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How good is Charter Members’ accountability performance compared to other CSOs?
July 1, 2016
The Charter is the world’s most widely used comprehensive accountability framework, signed by a number of the leading ICSOs across our sector. Collectively our Members commit to high standards of operational excellence, transparency and accountability and a continuous effort to improve them. To fulfil on this promise we designed a comparative study with the direct impact group to better understand how good Charter Members’ performance is overall and in comparison to others in the sector. 20 Charter Members plus 20 comparable CSO peers have been assessed on a scale from 0-3 in regard to five areas of accountability: transparency, participation, impact focus, responsible advocacy and sound financial management. The direct impact group conducted desk research, systematic interviews, as well as reality checks and this webinar discussed the main observations. Furthermore, some recommendations to drive continuous improvement in the field of CSO accountability were presented.
Accountability codes in the Global South: What have we learnt from the Global Standard project?
May 18, 2016
Two years ago, the Charter has embarked on a journey with eight accountability networks from Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South America to develop the Global Standard for CSO Accountability. It was therefore time to reflect on what we have learnt and to question some of our assumptions:
The Charter presented on lessons from the Voluntary Action Network India (VANI) and the Cooperation Committee for Cambodia. In addition, Florence Makhanu, Programme Manager at Viwango, a Kenya-based accountability code, shared insights on certification of CSOs and how this has increased their accountability and credibility.
Digital connectivity as a game changer: How to adapt our accountability practices to the digital age?
The digital age allows people to connect at high speed, global reach and low cost. This brings fundamental changes to every sector, including the way in which civil society organisations (CSOs) work. In the digital age, CSOs have to move from creating value for stakeholders to co-creating change with them. Progressive accountability practices are essential to support this co-creational role of stakeholders. If CSOs want to successfully leverage impact by systematically connecting and tapping into the huge skills, capacities, knowledge and networks outside of their organisations, then accountability practices need to be developed in the same pace. For six months, a group of thought leaders have been collectively thinking how to transform current CSO accountability practices. This webinar aims at presenting a framework that assesses the extent to which CSOs are good at connecting and co-creating impact in the digital age while acting responsibly.
Karenina Schröder, Executive Officer, INGO Accountability Charter
Maro Pantazidou, Lead Adviser Learning and Accountability, Amnesty International
What are the concrete benefits the Charter adds to each function in our organisations and the public?
The Charter needs to be well known and understood to achieve its ultimate ambition: driving ICSOs’ positive impact on people’s lives and the environment. In light of this we have worked with branding and communications directors from our Members to identify where the Charter adds most value e.g. to CEOs, fundraisers, campaigns or programme directors as well as to donors and the public. We want to share these insights with you to:
♦ give you the opportunity to understand where others see the greatest value-add of the Charter
♦ gain your insights on how to develop this further into an overall branding and communication architecture for the Charter
♦ Charter Brand Architecture
♦ How does the Charter add value to your daily tasks?
♦ Download Outcome Summary pdf.
How to best use the Charter at national level
10 June 2015
Striking the right balance between national independence and global coherence is a challenge. A shared concept of accountability is a uniting factor, but it must be owned at the national level as much as the international. The Charter is an optimal tool to ensure a globally consistent approach to accountability, but how is it best used to fit national level NGO needs?
Markus Hesse, Managing Partner – Europe, direct impact group, previously Vice President Finance & Strategy at CBM
Darren Ward, Managing Partner – Australasia, direct impact group, previously National Director CBM New Zealand
The Global Standard for CSO Accountability and its relevance for Charter Members
The INGO Accountability Charter has developed the Global Standard for CSO Accountability project together with eight other well-established civil society accountability networks from India, Cambodia, Philippines, Uganda, Latin America, Kenya, Australia and the US. Building on their current codes and the Istanbul Principles they will identify the core parameter of CSO accountability common to all of them and devise a global reference code for their implementation. Our next webinar will introduce this project and discuss how it can help Charter Members to better align accountability practices across the multitude of their national entities in the world.
Karenina Schröder, Executive Officer, INGO Accountability Charter
Yoma Winder, Global Partnerships and Accountability Advisor, Oxfam GB
Emmanuel Isch, Partnership Leader for PAIR Group, World Vision International and Charter Board Director
How do the Charter and IATI complement each other?
Since January 2014, the Charter is a member of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), a donor driven initiative to increase the effectiveness of development by greater transparency of data, and is active in its Steering Committee and CSO Working Group. IATI is complementary to the Charter: While IATI asks for transparency of aid flows, the Charter asks for effectiveness and quality of work delivered. The topic experts of this webinar shared their views on how to meaningfully publish to IATI and what benefits arise from complying with both the Charter and IATI.
Sarah Johns, Transparency Advisor at Bond and their expert on IATI
Craig Fagan, Head of Global Policy, Advocacy and Research Group, Transparency International
What is at the core of effective stakeholder engagement?
