Establishing Organizational credibility

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CSO Partners in collaboration with CII conducted a CSR Online Educational Series exclusively for NGOs. This is the second presentation in the series

It covers the following topic
- Demonstrating accountability
- Being transparent
- Building visibility
- NGO accreditation

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Establishing Organizational credibility

  1. 1. 5/8/2014 1 Webinar for NGOs Conducted by: Soumitra Ghosh (Founder CEO, CSO Partners) Building Credibility
  2. 2.  Demonstrating accountability  Being transparent  Building visibility  NGO Accreditation
  3. 3. Growing demand for transparency • Anticipated investment to bring in Rs.15,000 – 18,000 crores to the sector • Foreign contribution to voluntary sector – Rs. 10,334 in 2011 • Govt on an average provides Rs. 950.62 crores every year to NGOs* Large mobilization of resources • Having emerged as protagonist of transparency there is a growing need for NGOs to demonstrate great transparency Need for NGOs to demonstrate transparency • Across the spectrum - donors, public, community, media, corporate,, government, etc. there is growing demand for NGO transparency Rising expectations of different stake holders Source: * ASIAN CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS. This is not complete data
  4. 4. Questioning the legitimacy of NGOs To what extent do NGOs form a ‘legitimate’ voice of the civil society Rapid growth of NGO sector (over 3 million) Changing role of NGOs from traditional service delivery to the policy advocacy role Growing role and influence of NGOs: Engaging with government and corporate houses Factors adding to the legitimacy concern are
  5. 5. Judging the performance of NGOs • As they question the performance of governments for the way they spend public funds, NGOs too must demonstrate that they have done better with the money that they received • Short-term functional performance (accounting for resources, resource use and immediate impacts) • Strategic performance (accounting for the impacts that an NGO’s actions have on the actions of other organizations and the wider environment)
  6. 6. Demonstrating accountability Dimensions of accountability Transparency Legitimacy Performance
  7. 7. Accountability matrix Trustee Staff Government Participants, Community, Society, Beneficiaries Peer Organizations Donor
  8. 8.  Demonstrating accountability  Being transparent  Building visibility  NGO Accreditation
  9. 9. Scenario thus far….. • Accountability/transparency incentivized either by funding opportunities or by regulatory coercions • Need to submit report on • annual activity and financial report to registration authorities and Ministry of Home Affairs in case of foreign funding • annual financial reports to the income tax authority for exemption of tax on the donation or grants they receive • Different funding agencies prescribe their own reporting requirements to the recipient NGOs • All of these reports are not subject to public disclosure
  10. 10. Demonstrating Transparency • provide pertinent programmatic, organisational and financial information • Programmatic section to include • initiatives, target groups, major achievements, difficulties and setbacks and future plans • Organizational section to include • About the organization, vision and mission, board members, governance process, etc • Financial section to include • audited statement of accounts and an abridged version of financial details Annual report as a tool
  11. 11. Demonstrating Transparency • It denotes people’s scrutiny of an organization’s mandate, plan, action and performance based on information disclosed by the particular NGO about its various projective initiatives • It is an effective tool to empower stakeholders with transparent information and authority to scrutinize the duty bearers • While it has been advocated for social audit to ensure state accountability many NGOs are yet to embraced it in their initiatives Social audit
  12. 12.  Demonstrating accountability  Being transparent  Building visibility  NGO Accreditation
  13. 13. Building visibility Disseminating information is key to building transparency Providing access to information to diverse stakeholders Technology could be used to make information accessible to wider audience
  14. 14. Building visibility • This can be achieved through – Having a website – Virtual presence in social media • Facebook • Niche sites – Propoor, NGO Marketplace – Retail donation platform • Give India • United Way • Global Giving
  15. 15.  Demonstrating accountability  Being transparent  Building visibility  NGO Accreditation
  16. 16. Types of standards and frameworks Self certification Ratings/ EvaluationAccreditation Peer review •Code of Ethics of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation •InterAction PVO Standards •Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations Standards of Excellence •Credibility Alliance •BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator •ISO 9000 •Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy NPO Certification Program •CSO Partners
  17. 17. Types of standards and frameworks •Low cost •Easy to administer •Reflective and introspective process for NGO •Accessible to a wide range of organizations •More rigorous evaluation •Value through network •Can be decentralized •Parameters predominantly set by the rating organization •Lends itself for comparisons and benchmarking of NGOs across sectors and geography •Extremely rigorous evaluation •Third party validation provides strong assurance •Serve as a seal of approval and make it easier for different stakeholders in identifying good credible NGOs
