Re: the old fellowship program, was Wow, we're famous

Fernando Gont <> Fri, 16 April 2021 06:00 UTC

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Subject: Re: the old fellowship program, was Wow, we're famous
To: John Levine <>,
References: <20210414185927.07A6E72E4243@ary.qy>
From: Fernando Gont <>
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Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2021 02:59:45 -0300
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On 14/4/21 15:59, John Levine wrote:
> It appears that Nico Williams  <> said:
>> Fernando has pointed out repeatedly that ISOC used to have a sponsorship
>> program for participants from economically disadvantaged countries, and
>> that this program has been terminated.
> It wasn't working. 

And that didn't seem to matter. I did report why I thought the program 
was failing, quite a few times, and also provided suggestions. -- but no 

Looked like the goal was having a program, in itself, rather than having 
a program to achieve a goal. (i.e., as if there was a box to tick).

> The people would come to a meeting but then
> wouldn't write I-Ds or continue to engage with the IETF. In one
> particularly unfortunate case, the person didn't even speak English
> and somehow the selection process missed that. We want to resume it
> with a selection process that finds people who can benefit from IETF
> meetings and are likely to be ongoing IETF contributors.

There are lots of aspects involved.

* Selection:
   Granting a fellowship to people who don't have a clue about the IETF,
   and didn't bother to have it, is a non-starter. At the very least,
   there should be proven technical participation.

* Clear expectations out of the program:
   There didn't use to be any, other than "sharing the experience with
   your community".

* Sustained support
   Supporting people to attend *one* meeting every now and then, when
   they have no chance to support their ongoing participation over time
   will not help much of a difference.

* Support such people in building a community
   If the program finds people that is capable, support them in further
   building their communities. -- this can indirectly support their own
   IETF work.

* Don't aim to create evangelizers, but rather support local engineers
   that can help evangelize via their IETF work.

And: If you want to help a community, rather than tell them what you 
think they need, ask them how they think you can help them.

Just my two cents,
Fernando Gont
e-mail: ||
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