Key highlights from the World Scout Committee Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The World Scout Committee (WSC) met for its 4th regular meeting for this triennium (2014-2017) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 25-27 March 2016.
This was an important meeting as we are halfway through the 2014-2017 triennium at the world level. For that reason, a mid-term review of the Triennial Plan was a key focus of the meeting agenda, together with membership growth, developments in the Regions, and finances.
The meeting was attended by 19 WSC members, the 6 Youth Advisors, some WSB staff and guests. Newly elected Regional Chairperson of the Asia Pacific Region, Paul Parkinson, was welcomed as a new Ex-Officio member of the WSC.
As this is the mid point of the Triennium, three different sessions (one on each day of the Meeting) were aimed at reviewing how the Triennial Plan is being implemented and how the WSC is working (an internal evaluation). A large part of the Friday was spent reviewing the work done to date by the five Work Streams. The groups -- Innovating Scouting, Reaching Out To All, Strengthening Scouting’s Profile, Governance & NSO Support and the Strategy Monitoring Group --- had their individual work meetings, followed by peer review in breakout sessions which later culminated with a session on reviewing the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that had been set for each Work Stream.
It was reassuring to know that, despite the challenges (in terms of time and resources), the implementation of the Triennial Plan 2014-17 is well under way with the vast majority of the actions progressing well. Also in terms of how the WSC is working, the members expressed their overall satisfaction on how things are going and, specifically, how the WSC Team Charter is being followed by its members. The results of the Mid-Term review will be shared with the entire organization.
Secretary General’s Biannual Report
On the first day the Secretary General’s presented his Report during which he provided insights into the highlights of each of the six Strategic Priorities of WOSM -- Youth Engagement, Educational Methods, Diversity & Inclusion, Social Impact, Communications & External Relations, and Governance at both the World and Region levels.
He also shared with the meeting his goals for 2016 which cover Finance & Administration, Management Review and Administration, Triennial Plan in relation to staff support and KPIs, World Scout Foundation, Organisation review codenamed WSB 2.0, and focus on Vision 2023.
The meeting discussed membership through a number of different perspectives: 1) recognising the new Member Organisations with full voting rights (Aruba, Curaçao and Palestine); 2) receiving the most updated census figures (recognising significant growth in Africa and Europe); 3) knowing about the status of potential members in the short term (like Myanmar, Vietnam, Timor-Leste, Seychelles and S.Tomé e Príncipe); 4) discussing, from a Constitutional point of view, the complexities of the status of WOSM members and deliberating on a future definition for WOSM’s “Member Organisations”
Developments in the Regions
Reports by Regional Chairmen and Directors (pointing at the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) were delivered using a market place approach. This provided opportunities for other members to give their feedback, comments and ideas to the Regions. Shared needs in terms of resource mobilisation and capacity building were identified and these will be followed-up with the Regions on a one-to-one basis. A lot of good examples were shared, from support to refugees in Europe, to the Food for Life programme in Africa, the Messengers of Peace projects being carried in Asia-Pacific, and the youth leadership training held in the Interamerican Region.
The WSC discussed and approved the audited accounts for the year 2014-15, noting with satisfaction the positive financial result. Besides that, the discussions were held on: fee collection, budget 2015-16 and the financial situation, and budget preparation for 2016-17. Finally, the WSC was updated on the progress with implementation of the new financial management system which enables effective control on our finances as well as supports better quality in financial reporting and gives the capacity to obtain updated information anytime.
Other items on the agenda
Several other issues were also discussed at the meeting:
- Events: The WSC was briefed on the status of upcoming world events in 2017 namely the 41st World Scout Conference and 13th World Scout Youth Forum and the 15th World Scout Moot; the preparations for these events are well under way and they promise to be innovative and exciting. Another event to look forward to, will be the 2nd World Scout Educational Congress (happening in May 2017, in Kandersteg International Scout Centre, Switzerland) which will provide an opportunity to reflect on how Scouting can position itself as “the world’s leading educational youth movement”. Finally, an update on the 24th World Scout Jamboree in 2019 was also presented, which is in its initial phase of preparations.
- Adults in Scouting: the WSC approved the proposal on the Wood Badge Centenary celebrations (ending in 2019) as well as a position paper on Volunteering in Scouting
- Communications & External Relation: the WSC was briefed on the status of the work in building a Strategy for those areas and also discussed the plan to revamp WOSM’s website, scout.org.
- Global support: the WSC received a comprehensive report on the implementation of GSAT (Global Support Assessment Tool – WOSM’s quality assessment tool which has implemented in more than 40 NSOs now). The WSC noted the main trends coming out of the assessments done so far. This is invaluable information also to build the plan for the next triennium.
- Other issues: The WSC approved a Campaign for 2017 for full adoption of Vision 2023 by NSOs, as well as a position paper on Child and Youth Protection. Also, the results of an in-depth review of the Messengers of Peace initiative were received and a number of improvements were endorsed. Finally, the WSC took good note of a draft paper regarding Scouting and Emergency response.
Other programmes during the weekend included seminars on issues being dealt by Task Forces, (Duty to God; Fees & Voting; and Vision 2023) as well as trainings on “How to run effective online meetings”, and “How to read audited Financial Statements”.
WSC and Sustainability
For the first time, there was a strong focus on Sustainability at a WSC meeting. The meeting was conscious of the need to lead by example by adopting good environmental practices for its meetings through measures such as limiting paper prints, using public transportation, or limiting meat consumption; these measures were adopted throughout the weekend. This work was put in place as a result of the WSC Sustainability Practices Guidelines that was endorsed by the WSC at its previous meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan in October 2015.
It was yet again a packed three days for the WSC. Several side meetings were carried out during the breaks. The energy is high and the WSC, together with the WSB team, are geared-up to deliver the Triennial Plan and increase Scouting’s impact in this World. The next WSC meeting is scheduled for September 2016, in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).