Global Standard
© Christian Ihrybauer

Global Standard

For CSO Accountability

Accountability update

There's a crisis brewing; the Indian government has put three US CSOs under its watch list. Namely, Open Society Foundation, National Endowment for Democracy and World Movement of Democracy. There are 18 international CSOs under such watch list, which means they need approval of Home Ministry for even releasing their funds in India. VANI our Partner in India is a forerunner in this debate and Harsh Jaitli the CEO of VANI will go on national television to defend the cause! “Officials said the three US-based CSOs were put under the scanner after security agencies raised "some serious concerns". A senior official said while details of the security agency report were confidential, the broad concern was that these CSOs were active participants in "protests and rallies of anti-national nature". Read more here


A common goal

The Global Standard is an initiative of nine well-established civil society accountability networks from around the world. The overarching aim is to strengthen the effectiveness of CSOs worldwide by devising a collective accountability standard. Over three years, the networks will cooperate to learn from each other, gain a truly global view on CSO accountability, improve their codes and reduce transaction cost. The project is a bottom-up process, carving out the significant existing overlap on core parameter for CSO accountability in all participating codes. The Global Standard will be used as a key reference standard for the eight networks and serve as a global point of orientation for CSO accountability globally. It will be written in a concise language and serve as a collective base for CSOs from the North and South to engage from.

The three overarching goals of the project are:

  • Improve CSO accountability codes and practice
  • Reduce transaction costs (convergence between multiple existing codes)
  • Contribute to a more enabling environment for CSOs

Outreach and cooperation with other actors

It is the ambition to mutually recognise the Global Standard reporting requirements between all participating networks. Their constituencies, representing nearly 1500 CSOs across the world, will be actively engaged in developing and testing the Global Standard parameters and sharing it with other CSO networks. We will work closely together with CIVICUS and other key stakeholders in the sector and will seek to align our work with essential accountability initiatives such as the Istanbul Principles and the Core Humanitarian Standard.

Collaboration between the project partners

The project seeks to create mutually beneficial and collaborative relationships between its Project Partners, so that in this joint journey, Project Partners can continue to learn from and support each other. This is implemented by a mixture of physical meetings and a continuous virtual exchange via webinars, a common newsletter and regular phone conferences.

The partners meet each other in person bianually. Each meeting is hosted by one of the partners. The first meeting of 2015 took place in Cambodia in October , hosted by the Cooperation Committee for Cambodia. The second meeting was held in April 2016 in Colombia, hosted by Rendir Cuentas coordinated with the 2016 International Civil Society Week. The third meeting will take place in Serbia this July and will be hosted by our newest Partner the Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) .


Project delivery and funding

The INGO Accountability Charter has been the driving force in developing this project and now is one of the nine Project Partners.

The International Civil Society Centre is the Implementing Partner and responsible for the smooth and efficient implementation of the project. The Centre has established a dedicated Project Delivery Team, consisting of a Project Director, a Senior Accountability Advisor and a Project Coordinator.

Each of the eight project partners assigns one senior representative as member of our project Steering Group. The Steering group has the overall responsibility of the project and defines its strategic direction.

The Steering Group elects an Executive Committe, comprising three members of the Steering Group, the Deputy Executive Director of the International Civil Society Centre, and the Project Director. It oversees the project delivery progress.

The project is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). The project officially started in spring 2015.

Contact: Kami Mainkar,