You are on page 1of 6

255 Nicholson Street Brunswick East Victoria 3057 Australia

Pro bono working group policy

Architects for Peace (arch-peace) officially launched its Pro Bono Service on 24 August 2006, placing the organisation as an intermediary between professionals of the built environment and community groups, non-profit agencies and charitable organizations in Australia and internationally.

1. The pro-bono vision

The right to a good city: pro bono enables our members to take concrete steps to achieve our shared vision of sustainable development, which includes engaging with current urban/political debates and the prevention of human-made disasters. The pro bono service provides options to those who could not otherwise afford them. At the same time, this process facilitates the promotion and discussion of architecture and planning in relation to its impact on people, their health and their cities. We hope that this service will assist in promoting education, community participation and finding solutions to our damaged environment. The reasons for providing this service are many and include:

! The perceived and real social divide in the accessibility of architectural services
! The perceived notion that architecture is dispensable and deals only with aesthetics

! The publics generally limited awareness of the impact of architecture, urban design and
planning on the way we use and live in our cities

! The reality that urban professional disciplines are responsible for up to 75% of greenhouse gas
emissions (as of 2006)

! The desire of many arch-peace members to assist in the creation of more democratic, fairer
and better cities for all, wherever we are based

! The fact that in Australia, we lag behind other professions that already recognise the value of
offering their professional services to those who cannot otherwise afford them (e.g. law and medicine), despite the high social and environmental impact of our field and corresponding responsibility to the community Our vision is to see that all professionals of the built environment dedicate a portion of their time and resources to pro bono work. Our service is in place to facilitate and promote these efforts.

255 Nicholson Street Brunswick East Victoria 3057 Australia

2. How it works
The relationship
The arch-peace pro-bono service acts as a bridge between 'clients' (these may be community groups, non-profit agencies and/or charitable organisations that need architectural services but cannot afford to pay for them) and 'service providers' (architects and other professionals of the built environment who are prepared to work with these groups free of charge). The main contractual relationship is between Client and Service Provider, with arch-peace establishing the initial connection and in some cases playing a limited ongoing facilitating role. We're keen to stay in touch on the progress of the project, so that we can acknowledge the efforts of the architect and the benefits of the project to the community, so we will make contact from time to time once the project begins and we welcome updates. These relationships are illustrated in the following diagram:

255 Nicholson Street Brunswick East Victoria 3057 Australia

We understand that many designers already undertake pro-bono work for a variety of reasons, but in the past there has been no forum in Australia dedicated to facilitating, promoting and sharing their experiences. Others may be deterred from undertaking such work due to concerns regarding liability. With the help of professional legal advice (provided pro bono by Clayton Utz Pty Ltd), Architects for Peace has developed forms specifically tailored to our pro bono service. Through our website and other promotion channels we promote the work that emerges from partnerships generated through our pro bono service, offering valuable networking opportunities and rewarding experiences to service providers. A specific target is developed for each project at the outset as we believe each project is unique in its requirements.

The application process

A request for pro bono services reaches the working group (requests should be made to the coordinator; contact details are supplied on our website). An application form is available for download from our website, outlining the information that we require. Our working group will then assess the application. Approval of a project requires the support of the pro bono group coordinator and at least two other members of the working group. A project can be approved in this way via email correspondence. If the coordinator decides that the complexity of the project warrants a more detailed assessment, it may be taken to a committee meeting. We endeavour to finalise the approval of a project and respond to the applicant as soon as possible. If for any reason we are unable to reach a decision within a short time, the applicant will be contacted and notified of their applications status. Sometimes we require further information to determine the eligibility and possible scope of the project. We may also request a meeting with the applicant at this time. Once an application is approved, further information will be requested from the applicant in order to form a brief for prospective service providers. We can advise on the sort of information required and assist in preparing the brief. Details of the project, including the project brief or a summary thereof, are posted on our website, where we will call for expressions of interest. The steps in the application process are broadly outlined below: Application assessment 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Applicant submits completed form. Initial assessment by pro bono team Further information requested (if necessary) Meeting with applicant and/or site visit Final assessment by pro bono team

255 Nicholson Street Brunswick East Victoria 3057 Australia

Brief development and call for EOI's 6. Applicant develops brief in conjunction with pro bono team 7. Architects for Peace advertises for service providers Project duration 8. Introduce client and service provider 9. Client and service provider sign client-architect agreement 10. Arch peace follows up for updates on ongoing basis

Selection criteria
For Clients Clients and their projects will be assessed against the following criteria to determine eligibility for the arch-peace pro bono service:
! !

both the Client and the proposed project operate on a not-for-profit basis there is a clear community benefit expected to result from the provision of pro bono architectural services the Client has a clear understanding of the scope of the project and a demonstrated ability to fund the proposed project (or a clear plan of how funding will be secured) the Client is not currently receiving fee-based architectural services and/or does not have an existing relationship with an architect or architectural firm.

Please note: Once a service provider is selected through Architects for Peace and allocated to a project, a Client-Architect Agreement must be signed. This is a document that outlines the terms of the arrangement and the scope of services to be provided and is in the best interests of all parties. This becomes a formal, professional relationship and there is an expectation that the client will not engage other services without informing their pro bono architect.

255 Nicholson Street Brunswick East Victoria 3057 Australia

For Service Providers Selection criteria vary for each project and we will assess each application on a case by case basis, taking into account the experience and qualifications of the applicant/s. The Service Provider is expected to meet the following requirements:

Be a Registered Architect (or have an equivalent registration in your professional field as appropriate) Be a member of Architects for Peace Provide a CV indicating relevant experience and a brief outline of interest in undertaking the project and other supporting details as applicable

! !

3. Management
Structure A working group has been established to manage the growth of the pro-bono service. This group meets on a monthly basis to assess potential projects, report back on ongoing projects and set goals as appropriate. The following are the roles and responsibilities of its members.

Roles and responsibilities

Position Group Coordinator Secretary Project Coordinator Description A member of the arch-peace Committee of Management. Coordinator of this group and liaison with COM. Group moderator, responsible for minutes, meeting schedule and maintenance of register of service providers and clients Assists with preparation of briefs for clients where required, compiling of documentation for assessment panel and ongoing correspondence with service provider. Ensures forms are distributed as required and copy of Client/Architect Agreement provided to all relevant parties and explained to client. Panel Member Assessment of client and service provider applications

Pro-bono operates in conjunction with other Architects for Peace activities. The monthly public lecture series/discussion forum words @ bldg50 is a channel both for the promotion of and reflection on probono work. Our website is a 24 hour active online forum for promoting past, current and future projects.

architectsforpeace | urban development based on social justice, solidarity, respect and peace | australia

12 Dec 2011