Report on UCR Outreach Program
The UCR Outreach Program was an idea proposed over a year ago by then Minister of Foreign Affairs Tlomz. It was advertised to the region as a program which would bolster our relationships with medium to large-sized user-created (UCR) regions. For a year, throughout the terms of three different Delegates, McMasterdonia, Prydania, and Tlomz, reports were given to the region stating that the program was still being worked on with the project primarily being reported as being the duty of Tlomz. A recurring theme in these reports is that the project was nearing completion and that with just a bit more time it would be finalized. Another recurring theme in these reports is that the project was never completed or finalized. The best way to describe this program is as a non-existent failure.
Detailed below I have reported the information provided to the region publicly over the last year with links to the statements made by government officials.
February 2, 2020: The UCR Outreach Program is announced in Minister of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) Tlomz’s February address as being developed over the month to bolster our relationships with medium to large sized regions; The Free Nations Region is brought up as an example with more information to come at a later date.
May 10, 2020: In Tlomz’s Closing Address as MoFA, he notes that the project was mostly on the backburner during the term but presuming a reappointment that it would be fully functional by the end of next term.
May 11, 2020: In Pallaith’s Opening Statement as MoFA, he notes his commitment to continuing to establish the program and having Tlomz in charge of the program.
June 6, 2020: In Pallaith’s June Report he notes that the groundwork is being laid, Tlomz has interviewed numerous regional leaders (with FNR being the most promising and interested). He notes that a formalized charter will be created for interested regions. While a citizen asked for details on the specific tasks to be done in the next three months, no answer was given.
July 8, 2020: In Pallaith’s July Report he mentions Spiritus as a potential partner as far as concrete updates go.
August 2, 2020: In Pallaith’s August Report, he notes a lack of progress on the UCR Outreach Program, with a potential pivot to focusing on helping WA authors as an alternative method.
September 7, 2020: Sanjurika as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs provided the September Report for the Ministry and noted a lack of progress on the UCR Outreach Program.
September 10, 2020: In Pallaith’s Farewell Address, he notes that “for most of the term, nothing happened with it.” He noted then that the program could only work if “completely rethought”.
November 17, 2020: In then Delegate Tlomz’s Half-time Update, he states that they are coordinating with potential opening members and plan to release the groundwork for the program within the next month.
January 1, 2021: In his re-election campaign, Tlomz states that much of the internal work is done and a launch would be possible in the same month.
What I found behind closed doors differed very much from what was being said in public. The idea was first proposed on December 21, 2019. At that time, the idea was generic, a list would be generated of potential regions and we would look at collaborating in the areas of WA and RP. I have found no list of regions—only mentions of regions—and I have not found any details on what this collaboration would entail.
I am only able to find more details on June 6th, 2020 when Ghost is preparing his June report and seeks further details from Tlomz on progress. There, Tlomz presents an outline, however, there is no actual plan, there is only a plan to create a plan (eg. formulate goals and ideas, determine what member regions would want, etc.).
There is little other discussion pertaining to the UCR Outreach Program that I can find (on one occasion, given the events in a region, it was mentioned that that region would not be suitable to work with). While members of the Ambassador Corps had questions about the program throughout the program’s stated development, there was nothing concrete told. Indeed on one occasion, in early August, members of the Diplomatic Corps were told they needed patience despite the program demonstrating absolutely nothing concrete.
I reached out to prior individuals in government for more information that may have been held on Google Docs or the like. The only individual who was confirmed as having other information was Tlomz. Despite waiting over three weeks and repeated reminders as well as a promise from them to deliver a link which contained more information I have received nothing. Note: Subsequent to this report being prepared and presented to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Cabinet for any comments, I have received a link containing new information, an addendum at the bottom summarizes this.
Projects take time to be completed, I have extensive experience with that based on my own development of projects. However, it is incredibly unconscionable that despite the idea being in existence and publicly mentioned and reported on to the region for around a year that there was no concrete plan, nothing delivered, no actual benefit to the region. While it is important to work out new ideas which can bring benefits to the region, an idea which does not materialize anything should be abandoned rather than wasting time and misleading the region.
It should be clear that this program (as much as it can be considered a program) is discontinued.
Minister of Foreign Affairs
The North Pacific
Just prior to the intended posting of this report and after both my Deputies and Cabinet had an opportunity to review the report and provide comments, I received a link to a Google Doc that contained new information. Tlomz informed me that this was a compilation of a multitude of documents. As such, I am not able to ascertain as to when specific parts were created and create a timeline of the progress.
On the topic of possible regions with which we could collaborate, there is only one region mentioned and that is as an example of a region focused on one area.
On how the program will be substantively structured, half of the content focuses on the matters of administration, membership parameters, and communications. These details are not a priority—how members apply, the criteria we use to apply, how we communicate, etc. will not determine the success of the program and are mostly filler.
An outline is presented of matters of collaboration with these regions—what is the most important part—through World Assembly, Defence, and Roleplay/Culture. Aside from Roleplay, there is no mention of other stakeholders in TNP willingness to be involved other than a presumption that they will be involved and there is sufficient manpower for that. The collaboration on WA Affairs focuses on information sharing and dialogue. Defence focuses on training and joint ops. Lastly, Culture/Roleplay focuses on events and festivals without further details.
Lastly, a concept membership form is presented which mainly focuses on administrative details and leaves the substantive details to be filled in at a later date.
In summary, the information provided is incredibly generic and not helpful to determining the substance of a program, it focuses overly on how the program would be handled administratively to the detriment of what would actually be done. In some cases, it would create additional bureaucracy without providing benefits. In others, the exact details of collaboration are nonspecific. The one area which is fleshed out, the World Assembly, focuses on sharing information and discussion with nebulous statements on actual impact. There is no information in this document provided as to what regions have been contacted, their willingness to participate, what would interest them the most, barriers to their participation, etc. The new information given is nowhere near sufficient to prepare an actual program.
Given that this report was completed prior to the access to the new information and the lack of impact on the final decision, it was determined that the best use of time would be through an addendum detailing this information.