WISP consists of a Project Management Unit (based at IUCN ESARO), a WISP Steering Committee, a global electronic network of over 2000 members (WISPnet) and various partners working on specific knowledge management themes.
The Pastoralist Advisory Group (PAG) is a key mechanism for guiding thematic planning by WISP, setting the agenda for focal areas, and for providing a reality check for the work of the coordination unit. The PAG replaced the Scientific Advisory Group in early discussions about how WISP should function and is intended to ensure that pastoralists are better consulted in the core work of the network.
How we work
However, regularly meeting with pastoralist representatives worldwide is not a realistic option and the PAG is therefore an undefined group of pastoralist representatives who are met opportunistically at Global and Regional pastoral gatherings. In between these meetings WISP tries to maintain the input of pastoralists by working closely with those pastoralist agencies at national and regional levels that have a mandate from pastoralist communities: for example pastoralist membership organisations.
The aim of the WISP Steering Committee is to ensure that IUCN delivers on what the PAG has defined to be important and to support WISP with technical backstopping. The Steering Committee comprises of UNDP GEF, UNDP Kenya, UNDP Drylands Development Centre, IUCN, IFAD, Oxfam GB, the Pastoralist Communication Initiative (PCI), RECONCILE, Practical Action, the Arid Land Resource Management Programme (ALRMP), Acord, Fundacion del Sur, European forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism and Bilitaal Maroobe.
WISPnet comprises a network of over 2000 members drawn from pastoral organisations, the UN, NGOs, donors and interested individuals. WISPnet sends a monthly update on past ongoing and upcoming events and activities related to pastoralism and the latest publications. WISPnet serves as the main communication channel of WISP through which it launches knowledge management studies and other activities, and through which partnerships are created.
WISP is a network that can enable institutions worldwide to get in touch and create partnerships and WISP has assisted a number of such liaisons. WISP also currently manages a budget for knowledge management projects (policy and advocacy work), and has implemented these activities through partnerships with around 25 different agencies worldwide. WISP partnerships for knowledge management are created around the different thematic issues that WISP is working on, such as the Economics of Pastoralism, Pastoral Land Rights, or Policy Impacts on Pastoral Environments.