Membership and Governance Review

Building a united, accountable and effective network

The Council of Members meeting in Paris saw the culmination of a year-long independent review of the IAPB membership structure and governance model.

Click here for the review’s original terms of reference.

Following a final member-wide consultation in July, Richard Bennett, the consultant charged with carrying out the review, presented the IAPB Board and Council with clear proposals on four key areas: membership fees and structure; governance; work groups; and regional matters.

The proposals had the following key objectives:

  • Enhance members’ engagement, sense of ownership and collective ability to deliver the IAPB strategy;
  • Ensure legitimacy, transparency and accountability in the IAPB governance system;
  • Foster global / regional strategic alignment and oversight.

Click here for the consultant’s presentation to the IAPB Council.

The IAPB Board endorsed the proposals and recommended them to the Council, which unanimously approved them. In summary:

1. Membership fees and structure

No substantial changes to the status quo

In line with the overwhelming majority of respondents from the consultation, the membership fee structure will remain the same, with three standard categories of membership priced as per current levels and annual increase.

Mutual expectations attached to each membership level should be clarified and nomenclature updated accordingly.

Individual and Patron memberships were not affected by the review.

2. Governance

Council members to acquire voting rights and eligibility to the IAPB Board

The Council of Members will be able to elect 8 board members from the current group B and C (with a minimum of 2 from group B, as per current practice). Elected trustees will be able to serve for a maximum of two 4-year terms.

Nominations for 6 of the 8 elected places (as 2 group B representatives are already serving their term till September 2016) will be sought from the membership in October / November 2014, with the aim to run a ballot by the end of the year.

Current founding, group A and Patron members with automatic rights to nominate trustees will remain able to do so. Nominated trustees will have no maximum terms.

The IAPB officers (President, Vice President and Treasurer) will be elected by the Council of Members for a maximum of two 4-year terms (currently, officers’ terms coincide with the IAPB quadrennial General Assembly).

3. Work groups

Opening up opportunities for members’ participation

The establishment of work groups can fulfil many objectives, such as providing an effective means to pursuit the strategy, enabling the exchange of knowledge and expertise and enhancing the engagement of members.

To better reflect this, the current work group structure is to be revamped so that in the future groups are to fall in one of two broad categories:

  • Work groups set up by initiative of the Board to ensure a more effective pursuit of key aspects of the IAPB strategy;
  • Work groups set up by initiative of members to leverage the expertise of the membership and promote knowledge, collaborative activities and good practice around important eye health and related issues.

While the Board will maintain ultimate oversight on external communications and outputs for both these IAPB strategy and expert groups, the latter may have more flexibility on how they run themselves, with regards to membership, terms of reference, reporting requirements and longevity.

Based on the assumption that strategy or expert groups will take on individual advocacy tasks going forward, it was also decided to close the Advocacy & PR committee, which had traditionally provided a forum for the discussion of advocacy matters.

Other work groups currently active will continue to operate normally, subject to a revision of their terms of reference to ensure they fit with either of the revised models

More detailed guidance on how members can initiate the establishment of IAPB expert groups will be circulated soon.

4. Regional structure

Establishment of taskforce

Considering the breadth of issues connected with this area and the critical role regions play in the ability of IAPB to deliver its strategy, a taskforce will be addressing all aspects concerning the IAPB regional structure and report back in 2015.

The taskforce will be chaired by the IAPB Vice President.

The Council also passed a resolution authorising the Board to proceed with all necessary amendments to the IAPB governing documents, including its Memorandum and Articles of Association, to reflect the above proposals. All constitutional changes requiring formal approval will be tabled at the 2015 AGM.

If you have any question on how these changes will affect your rights and obligations as an IAPB member, please get in touch.