often in a small group
format (4 to 8 people).
groups with specific interest group - by discussing details
each one helped another"
personal talks while working in small groups."
would imply that the use of small groups in the design of future
Congress formats would be recommended.
terms of group discussions the respondents preferred small group
discussions (6-8 people) rather than plenum sessions. However
when there are "in larger groups moments of recognition"
a plenum group discussion was none-the-less considered insightful.
settings were also mentioned as important for the learning process:
"Having personal / professional talks to people during
free time". This would imply that Congress planners should
allow for sufficient time for talking in informal settings,
i.e. Budapest had 30 minute breaks both in the morning and afternoon
while 90 minutes were scheduled for lunch.
Feedback on Budapest Conference Format
¾ of respondents agreed that a participatory element
within the Congress format should be included in future SIETAR
a participatory conference format (similar to this year's Congress)
be planned to follow-up on the issues discussed in this Congress?
No Don't Know
71,1 % 22,2 % 6,7%
"Half of next year's congress should have this format
amended (if there is no time, do it while those not interested
do sightseeing) 1. Based on stakeholder groups immediately
2. More emphasis on present/future 3. no scenarios 4. "free
moments" to visit with other stakeholder groups 5. Limited
a combination of a key note speech and paticipatory format
around this topic; would keep some form of open space."
like to have choices as it was before and not be forced to
participate in a group when you do not feel like it. I want
to determine what I want to learn and do."
the beginning or mid-conference."
with some lectures too."
freedom to choose things fitting my interest, goals, energy
conference could be combined with both a participatory and
and half, I think. Half content, half participation and follow-up
on this year's agenda."
The implications of these statements are that an integration
of a participatory element in the design of future SIETAR Congresses
is expected and desirable by participants.
Methods to communicate, support change and collaborative
participants were asked to identify their top three priorities
for communicating the results of the discussions which were
held during the Congress. The top three methods mentioned were:
a working group to communicate about results / link action
a report on the Congress documenting who participated, the
discussion which was held, what was decided and whom to contact
to become involved in the on-going process (20.4%)
regional meetings to explore potential planning efforts (15.7%)
groups did emerge as part of the session Collaboration opportunities
/ Opens pace session. An unedited transcript of the results
of the Congress' discussion is being prepared courtesy of Monica
Armour (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Susan Vonsild (email@example.com)
and will be posted for reference by members on the SIETAR website.
However ways to initiate regional meetings to explore potential
local and / or cross-country planning efforts should be a topic
of consideration by SIETAR country organizations as well as
Topics for future SIETAR Congresses
plethora of suggestions for Congress themes were listed in the
evaluation responses ranging from theoretical issues to practical
skills as well as reflecting upon the development of SIETAR
as an organization:
upon IC practice
, Research, Strategy
Theory and practice
opportunities in both methodologies and contents
theoretical and practical links
and tools specified
methodologies / concept
Hofstede: How to put Hofstede in this time and future, looking
our actual research in ICC
Developments / trends
and new developments: How can help be organized to solve
do our clients' needs change (invite some HR people from
business to describe their trends) Where is the trend going?
global think to local act
from national culture to microcosmic communities
certain standards of IC trainers - not to spoil our image
for IC education / training
standards for ICM
use of games in IC training in different cultures
the trainer tools
and self-assessment in IC education / training
boundaries (approach, context, learning tools...)
coaching / mediation
organizational change - best practice
- human contacts in intercultural relations
support vs training
at topics from an IC perspective
of Emotional Intelligence in IC
role of IC field in the social / conflict resolution arena
coaching of students
to initiate the interculturalization of a technical institute
to integrate IC into language teaching
and understanding identities
(performing, visual, music)
Practice in Europe today
to new IC climate in Europe
of Eastern Europe
practice in country - specific orientation
Minorities and IC
for dealing with minorities
with EU countries
SIETAR and its development
SIETAR incorporating intercultural principles in the organization?
participation/representation in SIETAR work
/ Privilege: Implications for intercultural work / SIETAR
within SIETAR (racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation)
to raise funds for participation
Exploring new congress formats for SIETAR Congresses
that format (interactive) and it will develop
group activities-Large group integration
of new format to generate standards, learning etc.
contribution and on-line form activity
mini-conferences, topic groups
About the planning and organization of the SIETAR Europa
Congress Budapest 2003
did the participants find out about this year's Congress? A
number of methods were used:
and description in SIETAR's website
SIETAR country organizations
direct E-Mail contact
the use of personal telephone calls
questionnaire results indicate that the top three methods to
promote this year's Congress were the announcement and description
on the web (28.3%) and direct e-mail contacts (28.3) followed
by word-of-mouth / recommendations (20%).
did the Congress participants rate the coordination of the Congress?
The website information, pre-registration and on-site registration
were given an overall rating of very good. There were, however,
some comments about problems with the online registration process.
The pre-conference workshop was also given a rating of very
good. The post-conference workshop was cancelled for lack of
registrants. Perhaps this is an indication that workshops should
be offered prior to the beginning of the Congress, rather than
post-conference. Last but not least, the meeting facilities
and hotel were rated good to very good. Selected comments from
the questionnaire can shed light on this slightly lower rating.
While the use of technical equipment (video projections, microphones,
flip charts and pin boards) was positively rated, however the
poor acoustics were singled out as a poor feature of the meeting
space. These comments confirm that a professional infrastructure
(meeting facilities, technical equipment, refreshments etc.)
is expected by the Congress participants. A number of comments
expressed a disappointment that the hotel was situated so far
from the city center, making an exploration of Budapest difficult.
This is a significant feedback since almost 20% of the participants
gave as a reason to participate this year's was to attend the
Congress as well as to explore the city of Budapest. The events
were received a rating of very good. Comments suggest that future
Congress planners should continue to develop events with a strong
tie between the Congress location and the evening activities.
Moreover, participants would like to be able to experience various
aspects of inter-cultural work away from the meeting facilities
(off-site) during the Congress as well.
participant summarized her positive experience by thanking the
SIETAR Board for exploring new avenues to discuss inter-cultural
issues through this year's Congress format:
to the board for your courage to do this wonderful Congress!
It was one of the best Congresses I have even been to!
Thanks a lot to all of you!
Entheos Group and its dedicated facilitator / moderation team
would like to echo these sentiments. It would like to thank
both SIETAR as well as the hard-working Budapest-based Planning
Team for making this year's SIETAR Europa Congress a great success
as confirmed in the participants' feedback summarized in this
comments or questions about the design of the SIETAR Europa
Congress 2003 or the summary of the evaluation results, please
contact the Entheos Group at firstname.lastname@example.org
or at 0049-89-74664440