As CSOs we claim to work primarily for others – not ourselves. But do we sufficiently engage other stakeholders to live up to this claim? How do we define our primary stakeholders and how do we deal with the partly competing expectations of donors, beneficiaries, partners and the public? This webinar is a great opportunity to share your views and learn from our presenters from ActionAid International and SOS Children’s Villages who have some great programmes in place.
Tripti Rai, Monitoring and Evaluation Adviser, ActionAid International (Nepal)
Almandina Guma, Regional Programme Development Advisor, SOS Children’s Villages
Salimane Issifou, National Director, SOS Villages d’Enfants Bénin
- Outcome summary
- Learning from Practice, presentation by Tripti Rai, ActionAid
- Effective stakeholder involvement in SOS Children’s Villages, presentation by Almandina Guma and Salimane Issifou
- “What is Reflection Action?” by ActionAid
- “People’s Action In Practice” by ActionAid
How can we live up to our promises of inclusion and non-discrimination?
The Independent Review Panel has identified inclusion as an area of relative weakness in Charter Member reports. They tend to be restricted on gender and nationality, losing sight of issues like disability or ethnicity. In order to strengthen the Charter’s commitment to true inclusion, the revised Charter text now includes “disability” as an explicit form of potential discrimination. A member of the Panel and a representative from CBM will share their view on how true commitment to inclusion and non-discrimination should be reflected in our organisations’ policies and practices as well as in our reporting against the Charter.
Wambui Kimathi, Senior Advisor for East Africa, IHRB, and member of the Charter’s Independent Review Panel
Diane Mulligan, Deputy Director of Advocacy and Alliances (IAA), CBM International, and Co-Chair of the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) United Nations task group
What does it take to successfully confine the risk of corruption and fraud?
Public allegations against NGOs seem to be particularly forceful when based on fraud or corruption. This undermines the very essence of our existence: public trust. But do we do enough to minimise the risk? The Independent Review Panel still sees significant room for improvement. Please join our discussion with Transparency International and other Charter Member experts on how to better confine the critical risk.
Robert Barrington, Executive Director, Transparency International Great Britain
Bárbara Pascual, Head of Transparency & Laura Cantle, Accountability Officer, Educo
- Outcome summary
- TI UK presentation
- Educo presentation
- “Preventing corruption in humanitarian operations: the role of civil society” by Cobus de Swardt and Roslyn Hees from Transparency International (p.30/31)
- The Bond Anti-Bribery Principles
- “Anti-Bribery Guidance for not-for-profits” by TI UK
- A free e-learning course “Doing Business Without Bribery”
- “Diagnosing Bribery Risks” by TI UK
- “Pocket guide of good practices: Preventing corruption in humanitarian operations” by TI
Information disclosure policy: where are the limits of transparency?
There seems to be an almost infinite call for more transparency. Most NGOs have already come a long way, but there are still limits. Should we publish salary levels, terrible failures, names of partners in sensitive areas? Some Charter Members have long standing expertise with information disclosure policies. They are willing to share them with you and discuss if Charter Members could agree on a level playing field.
Taitos Matafeni, Head of Effectiveness, Quality and Learning Systems, Sightsavers
Matt Grainger, Head of Media, Oxfam International
How can the Charter become embedded in the DNA of your organisation?
Does the Charter sit mainly in the accountability unit of your organisation? Or is it also used by staff in your fundraising, communications, advocacy and other functions? A key value of the Charter is its comprehensiveness – offering a coherent framework to serve the multiple accountabilities we face. Join this webinar to discuss and learn how to better embed the Charter in the DNA of the entire organisation.
Julia Flynn, Head of Internal Communications, Oxfam International
Markus Hesse, Vice President Finance & Strategy, CBM
For more information about this webinar, please read the summary.
How can you optimise your organisation’s environmental impact?
Climate change is detrimental to almost all issues we work for. But do NGOs themselves live up to the expectations they place on business and politics in this regard? A Charter group of experts on the environmental performance of NGOs is willing to share its expertise with you. Seize this opportunity for fast track learning in your organisation!
Laura Fontaine, Advisor, Natural Environment and Climate Issues, World Vision
Dano Weisbord, Head of Innovation and Learning, ActionAid International
Key success factors for a fully functional Complaints Handling Mechanism
13 June 2013
A fully functioning complaints handling mechanism is core to credible accountability and has been a compulsory requirement for Charter Members since 2012. Some Charter Members have a long standing expertise in this field and are willing to share it with you: What are the key components? What has and has not worked in the past? How to adapt to future needs?
Yoma Winder, Global Advisor Accountability, Oxfam Great Britain
Anna Wood, Senior Advisor, Accountability to Children and Communities, World Vision
- Oxfam GB Complaints Policy
- Complaints and Feedback Box: A Case Study from Haradh and Abss
- Complaints and Feedback Handling: A Case Study from Jamam Camp
- Complaint/Feedback Mechanism for Remote Programming: A Success Story from Somalia
- The Community Context and Complaints Handling by NGOs
- Overview of NGO – Community Complaints Mechanisms
- What have we learned so far and where are the gaps?