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last modified November 5, 2011 by facilitfsm

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Document with the objectives, the responsibilities, the composition, the functioning, the rotation and the terms of reference of the Liaison Group of the IC of the WSF



1 Definition. 1

2 Objectives. 1

3 Responsibilities and tasks. 1

4 Composition. 2

5 Functioning. 3

6 Rotation. 4

7 Terms of reference. 4

8 Evaluation and renewal 4



1 Definition

The Liaison Group of the IC-WSF has a technical/operational mandate as assigned by the IC. It has no political mandate or power whatsoever, its mandate is one of responsibility. It only takes decisions or undertakes actions as approved by the IC within the framework of the Charter of Principles. Its members are not representatives of the IC, they cannot speak on behalf of the IC or of the WSF.


2 Objectives

-          Facilitate the work of the IC, and the relations between the IC and the Commissions and working-groups, as well as the relations among commissions and working-groups.

-          Facilitate and implement the decisions of the IC-WSF.


3 Responsibilities and tasks


-          Contribute to the organization and the dynamics of the activities of the Commissions, as well as to the stability of its coordinations.

-          Support the promotion of permanent relationships, debates and communication between members, Commissions and working groups of the IC.

-          Ensure that the commissions take their responsibilities in the framework of their mandate in general and according to the decisions of the IC in particular.

-           Based on the contributions of commissions, working groups and members of the IC prepare the meetings of the IC and of the Commissions (agenda, documents, etc.) with the help of the WSF Office.

-          Send the agenda and the relevant documents for the meetings of the IC and possibly for the Commissions to all members two weeks before the IC meeting.

-          Establish a Yearly Working Plan of the IC, stimulating the Commissions, working groups and members of the IC in order to make them contribute to the yearly working plan of the IC.

-          Based on the same multi-centralized process, prepare an annual report of the WSF process and the implementation of the Annual Working Plan of the IC prior to its adoption by the IC.

-          Coordinate and supervise the activities of the WSF Office. Contribute to the search for funding  of the WSF Office, to the creation of the necessary working conditions and infrastructure, and the adequate use and protection of human and material human resources of the WSF Office.

-          Elaborate an annual financial audit of the available resources for the activities of the LG and WSF Office.

-          The LG, in coordination with the WSF Office, will have a register of the participation of its members in the LG meetings, as well as in meetings of Commission, working groups and IC-WSF.

-          The LG, in coordination with the Communication Commission of the IC and the WSF Office, will responsibly contribute to the regular edition of the WSF Bulletin.

-          prepare proposal for fund raising based on the annual workplan and also oversee disbursement of funds and managing allocation of funds to different commissions as per decisions in the IC.


4 Composition

The Liaison Group is a group of individuals with more than two years of experience as members of the IC-WSF and familiar with the dynamics of the IC, with time and willingness to take up the responsibilities for the tasks of the LG and with the support of their organizations.

Membership is based on voluntary contributions as an expression of the commitment towards the implementation of the tasks of the LG.

The following criteria will be taken into account for the composition of the LG:

-          Diversity: the LG has to reflect and express the different traditions and political sensibilities of the IC members

-          Regional, sectoral, thematic and gender balance: the LG has to reflect the different realities and processes, regional as well as sectoral and thematic and in terms of gender.

The LG has a minimum of twelve members and a maximum of fourteen members, respecting the above-mentioned criteria. A maximum of 50 % will be new members and a minimum of 50 % will be  members coming from the old LG in order to ensure continuity. All members will be effective members of the LG.

The LG will decide at the beginning of each of its meetings who will coordinate it, for effective meetings as well as for chat sessions.

A rigid respect of these criteria will not always be possible but the best balance will be looked for in order to adopt a new LG.


5 Functioning

The following rules will apply for the functioning of the LG:

-          Decisions are taken by consensus. If an issue is discussed for which the IC has to decide or if there is no consensus among the members of the LG, the issue will be referred for an open discussion in the IC-WSF.

-          Meetings of the LG are open to members of the IC-WSF, although the non-members of the LG can participate in debates but do not take part in the decision making and do not count for the consensus to be reached.

-          The LG will make a specific working-plan for the implementation of the mandate given by the IC-WSF, different from the one concerning its internal functioning. This working plan will mention the division of tasks and responsibilities for each member of the LG.

