Proposed Governance Scenarios

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 This document was prepared by the ADHO Implementation Committee (IC) for the ADHO Steering Committee following the guidance of the ADHO Governance Proposals and other documents. It is a recommendation for how ADHO should be governed through the Constituent Organization Board (COB).

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 This document is a step towards replacing parts of the Governance Protocol with Bylaws and/or Protocols. The idea is that there will be a public consultation through the Constituent Organizations (COs) after which the recommendation will go to the Steering Committee which will review and choose/adapt one of the scenarios below (or send the IC back for more scenarios). Once a scenario has been decided, the IC will assist the Steering Committee in preparing the appropriate documents like bylaws and protocols for the SC and final approval.

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 See Appendix A for a glossary of relevant acronyms.


4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 The proposed scenarios below were developed based on these principles:

  • 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 2
  • The Mission of ADHO is to provide support for shared activities in the Digital Humanities on behalf of the Constituent Organizations (COs). These can take the form of shared infrastructure (web sites, journals), shared activities (annual conference), or projects that have a defined lifespan.
  • The members of ADHO are therefore the COs and it is the COs that ADHO serves. ADHO does not serve the members of the COs directly except through the participation of the COs in ADHO’s administrative bodies.
  • The ADHO structure has to be adapted so it can scale as new, and/or different types of COs join. This means focusing on the efficiencies of shared infrastructure/activities. ADHO should avoid initiating things independently from COs.
  • The ADHO structure has to be adapted so that membership in an ADHO CO does not depend on either a subscription to Digital Scholarship in the Humanities or the mandatory use of the Oxford University Press site. The COs should have the flexibility to enroll and serve their members as they see fit, while still being able to collaborate through ADHO when they so desire. That said, the institutional subscriptions to DSH are important to the financial health of ADHO so memberships should be encouraged where appropriate.
  • ADHO should beware of initiating activities that don’t arise from the COs. Its sole purpose is to support COs. Wherever practical, all infrastructure, activities and projects supported should be proposed by, and managed by one or more COs and not by ADHO itself.
  • The COB decides what are the shared services for support. Proposals for new infrastructure, activities and projects should come to the COB from a CO or the ADHO Executive with at least one CO as a seconder. They should include a discussion of outcomes, a timeline, the use of existing services, and an itemized budget. They should be discussed and voted on by the COB. If there are budgetary implications then the Executive needs to account for the activity in the next budget.
  • There shall be established a memorandum of agreement between the ADHO Foundation and each Constituent Organization.

Responsibilities of the Constituent Organization Board

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 The Constitute Organization Board (COB) responsibilities would include:

  • 7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0
  • Set strategic goals
  • Decide all policy matters
  • Initiate new activities
  • Commission reports on matters of potential or current strategic interest
  • Approve the annual budget
  • Approve admission of new Constituent Organizations
  • Approve admission of new Associate Organizations
  • Approve the creation of new Special Interest Groups
  • Approve MOAs (Memoranda Of Agreement) that establish formal relationships between ADHO and other organisations including Affiliate Organizations
  • Appoint the Executive
  • Monitor the performance of the Executive
  • Receive reports from the Executive on operational activities. Reports from standing committees and officers would be channelled to the COB via the Executive.
  • Receive reports from COs on their own activities, and, where applicable on the activities of linked Associate Organizations
  • Receive reports from Special Interest Groups

Proposals Regarding Membership of the COB

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 2 In light of the principles we propose the following Scenarios for how membership of the COB should be determined.

Scenario 1: One CO, One Vote; Majority Voting Rules

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 6 The Constituent Organisation Board (COB) should be organized via a single voting member per CO. Procedurally, all actions within this model requires a majority of votes to move forward.


  • 10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0
  • The One CO, One Vote model requires consensual decision making as a group of peers. This model requires that each CO representative be committed not just to its CO but also to ADHO.
  • A One CO, One Vote system encourages parity of authority between smaller, developing COs and those that have larger memberships. This is key if ADHO intends to support the development of new COs in previously untapped communities and geographies as it demonstrates a sense of the importance of developing COs.
  • This model is premised on institutional subscription funding for ADHO rather than individual membership funding.
  • Currently there are 7 COs so there would be 7 votes.

Scenario 2: COs + AOs + SIGs, One Vote, Majority Voting Rules

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 9 The Constituent Organization board would be formed with two representatives from each CO regardless of its size as well as one representative each from the Associate Organizations and the Special Interest Groups.


