The Global Standard for CSO Accountability has been created by nine CSO accountability initiatives from across the world including the Balkan Civil Society Development Network.
In times of changing role of civil society, active pressure and shrinking civic space, civil society actors need to ensure they retain their core missions, integrity, purposefulness and high levels of trust. Independent organizations are needed to act as watchdogs, ethical guardians and advocates of the marginalized or under-represented. Civil society in all its forms has an important role in holding all stakeholders, including itself, to the highest levels of accountability.
The Standard aim is to connect CSOs with people, partners, supporters and donors in order to build trust and to leverage impact in times of shrinking civic space. It is a strong commitment to the public and an invitation to hold CSOs to account and get involved.
BCSDN through the involvement in this initiative started working on strengthening its own internal capacities and practices and sharing those accountability standards with wider civil society in our region.
What does the Standard do and how it works?
It enhances existing and inspires development of new standards based on a global benchmark. The Standard doesn’t aim to replace existing codes that organizations have, since it includes key commitments that are common to accountability standards across the world. It rather provides a global reference standard. CSOs and others stakeholders can use it as a benchmark to evaluate and strengthen concrete action in particular area of concern (e.g. internal governance, engagement with constituency) or their accountability policies and codes.
The standard creates dialogue with the public CSO’s are there to serve, by using simple language, by asking the kind of questions the public and others would like to ask to know if CSOs are making a real difference. CSOs are encouraged to seek feedback on these questions at all stages of their work.
The standard should contribute to building trust by guiding CSOs to opening and to be held to account by the public, by inviting people, partners, donors, supporters etc. to engage in a continuous dialogue.
What is the Standard about?
The Standard englobes 12 Commitments that the 9 global networks and initiatives have identified as guiding ambitions for an accountable CSO work. Those commitments represent 3 clusters:
The Standard presents the 12 Commitments that guide CSO decisions but also it has identified Actions and Feedback as a way to fulfill the commitments and engage the stakeholders.
How can you get engaged and start using it?
In the spirit of the feedback as essential part of the Standard we would appreciate your participation and involvement.