The INGO Accountability Charter is a commitment of international NGOs to a high standard of transparency, accountability and effectiveness. The Charter provides the only global, fully comprehensive and cross-sectoral accountability framework for NGOs driven by NGOs.
The Charter defines standards on areas of NGOs’ work, such as governance, programme effectiveness and fundraising. International NGOs that become members of the Charter are required to report annually on fulfilling these commitments using a reporting tool developed for the purpose.
The charter outlines 10 “Accountability commitments” viz: Respect for human rights, independence, transparency, good governance, responsible advocacy, participation, diversity/inclusion, environmental responsibility, ethical fundraising and professional management.
Given my interest in transparency, I have copied the declaration on transparency from the charter below:
We commit to transparency and honesty regarding our mission, structures, policies and activities. This will require:
· The implementation of an open information policy which ensures timely, relevant and accurate information is disclosed in an accessible format;
· and any exceptions e.g. due to data protection rights, are clearly and reasonably explained;
· Complying with the relevant governance, financial accounting and reporting requirements in countries where we are based and operate;
· Issuing annual reports describing: our mission and values, objectives and outcomes achieved in programmes and advocacy work, environmental impact, governance structure, processes and main office bearers, main sources of funding, financial performance, compliance with this Charter and a contact person;
· Basing disclosure of information (wherever possible and appropriate) on existing formats such as those provided by GRI or IATI to allow better systematic use of the data.
It would be interesting to learn further about how far the charter has shaped the functioning of the members and NGOs that they fund.