  • 12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 3
  • This COs+AOs+SIGs model encourages broad participation of multiple types of organizations within the ADHO family and they all use the infrastructure. The benefit to this model is that it encourages a multiplicity of voices in discussion while still asking for consensus among the COs.
  • The negative to this approach is that it can encourage an over-representation by COs who have Associate Organizations.
  • Additionally, given the growing number of AOs, SIGs, etc. the size of the COB could potentially become unwieldy.
  • An alternative would be to have 1 representative for all AOs, representatives for each SIG, and the 2 representatives for each CO for a total of 24 votes.
  • Given the current COB Size: 27 seats, 27 votes: 5 SIGS, 4 AOs, 18 COs

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 Note: the Bylaws should be reviewed so that there is more guidance regarding the difference between a CO and an AO. If AOs are the provenance of COs rather than ADHO via its bylaws (see Implementation documentation 4), then this model cannot be selected.

Scenario 3: Range Representation

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 7 The Constituent Organization Board would be formed based on a range representation formula. Membership under 20 is one seat, one vote; Membership between 20-100 merits two seats, two votes; and Membership over 100 merits three seats, three votes. Ranges may be set and/or altered by the COB as COs grow.

Total COB Size: 11 seats, 11 votes

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 EADH: 3 seats, 3 votes

16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0 ACH: 2 seats, 2 votes

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 AADH: 1 seat, 1 vote

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 CSDH: 2 seats, 2 votes

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 JADH: 1 seat, 1 vote

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 Centernet: 2 seats, 2 votes

21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 Humanistica: 3 seat, 3 votes

22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0  

23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 This is based off June 2017 reports. It includes only non-joint members:

24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 0 EADH : 605 members

25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 AIUCD 118

26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0 DHd 266

27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 0 DhN 81

28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 0 EADH 140

29 Leave a comment on paragraph 29 0 ACH:   96 members

30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 0 AADH: 17 members

31 Leave a comment on paragraph 31 0 CSDH: 63 members

32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 0 JADH: 8 members

33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 0 Humanistica: 211 members

34 Leave a comment on paragraph 34 0 Centernet: 28 members

35 Leave a comment on paragraph 35 4 Joint Members: 188 members

36 Leave a comment on paragraph 36 0 Honorary Members: 10 members


  • 37 Leave a comment on paragraph 37 3
  • The merits of the Range Representation model is that it respects the work of COs in growing their own organizations and the importance of historical knowledge without being strictly proportional.
  • The negative of the proposed model is that it may over-represent established COs to the detriment of smaller associations. It may also lead to a large and unwieldy COB.
  • These numbers are provisional given the recent addition of Humanistica. It will become increasingly important in this model to have up-to-date information on membership.
  • We encourage consideration every three years of the ranges being adjusted for scale.

General Discussion Related to Governance Protocols


  • 38 Leave a comment on paragraph 38 0
  • A quorum for the COB would be a majority of the voting members. In Scenario 1 a quorum would be 4. It is understood that meetings may not be face-to-face so a quorum will depend on context.


  • 39 Leave a comment on paragraph 39 0
  • Given ADHO’s desire to serve as an umbrella organization that supports common infrastructure, we encourage the use of the consensus model of voting with some mechanism for dissent to be recorded.

CO Constitution

  • 40 Leave a comment on paragraph 40 2
  • As noted above, there is a need to review the ADHO bylaws and admissions committee documents regarding what constitutes a CO. Following decisions in scenarios selections, the admissions committee of the COB should review all organizational types to ensure they are accounted for. Associate Organization status needs to be clarified as does SIGs.

Role of Non-Voting Representatives

  • 41 Leave a comment on paragraph 41 0
  • Non-voting representatives should be included in COB discussions as appropriate and as decided by the COB or Executive. They may include representatives of AOs, representatives of SIGs, infrastructure leaders (editors, conference organizers), consultants, representatives of committees, or special project managers.

42 Leave a comment on paragraph 42 3  

Appendix A: Glossary of Acronyms

43 Leave a comment on paragraph 43 0 ADHO: Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations

44 Leave a comment on paragraph 44 0 AO: Associate Organizations

45 Leave a comment on paragraph 45 0 CO: Constituent Organizations

46 Leave a comment on paragraph 46 0 COB: Constituent Organization Board

47 Leave a comment on paragraph 47 0 DHQ: Digital Humanities Quarterly journal

48 Leave a comment on paragraph 48 0 DS: Digital Scholarship journal

49 Leave a comment on paragraph 49 0 DSH: Digital Scholarship in the Humanities journal

50 Leave a comment on paragraph 50 0 EADH: European Association for Digital Humanities

51 Leave a comment on paragraph 51 0 IC: ADHO Implementation Committee

52 Leave a comment on paragraph 52 0 MoA: Memorandum of Agreement

53 Leave a comment on paragraph 53 0 SC: ADHO Steering Committee

54 Leave a comment on paragraph 54 0 SIG: Special Interest Groups

Source: https://change.adho.org/proposed-governance-scenarios/