As stated in Article IIV of the WDS Constitution, the ‘WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) may establish committees, working groups, or task groups as needed to accomplish WDS goals and objectives’. WDS Working Groups are defined as follows.
WDS-WGs may be established to define, coordinate, and facilitate the implementation of projects or activities addressing the goals and objectives of ICSU-WDS.
Chairs and Membership
The WDS-SC will appoint one of its members to Co-chair every WDS-WG, and may appoint other Co-chairs from the representatives of participating WDS Members or other organizations. In the case that the term of the WDS-SC appointed Co-chair ends before the termination of the WG, another Co-chair from the WDS-SC shall be appointed. WDS-WGs’ membership shall include representatives from external participating organizations and community experts. The WDS-IPO Executive Director, or a designated WDS-IPO staff, shall be an ex officio member of each WDS-WG.
The WDS-WG Co-chairs are responsible for preparing the WG Charter for approval by the WDS-SC. This document includes the WG’s name, as well as its Terms of Reference, deliverables and milestones, procedures, meetings schedule, financial support, and proposed membership. WGs are normally established for a maximum period of two years.
Progress, Review, and Termination
The Co-chairs of a WDS-WG will report to the WDS-SC Executive Committee on progress and accomplishments at least twice a year—during the WDS-SC face-to-face meetings. In addition, the membership of WGs can be changed, their Charter revised, and the WG terminated. At the end of its two-year period, each WG shall be reviewed by the WDS-SC—possibly involving WDS Members—and a decision will be taken to terminate or extend the WG for a further period.
Individual members’ participation in WDS-WG meetings is voluntary, and no financial support is available from the WDS-IPO for travel and other costs. Any financial support needed by a WDS-WG must be clearly defined in its Charter, and will be met with additional funds received through grant applications. Meetings will be conducted by electronic means (GoToMeeting or WebEx) provided by the WDS-IPO or other partners. Face-to-face meetings at international conferences may be organized as the opportunity arises, but only if financial support can be provided.