Structure and Operation of DCPAA
DCPAA is based on a horizontal structure, using many of the strategies used in a sociocratic structure. DCPAA consists of action teams and functional teams that run autonomously. No one team has any more power than any other team.
Each team sends one representative to a team that ties all the teams together called the Connecting Circle. How each team chooses its representative is up to the team. Action teams make their own decisions unless they want to use DCPAA’s name/logo publicly in any way or seek the assistance of DCPAA in any way. In those cases, the Connecting Circle must be consulted.
Every representative on the Connecting Circle and every leader of each team is a volunteer. There are no elected officials in DCPAA. So, no one person holds office or can make an executive decision on their own. Decisions in the Connecting Circle are made using the Integrative Decision Making Process.
When proposals are made for a policy, procedure or action, the proposal should go to the team that focuses on the issue(s) to which that proposal relates. If the action team cannot take care of the issue on its own, then it can be taken to the Connecting Circle for discussion. After recommendations are made by the CC, the final decision is made by the action team from where the issue came.
There are three instances, however, that require bringing a proposal to the Connecting Circle for a decision. The three instances are for seeking the use of DCPAA’s name/logo publicly, asking for use of DCPAA general fund money or requesting changes in the general operation of DCPAA through its constitution. Other than that, all issues that need to be addressed go to and are resolved by the action team to which the issue applies.
Proposals can be made by any active member of DCPAA. The person making the proposal can go to the action team directly with a proposal or can ask a member of the team to serve as an advocate for them. If the proposal needs to move on to the Connecting Circle, then the same approach applies as it does for going to an action team. If a team makes a decision, the decision of the team stands. If the team cannot make a decision, it can ask the Connecting Circle for assistance. The Connecting Circle will offer its input through the Integrative Decision-Making Process. After the process, the final decision remains with the team members who have now been given alternative ideas and perspectives which they can synthesize into an improved solution.