TRUE Youth Exchange (Bogota 2006) Evaluation

(Evaluation meeting held with all participants on the morning of 25 September, at Hostal Sue, Bogota)

General impressions

  • Participants were very pleased with the exchange in general. They are inspired, energised and motivated to get things done, based on what they learned and saw. They have ideas to take back and implement at home.
  • Participants greatly enjoyed being able to visit Bogota and to see the projects and programmes implemented here.
  • They learned a lot from the participants of the concurrent conference, as well as from the participants of the exchange.
  • The exchange of ideas was excellent and covered many topics.
  • Some logistical critiques could be given.
  • They very much enjoyed getting to know the other participants and making new friends.
  • Csaba: "Can't expect more, loved it, must expect things to evolve organically."


  • It was very good that the participants were all chosen according to their interest in the subject and were involved in the programme in advance.
  • The pocket money (per diem) working very well in general, although there were two exceptions when costs were too high (the funicular to Montserrate and the Sunday lunch in Usaquen). A free or discounted funicular trip could have been organised in advance.
  • There shouldn't be a different country coordinator from the group leader, as was the case in Brazil and Poland. The group leader should be the one who deals with preparation from the beginning, to avoid miscommunication and provide smooth organisaton.
  • Jacek: The more important e-mails should be clearly marked to distinguish them from the other messages.
  • Next time there should be a website (or Wiki page) with the most important info, so that participants don't need to print out multiple e-mail messages.
  • Agustin: The financial information was clearly given and bank transfers made punctually. Changes to the programme should be avoided.
  • There should be fewer differences between the programme given in advance and the programme followed during the event.
  • The group leaders should all be at the advance planning meeting, plan the activities together and take on responsibilities.
  • There should be more division of responsibility in general among group leaders and participants (teleconference?).
  • All groups should be better prepared in advance.
  • Need written info on what each country group works on.


  • Too tight. Lack of free time.
  • More discussion is needed on sustainable mobility measures and their implementation.
  • Jacek: No remarks since it was very fulfilling for me.
  • Should have no one but the two coordinators responsible for the programme and approving all changes.
  • Some workshops were listed in programme but not proposed by group.
  • Fewer trips, more workshops.
  • Some meetings with Colombian youth didn't happen (also Usme maquette workshop)
  • Distances are far in Bogota, which leads to lost time that needs to be planned for.
  • Better to stick with idea of workshops of each country in the exchange
  • Street Conversion competition judging could have been more serious.
  • Transmilenio visit took too much time and was less interesting than some other aspects of the programme.
  • Could have used more time for personal intros and structure/activities.
  • More interactive workshops would have been good.
  • Two groups that prepared something didn't have time to present (although they didn't speak up to say so).


  • Jacek: Sometimes too formal, but I acknowledge the great amount of work. Many thanks for all this.

Group leaders

  • [no comments given]

Relation to Towards Carfree Cities conference

  • Participants really appreciated having the exchange connected with the conference.
  • For some participants, they were attracted to join the exchange because of wanting to attend the conference.
  • There were different views as to whether in the future the exchange should be before, after or during the conference. There was no clear preference of the group. Perhaps next time we will try to hold it before the conference.
  • However, the conference and the exchange should have separate organisers, or else it is too much work and the organisers will be overloaded.
  • Agustin: Good idea to connect the two. The exchange group was the nucleus and soul of the conference.
  • Not enough time to discuss presentations given at conference.
  • Conference content sometimes not relevant/targeted to all participants.
  • Differing opinions on more vs. less separation from conference.

Bogota as the host city

  • Great to see how things can improve in a city of limited financial resources.
  • Big issue; worth a separate evaluation.
  • Justin: Liked La Candelaria and areas near mountains much better than sprawling Western side of city.
  • Nice place in group, good food, but take care because sometimes the people try to take advantage when you buy something
  • Really liked cycling in Bogota


  • We need to work on this point. Needs improvement.
  • Participants should all have watches and take responsibility for when they need to be where.
  • Group leaders should push their groups to be on time, so it is not always the coordinator doing that.


  • Location: A!
  • [unreadable] - perfect
  • Lack of sufficient [unreadable] facilities

Meeting facilities

  • OK
  • Places with best acoustics [we had them or we should have?]

Bicycle logistics

  • Jacek: As far as I was involved, perfect.
  • Stefany: I think a real class in bicycle mechanics would help.
  • Agustin: Could be better, both the trip and the bicycles

Participants/Social environment

  • Touching hospitality. Interesting, motivated people.
  • Agustin: perfect!
  • Good people.
  • Needed more exchange of countries and cultures.
  • It was important that we got to know each other before the conference began.


  • It would be a good idea to keep the discussion list active and set up a blog. Later...
  • Joao set up a blog for the exchange.
  • Randy set up a photo-sharing web page for the exchange.
  • Both sites have remained active after the exchange.
  • The exchange's discussion list has also remained very active after the exchange.
  • The Mexican group is pursuing holding a similar event in 2008, in San Luis Potosi.
  • Some of the exchange participants will be attending our 2007 Towards Carfree Cities conference in Istanbul, Turkey.


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