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Transparency and Accountability
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Summary

The past decade has seen a profound increase in the need for greater accountability in philanthropy, on the part of both donors and grantees, and the importance of transparency and public disclosure of information around philanthropic giving is now widely acknowledged.

WINGS is facilitating a global consultation with the aim of deepening the understanding and practice of international philanthropy transparency and accountability, as well as introducing voices and perspectives from the global South. Regional consultations in Africa, the Arab Region, Asia and Latin America will facilitate discussions around the issue specific to those those regions. The results of each workshop are published here on our website, and information gathered during the consultation process will contribute to a transparency and accountability toolkit.

Workshops

June 2013, "Transparency And Accountability For Private Social Investment In Latin America - From Principles To Practice” Bogota, Colombia
To follow up on the regional discussions on Transparency and Accountability a workshop was held in Colombia. The general purpose of the workshop was to exchange ideas on the conditions of transparency and accountability practices for private social investment organisations in the Latin American Region, with the objective of promoting legitimacy and seeking a greater commitment and transparency from civil organisations. The workshop had 40 participants, representing various Corporate Foundations, non-profit organisations, associations and foundation networks.
November 2012, "Improving the Accountability of International Philanthropy - Moving from Principles to Practice" Johannesburg, South Africa
As part of the Global Philanthropy Leadership Initiative (GPLI), WINGS is hosting a series of workshops on accountability—the latest in conjunction with the African Grantmakers Network Assembly in Johannesburg. The workshop brought together 32 participants from Africa and the Arab Region who collectively considered what the sector needs for accountability to work in practice. Much like our previous workshop in Cairo, the Johannesburg event offered us a unique view on current practice and desire, and we're using the experience to expand the dialogue on accountability.
September 2012, "Improving the Accountability of International Philanthropy - Moving from Principles to Practice" Cairo, Egypt
Our first accountability workshop brought together 29 delegates from WINGS philanthropy networks in Africa and the Arab region to kick off a global consultation process. The aim is to deepen the understanding and practice of accountability in international philanthropy, including voices and perspectives from the global South. The workshop was co-hosted by the Arab Foundations Forum (AFF) in conjunction with its 2012 Annual Meeting in Cairo.

Principles of Accountability

The Principles of Accountability for International Philanthropy is the outcome of a joint initiative of the European Foundation Centre (EFC) and the U.S. Council on Foundations (COF). The document aims to guide and support funders in making better decisions in pursuing their international missions and objectives, and to provide a framework that will encourage and assist more foundations to get involved internationally.

If accountability presents a daunting task for organisations operating within domestic national environments, it represents a much greater challenge in the case of cross-border giving. In 2007, to address the issues surrounding international accountability practices, the EFC and the COF created a joint working group to develop a set of principles of accountability for international philanthropy.

Five years later, WINGS has engaged in a global review and update of the document, with the aim of deepening the understanding and practice of international philanthropy accountability, as well as introducing perspectives from the global South. This will be accomplished through regional consultations to globalize the Principles of Accountability document, vetting it regionally in Africa, the Arab Region, Asia and Latin America.

The document established a set of principles and good practices that address the issue of accountability. The seven principles are:

  • Integrity
  • Understanding
  • Respect
  • Responsiveness
  • Fairness
  • Cooperation and Collaboration
  • Effectiveness

Following review, the document will be the basis for a toolkit whose aim is to facilitate the operational roll-out of these seven principles.

Principles of Accountability in English »

Principles of Accountability in Spanish »

IATI

The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) aims to make the information around aid spending easier to access, understand and utilize. The purpose of the initiative is to help implement the transparency commitments made at the Accra Agenda for Action consistently and coherently. Play the video below for more.

The Accra Agenda for Action came about from the March 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (the document released on 1 December 2011 at the Fourth High Level Forum in Busan, South Korea) outlines the concepts and commitments agreed upon by those involved in the Busan process. View the document here.


Glass Pockets

Created by the Foundation Center, Glass Pockets is a website focused on transparency in philanthropy. With Glass Pockets, the Foundation Center and its partners work to:

  • Inspire private foundations to greater openness in their communications.
  • Increase understanding of best practices in foundation transparency and accountability in an online world.
  • Illustrate how institutional philanthropy is relevant to the critical issues of our time.
  • Highlight the many stories of philanthropy that show how private wealth is serving the public good.
  • Illuminate successes, failures, and ongoing experimentation so foundations can build on each other's ideas to increase impact.
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