IASC 25 years - Page 100

05 I AS C S e c ret a r i at 5.1 The IASC Secretariat Odd Rogne and Volker Rachold For the first years, the initial needs were related to: - Drafting and preparing the organizational struc- ture - Building networks to both national and interna- Any international organization needs a strong sec- tional organizations retariat in order to get work done. For a new orga- - Making the organization known and visible in nization like IASC, it was especially important. The relevant fora key issue was “Who is willing to fund it”? We were in - Implementing the new bodies of the organization a lucky situation as the IASC planning process had (such as working groups) attracted a good deal of governmental attention - Serving as a managerial advisor to working groups (and actually IASC served as ‘John the Baptist’ for and other groups circumarctic governmental cooperation). - Stimulating brainstorming activities on timely and new initiatives (FARO, ISIRA, ASSW can serve In the IASC planning process, the need for a staffed as such examples; see other parts of this report). and well-equipped secretariat was recognized early on, and the planning committee indirectly made arc- With national science organizations as members tic countries aware of “the opportunity to become (adhering bodies), IASC is well placed to detect in- the host country.” This tactic served IASC well and ternational science needs. Scientists are also alert- even resulted in a competition to become the first ed to societal needs and, through their studies in host country (see Chapter 1.1). We mention this the field, observe changes of importance to societ- type of thinking, because it may be old wisdom that ies. Some societal needs are also addressed through the next generation can learn something from; or in intergovernmental cooperation (AEPS and later the other words one shouldn’t have to beg, but rather Arctic Council), which depends on the science com- present an idea to possible funders as an attractive munity providing data of good quality. opportunity! Funding is a constant challenge for international Elected members of the various bodies of the organization (such as Council, Executive Committee, are mainly provided by national funding agencies; and other bodies) are serving the organization in an and based on national priorities. Through national honorary capacity since they all have other full-time membership fees, IASC manages a small fund that positions. Thus, a secretariat with salaried staff can be used as seed money for science planning ac- members is central to the organization and serves tivities, e.g., for bringing people together for initial as its working arm. 99 science cooperation, as funds available for science planning, including agreeing on a strategy for coor- 05 IASC Secretariat