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PO Box 1446

186 Smith St, Collingwood


Victoria 3065 Australia

Tel/Fax +61 3 9873 3706


probono@architectsforpeace.org
www.architectsforpeace.org

Pro bono working group policy

Architects for Peace (arch-peace) officially launched the Pro Bono Service on 24 August 2006, placing
the organisation as an intermediary for professionals of the built environment to 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 use of architectural services

• The perceived notion that architecture is dispensable and deals only with aesthetics

• The public’s general unawareness 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
gases emissions

• The desire of arch-peace professionals to assist in the creation of more democratic, fair 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)

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.
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 charitable organisations that may 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 playing an ongoing facilitating role. These relationships are illustrated in the following diagram:

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 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 a client-architect agreement 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 our service providers.

Although we have generalised criteria, a specific target is developed for each project at the outset as
we believe each project is unique in its requirements.

architectsforpeace | urban development based on social justice, solidarity, respect and peace | australia 2009-2-13
The application process

A request for pro bono services reaches a member of the working group (requests should be made to
the coordinator; contact details are supplied on our website). We will provide the organisation making
the request with a form outlining the information that we require. Once we receive the completed
form, we will respond within 7 days with an acknowledgement letter/ email. The information is then
posted to our intranet database for assessment by the working group.

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 intranet communication. 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 within 14 days of receiving the application form. If for any reason we are unable to grant
approval within this time frame, the applicant will be contacted and notified of their application’s status.
Sometimes we require further information to determine eligibility and suitability of the project.

Once an application is approved, details of the project are posted on our website where we call for
expressions of interest.

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 has a track record of successfully managing projects or activities of a similar
scale

• the Client is not currently receiving fee-based architectural services and/or does not have
an existing relationship with an architect or architectural firm.

architectsforpeace | urban development based on social justice, solidarity, respect and peace | australia 2009-2-13
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 the following:

• Be a Registered Architect (or have an equivalent registration in your professional field as


appropriate)

• Be a member of Architects for Peace

• All prospective service providers are expected to provide a CV indicating relevant


experience and brief outline of your interest in undertaking the project

3. Management
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 Description

Group Coordinator A member of the arch-peace Committee of Management.


Coordinator of this group and liaison with COM

Secretary Group moderator, responsible for minutes, meeting schedule


and maintenance of register of service providers and clients

Project Coordinator 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 contract
provided to all relevant parties.

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 pro-
bono 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 2009-2-13

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