Irish Development NGOs exist to create a better world. They operate on a global scale with diverse missions, but are united by a shared commitment to social justice and the eradication of poverty. For all Dóchas members, the principles of participation and transparency are integral to development processes and to the workings of Development NGOs.
The size and complexity of the Irish Development NGO sector is changing at an everincreasing pace. The legislative and regulatory environment governing charities will bring greater accountability to the sector as will increased State funding. The donating public will demand, and deserve, increased transparency in the workings of charities to determine how their contributions are being deployed. All stakeholders will expect charities to be properly managed and governed by an effective board to best practice standards.
One of our jobs as the representative body of Irish Development NGOs is to encourage members to adopt best practice in corporate governance. Adopting best practice can help members keep pace with the changes and make them more effective where it really counts — increasing the choices available to poor people, and promoting their rights.
We have worked with the Corporate Governance Association of Ireland (CGAI) to develop this Code of Governance. It has been produced in consultation with members and stakeholders. It draws from established codes in other jurisdictions that have proven effective. The Code provides a flexible and proportionate framework for NGOs; there are common standards to which all NGOs should aspire, with higher expectations of larger NGOs.
Dóchas will monitor with interest to see how members meet the challenge of complying with the Code and will encourage all NGOs to embrace its principles in the interests of maintaining and enhancing stakeholder confidence in the sector as a whole.