  18. 18. Existing initiatives to promote accountability in India Initiatives Information CSO Partners’ Outstanding Annual Report Award for the Voluntary Sector Aims to promote public disclosure, readability and quality of financial reporting within the voluntary sector Accreditation by credibility alliance -Accreditation based on two sets of norms: Minimum and Desirable norms. -Accreditation is based on assessment by CA assessors - Accreditation provided based on recommendation of Accreditation Committee
  19. 19. Existing initiatives to promote accountability in India Initiatives Information Accreditation by CSO Partners Robust multi-layered accreditation system that is aimed towards primarily validation of self disclosure by NGOs on the process and systems of their governance, management and programme GiveIndia -An online retail donation portal which enables individuals to make contributions to credible NGOs across the country -Credibility of NGOs is established based on their ability to meet the norms of transparency and accountability set by Give India
  20. 20. Existing initiatives to promote accountability in India • Government of India is planning to bring NGOs under a regulatory mechanism to make them accountable – CAPART (Council for Advancement of People's Action and Rural Technology) has worked out norms and modalities for accreditation of voluntary organizations having the credibility norms as the starting point
  21. 21. Existing standards Name Indicator Process CSO Partners •Governance •Organizational Capacity •Financial Management •Programme Management •Marketing and Fund Raising •Self assessment based on self assessment tool •Staff of various functions and senior management is involved in the accreditation exercise • Submission of the assessment along with evidential proof •On field assessment of NGO along with accreditation rating and a note on areas to be improved upon •Accreditation renewed at stipulated interval
  22. 22. Existing standards Name Indicator Process Credibility Alliance • Basic and desirable norms. Desirable is more advanced and stringent Norms cover: •Identity •Vision, Objective and Achievement •Governance •Operations (Programme, Management, HR) •Accountability and Transparency •NGO submits accreditation form along with supporting document •CA reviews the form and documents •Assessors does assessment and submits the findings to CA •CA shares the report for NGOs comments •CA issues certificate based on the recommendation of central accreditation committee of CA
  23. 23. Existing standards Name Indicator Process InterAction PVO Standards •Governance •Organizational Integrity •Finances •Communications to the US Public •Management Practice & Human resources •Program •Public Policy •Implementation •Self-certification process through Self Certification Plus (rigorous self assessment and validation of compliance with standards) •Board level committee oversees standards and compliance •There are various sections in the Standards Document; an organization needs to express compliance or non-compliance to each statement. Where non-compliance is mentioned, an Action Plan for compliance is required to be inserted. Supporting documents and evidence for compliance also needs to be submitted. •Certification must be renewed every other year which other members, CEO and/or board chairperson must agreeably re-certify compliance
  24. 24. Existing standards Name Indicator Process Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations Standards of Excellence 8 Guiding principles and 55 Individual Performance Standards •Members of association commit to guiding principles while association provides assistance to help them comply with 55 specific standards •Voluntary certification procedure involving application and provision of extensive supporting materials •Volunteer peer review group examines compliance •Recommendation to standards and review committee •‘Nonprofit Seal of Excellence’ can be displayed for 3 years; post which renewal is required
  25. 25. Existing standards Name Indicator Process ISO 9000 •Customer Focus •Leadership •Involvement of People •Process Approach •System Approach to Management •Continual Improvement •Factual Approach to Decision Making •Mutually Beneficial Supplier Relationships Certifications are carried out independently of ISO by more than 750 certification bodies active around the world. These organizations are accredited by the member bodies of ISO in each country in which they operate.
  26. 26. Existing standards Name Indicator Process BBB Wise Giving Alliance Alliance’s Standards for Charity Accountability •Governance and oversight •Measuring effectiveness •Finances •Fund raising and informational materials •Organizations report according to Alliance’s Standards •Third party reviews and rates •Charity Seal Programme to assist donors in making right giving decisions – option for rated organizations to purchase seal
  27. 27. Points to ponder over • Is accreditation merely a donor requirement or is it for NGO organizational development? • Should accreditation be undertaken by government or corporate? • Should accreditation be a one-time effort or be looked at on a continual basis? • Should accreditation be done by a neutral third party or NGO networks and federations?
  28. 28. For further clarifications and guidance please contact: soumitra.ghosh@csopartners.org.in

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