The World Scout Committee (WSC) met in Kandersteg, Switzerland from 17 to 19 March for its regular business meeting. The meeting was also an opportunity to recognise the Kandersteg International Scout Centre, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. 

The business part of the WSC meeting began with a report from WOSM’s Secretary General covering the period from October 2022 to March 2023. The Secretary General’s report featured updates on the following topics:

  • Progress on the delivery of the World Triennial Plan 2021-2024, which is largely on track through the coordination of 30 projects within the Operational Framework to support National Scout Organizations (NSOs). A more detailed update on the Plan’s progress half-way through the triennium will be published in the forthcoming Mid-term Review Report. 
  • Delivery of various World and Regional events, including the 28th Interamerican Scout Conference, 30th Arab Scout Conference and 5th Arab Youth Forum, 65th JOTA-JOTI and KISC JOTI, Founder’s Day Town Hall for NSOs, WOSM roundtable meeting for CEOs of NSOs, Eurasia NSO Summit, and Africa Scout Day celebrations.
  • Development of a new online community for NSO leadership called “Treehouse” that will act as a central space for member news, circulars, groups, and events, as well as the home for the improved WOSM Services platform and new Learning Zone library of Scouting resources, publications, and e-learning courses. More details about Treehouse will be announced soon.
  • An update on WOSM Services, including the delivery of 85 new services over the past period, and training of 34 new WOSM Consultants to deliver WOSM Services to NSOs with additional trainings planned later this year in the Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Interamerican Regions.
  • An update on the new Global Support Assessment Tool (GSAT), which has been upgraded to better match WOSM priorities and international best practices. The upgraded GSAT is also aligned with the new Safe from Harm requirements for WOSM membership, and will soon be offered as a tool for NSOs to conduct online assessments and receive digital accreditation.
  • Support to NSOs to meet the new Safe from Harm requirements for WOSM membership, including the release of a Safe from Harm Assessment Tool and Guidelines and running Safe from Harm pilot projects using the assessment tool with NSOs in Qatar, Nepal, and France. Training was also delivered with new WOSM Consultants to help them respond to Safe from Harm service requests and a workshop on crisis communications and Safe from Harm was recently run in the Asia-Pacific Region.
  • Ongoing development of two new WOSM initiatives in the areas of health and well-being, and skills for life, and design of an upgraded Scouts for SDGs hub that will soon offer a new educational experience, activities, and gamification elements for Scouts, Adult Leaders, and NSOs to mobilise young people into action for sustainable development. 
  • Humanitarian response in Türkiye and Syria supported by an emergency fundraising appeal which has raised more than USD 150,000 through the World Scout Foundation for relief efforts. An update was also provided about the ongoing response happening in partnership with UNICEF to support NSOs in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.
  • Updates on communications and digital transformation, including the release of WOSM’s annual report and consolidated financial statements for 2021-22, and development of a new Scout Donation Platform that will act as a central space for online fundraising by WOSM and the World Scout Foundation. 
  • Advocacy engagements at the Commission on the Status of Women and UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), and World Health Organization Youth Council, as well as the appointment of 11 new Youth Representatives that were selected to represent World Scouting internationally.
  • Work in the area of business development and resource mobilisation, including plans to develop a strategy to diversify income sources for WOSM, and an improved model for World Scouting grants centred around the core priorities of NSO capacity strengthening, youth leadership, peace, environment, skills for life, and Scouts for SDGs.
  • Updates on the outcomes of the future of work projects within the World Scout Bureau that include the development of new flexible work policy, updates to WOSM’s employee handbook, and launch of a virtual staff support centre.

The WSC also dedicated time for a series of workshops to gather input from the Committee into the development of the next Strategy for Scouting, after receiving a briefing on the recently completed research phase, including a reflection on initial priorities and the strategic framework to be used going forward, as well as to collect feedback to inform the process of refreshing the World Scout brand. 

Furthermore, the WSC reviewed the results of the work by its Eurasia Contact Group, which over the past period has assessed the viability of phasing out the Eurasia Scout Region. The WSC welcomed the strong collaboration between representatives of the Europe, Eurasia, and Asia-Pacific Regional Committees on this matter, as well as the positive work carried out at the recent Eurasia NSO summit held in Moldova. After a final discussion, the WSC decided to proceed with phasing out the Eurasia Scout Region as of 1 October 2023. A dedicated World Circular on this topic with further details on the transition process will be released to NSOs later this week.

The WSC also received briefings from the Regions and World Scout Foundation, and took decisions on a range of other topics, including:  

  • A review of WOSM’s financial situation and approval of the 2021-2022 audited financial statements. The Committee also approved a decision to reopen the international tendering process to all National Scout Organizations as well as external vendors to license the World Scout brand. More details about the bidding process will be communicated soon. 
  • A review of WOSM’s risk register, reflecting on a number of considerations covering finance, operations and unity mitigation measures.
  • An update on growth and membership trends, reviewing the recently completed 2022 WOSM census and a progress update on the membership application of the Republic of Congo. 
  • A review of the research completed on how Scouting can overcome barriers in youth engagement in decision-making, as well as a discussion on a package of measures to strengthen youth engagement at the World level beyond the current Youth Advisor system. The final report of this piece of work, in line with Resolution 2021-07, will be published in the next period.
  • Updates on the ongoing preparations and promotions of upcoming World Scout events, with a major focus on the final preparations of the upcoming 25th World Scout Jamboree (Republic of Korea), as well as a review of the programme concepts under development for the 4th World Scout Education Congress (France) and the 43rd World Scout Conference (Egypt). The WSC also received status updates from the Hosts of the 26th World Scout Jamboree (Poland) and 17th World Scout Moot (Portugal) and looked ahead to the ongoing bidding process for World Events to be considered at the 43rd World Scout Conference in 2024.

The WSC agreed to convene its next business meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 29 September to 1 October 2023.

We look forward to sharing more updates with the Scout Movement through ScoutPak and the new Treehouse online community which will be available soon as we continue to make progress on the delivery of Vision 2023.