CODE OF STANDARDS FOR NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS IN ALBANIA
A SELF-REGULATORY PRACTICE FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE, TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE NON-PROFIT SECTOR
After an active process of almost two years of consultation and cooperation between civil society organizations throughout the country, we are pleased to announce the establishment of the Code of Standards (CS) for Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) in Albania.
The Code of Standards introduces a self-regulatory mechanism for the sector, aiming to improve the work effectiveness of non-profit organizations, good governance, transparency and accountability.
It is a set of principles and commitments on how organizations operate, how they are governed, how they manage resources, how they are transparent and accountable to all stakeholders, how they build relationships with supporters and donors, how they manage conflicts of interest, etc.
Conceived as a sector contribution to the sector, the Code is a practice established based on international and regional experiences and models of standards for civil society organizations such as the Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) and The Global Standard for CSO Accountability.
The working group consisting of 16 civil society organizations, worked and further adapted the Code of Standards to the dynamics of development of the non-profit sector in Albania and drafted the Code of Standards as well as an implementation framework that enables monitoring and self-assessment of the organization.
As a self-regulatory mechanism undertaken by the free will of NPOs, the Code of Standards is a tool that promotes learning and change, strengthens relationships with partners and stakeholders, and increases the legitimacy and credibility of CSOs.
The implementation of the Code of Standards
The Code of Standards for NGOs is a public tool, accessible and open to all NPOs.
It is a self-regulatory tool, which means that the responsibility for compliance with the Code rests with the members of the Code, who conduct a self-assessment based on a set of verifiable indicators set out in the Self-Assessment Framework of the NPO Code of Standards.
Conceived as an enabling mechanism, the Code is structured in 4 guiding principles and 7 commitments that member NPOs must meet and maintain for more accountability and a common standard. Based on the accompanying Self-Assessment Framework of the Code of Standards, any organization can conduct a self-assessment of its own and subsequently express interest for membership in the Code.
All organizations that need to work further for improving of one or more standards will be supported through concrete recommendations as well as resource materials and good practices that can be adapted by them.
Membership of the Code and its implementing structures
Membership of the Code will be public and will constitute the Assembly of the Code of Standards. It will also serve as an analytical, dialogue and support structure for and with the non-profit sector. Membership in the SC will be renewed every four years through a full evaluation process by the Code Committee and every 2 years through a Self-Evaluation process, with self-declaration of the members.
The first Assembly of the Code of Standards consists of the 16 initiating organizations of the working group of the Code as follows, which conducted the self-assessment and presented to the membership how they meet the commitments of the CS.
Fulfillment of the basic obligations and requirements set out in the Code of Standards and the Self-Evaluation Framework of the Code by NPOs will be ensured by the Code Committee, which will serve as an evaluation structure for NPOs willing to join or maintain membership in the CS. The Committee is a voluntary structure, consisting of 5 members proposed and elected by the Assembly of the Code, based on a set of professional and organizational criteria predetermined.
The first Committee of the Code of Standards voted by the Assembly consists of:
Partners Albania, through the National Resource Center, will play the role of Secretariat of the Code of Standards by facilitating and coordinating the implementation of the Code. The Secretariat will also be responsible for informing and raising awareness on the CS as well as its promotion within the country, in the region and beyond as an important mechanism in raising the standards of the activity of the sector in Albania.