SCAR EXCOM 2009 WP21: Guidelines for Future Delegates Meetings
Goal: By 2010 streamline the Delegates’ Meeting, engage the delegates in the meeting in a more substantive way, engender excitement about SCAR’s mission and work, and establish high-quality Antarctic science as a central theme in the meetings.
The Issue: The Delegates gather for only 3 days once every two years. It is imperative that this time be spent on substantive discussions; that time is available for consultation; that Delegates feel informed and understand what it is they are approving, and that “buy-in” to SCAR decisions is ensured. Delegates need to leave the meeting feeling they have had apple opportunity to make their views and concerns known and that they understand what they have agreed to and authorized SCAR to implement in the intersessional period.
The adoption of an interactive model for how we function, while embracing a forward-looking and more efficient approach to conducting SCAR business, is an essential next step in the evolution of SCAR and should engage the Delegates more actively and stimulate more substantive discussion at Delegates meetings. This is imperative since
the SCAR member nations are our first-order customers as they finance the organization. The future of SCAR is critically dependent on its member nations feeling that they are getting value for their investments, which go far beyond payment of the membership fee, including, but not limited to: funding of travel for national representatives to attend meetings, hosting SCAR meetings, support of national committees, provision of travel grants for non-national representatives (e.g, students, early career scientists, and researchers) to attend SCAR meetings, occasional ad hoc funding of specific SCAR activities (i.e., IPY double fee contributions, fellowships, etc.), funding of research that supports SCAR science and, most of all, the often unrecognized salary support for the time spent by the many volunteers that SCAR is critically dependent on to conduct its business. In these times of rising costs for all national programs the benefits of this investment are under greater scrutiny than ever before in SCAR’s history. It is this investment that enables the relatively modest amounts of capital SCAR manages to be leveraged many times over.
The Objective: Working Paper WP10 proposes improvements to the way in which the SSGs conduct their business and report to the Delegates. This paper (WP21) addresses how the Delegates meeting itself might be improved to increase the engagement of individual representatives in the decision-making process.