-          Members of the LG will commit themselves in  to  commissions and working-groups in order to promote the articulation between them and with the IC-WSF, without interfering in the responsibilities and coordination of the different commissions and working-groups. There can be no ‘dual responsibilities’, that is, facilitators of commissions will have to give up their tasks once they become members of the LG.

-          The LG will have regular meetings by chat, taking into account the time zone differences in order to allow all members to participate and to reach the necessary quorum. Decisions taken during chat sessions will be made visible during 48 hours in order to facilitate the opinion of all members of the LG prior to these decisions being made effective. Effective meetings of the LG will be organized in relation to WSF-process meetings, according to the needs and requirements of the IC. There will be at least two effective LG meetings per year. A report of every meeting of the LG will be made available on the LG-list and possibly on the lists of IC Commissions.

-          For specific debates in LG meetings a contribution of Commissions and working-groups can be asked. If necessary and possible, joint meetings can be organized.

-          For all meetings of the LG a quorum for decision-making is established at a participation of 50 % + 1 of its members. If the quorum is not present and a decision has to be made, the absent LG members can be asked to give their vote within 48 hours. Polemic and non urgent issues can be referred to an open discussion in the IC-WSF.

-          For the meetings of the LG, members can possibly and in exceptional circumstances be substituted by someone of their own organization, provided he/she is updated and following the activities of the LG and the WSF process in general, and provided he/she has the same abilities and support of the organization. Preferably this will always be the same person.  If a member of the LG does not want or cannot be substituted by someone of his/her own organization, he/she can ask another member organization of the IC, provided that the same criteria are applied.

-          Members of the LG will have access to the Solidarity Fund in order to be able to participate in meetings.

-          Working languages of the LG will be English and Spanish.

-          The LG, possibly in collaboration with the Commissions and working groups of the IC, will help the WSF Office in the writing of reports of meetings of the LG, of Commissions, working groups and possibly of the IC itself.


6 Rotation

The LG has a mandate of two years. Every two years, a new LG is ‘elected’ by the IC on the basis of a proposal from a WG, according to the following procedure:

1.       One meeting before the end of the mandate of the LG, the IC opens a new period during which nominations for the new LG can be made. The ex-members can also nominate themselves for a new LG, though no one can remain longer than 2 mandates. During this IC meeting, a working group ‘LG’ consisting of two members of the LG and 2 to 4 members of the IC will be created in order to receive and examine the nominations, as well as the evaluation report. The working group makes a proposal to the following IC .

2.       During the IC that coincides with the end of the mandate, this proposal will be discussed and the new LG will be decided on.

3.       At the end of the IC meeting where the mandate comes to its end, the old LG ceases to exist and the new LG can start its work. During that IC meeting the old and new LG’s meet together in order to ‘hand on the torch’.



7 Terms of reference

The following main criteria will apply:

+ The commitment to take the responsibility for the implementation of the mandate given by the IC to the members of the LG;

+ The responsibility to implement the tasks mentioned in the Working Plan;

+ The participation in at least 75 % of the LG meetings, according to the evaluation periods;

+ The LG work will be evaluated each time its membership is renewed, according to the terms of reference that have been decided.


8 Evaluation and renewal

The elements to be taken into account will be:

a)      Participation in meetings and chat sessions

b)      Implementation of tasks and responsibilities according to the Work Plan

c)       Systematic involvement in the activities of Commissions and working groups

d)      Contributions to debates and activities for the LG, Commissions, Working Groups and IC.

For the evaluation process in general, the LG will propose the creation of an WG ‘LG’ to the IC in order to coordinate the process. The IC will decide on the composition of the WG.

As part of the individual evaluation process, each LG member will prepare its self-evaluation, taking into account the agreed evaluation criteria. The collective and individual evaluation process will take place at the end of every mandate of two years.

At the end of each period of two years, at the moment of the evaluation, all members of the LG resign and a new period for auto-nominations begins.

The Working Group LG, together with all members of the IC, will be responsible for the design and organization of the evaluation process, according the criteria for the evaluation and respecting the calendar.

In collaboration with the WSF Office, the working Group LG will organize a process of self-nomination for the IC members.

Taking into account the agreed criteria for the composition and the terms of reference, the Working Group LG will present to the IC two lists, one with members of the existing LG, and one with new proposed members. The IC will elect 6 to 7 members from each list.


This document about the Mandate – Functioning – Composition – Responsibilities and Rotation of the LG can  be updated, revised and changed by decision of the IC, at each moment of renewal of the LG, that is at the end of each phase.