In partnership with CODE NGO the Charity Commission’s International Programme carried out a technical assistance project to assess the situation for the nonprofit sector in the Philippines between October 2007 and March 2008.
A Local Advisory Committee (LAC) was set up to oversee the assessment process. It consisted of five representatives from government and four representatives from the NPO (nonprofit organisation) community – this cross representation was a vital factor in the success of the project. The findings of this assessment have been documented in a recently published report - Caucus of Development NGO Networks (2008). NPO Sector Assessment: Philippine Report. This report will shortly be available on our website.
This report documents the achievements of the LAC in meeting several objectives: first, to pilot test and assess the NPO Assessment Tool developed by the Charity Commission of England and Wales; second, to gather desk-based data on the Philippine’s nonprofit sector; third, to review the existing framework for nonprofit sector regulation in the Philippines; and fourth, to attempt to identify key risks to the sector.
In terms of the first objective, with funding from the International Monetary Fund and the United Kingdom’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Project was able to pilot test the NPO Assessment Tool. Details of the history and methodology of the Tool are discussed in detail in the report.
One of the advantages of the Tool is that it deals with many of the recommendations and requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Special Recommendation VIII (SR VIII) on Terrorist Financing, which requires member countries to review and improve their existing systems of NPO regulation.
If you wish to use the Tool in your country, please contact the International Programme by emailing
A major influence on NGO (non governmental organisation) regulation in recent years has been the international concern that NGOs can be misused for terrorist financing purposes. Despite this attention, there is broad international understanding of the valuable work NGOs do globally. It is even argued that a vibrant NGO sector has an important role to play in any comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy, as it can help to address the conditions that give rise to terrorism.
This summer the Charity Commission of England and Wales published its first Counter Terrorism Strategy. This represents its formal statement of its approach to delivering its regulatory response to the threat of terrorist involvement or abuse in the NGO sector. The Strategy sets out a four strand approach, comprising of: awareness, oversight, co-operation and intervention.
The Strategy recognizes that internationally there have only been a small number of NGO terrorist financing cases to date, and reinforces the message that it is important that the risk of NGOs being misused for terrorist purposes is considered in the context of fully understanding the value of the sector for counter-terrorism and development objectives.
The Council of Europe has published a background paper on its current initiative to develop a code of good practice on civil participation. The principal objective of this code is to contribute to an enabling environment for NGOs in Council of Europe Member States and Belarus by defining at European level, a set of general principles and guidelines for civil participation in decision-making processes. Regional consultations on the code are currently taking place.
The Humanitarian Forum (HF) is a consortium of humanitarian organisations established to help create a conducive, unbiased and safe environment for the implementation of technically sound and principled humanitarian action. Members of its international Steering Committee came together at the end of October to discuss the current and future activities of the organisation. The meeting, which was held in Sana’a, was the first to be organised and hosted by the local humanitarian forum. With each HF country director presenting the local strategy, participants were able to discuss developments and brainstorm solutions to remaining organisational challenges. The discussion regarding the Humanitarian Forum’s Modules also continued. ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) representatives facilitated a session on Humanitarian Principles, contributing to the further development of the Forum’s Humanitarian Standards Module. The Steering Committee will meet again in April 2009.
MANGO is an organisation that helps to strengthen the financial management of NGOs by providing financial training for NGO staff, finance staff to work with NGOs, and consultancy services. It also publishes a wealth of resources, which are available for free to help NGO staff and trustees get to grips with financial management in practice. A number of these tools have been translated into different languages: the organisation’s health check, which helps you see how healthy your NGOs financial management is, is now available in French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Sinhala, Tamil and Bahasa Indonesia; and its training manual is now available in French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic.
We are currently recruiting for a new Head of Programme and hope to be able to announce the new post in the New Year. At the moment we are under the leadership of Phil Cooper who has been appointed interim Head of the Programme.
Our website is a gateway to information on interesting developments in NGO regulation around the world. We are continually looking to improve this site, and welcome suggestions for useful resources and links we can add. If you have any feedback on our website please email.
We’re interested to receive more information about developments in NGO regulation in different countries across the globe. If you have any resources, news or related information you would like to share please do get on touch.
Thank you for reading the International Programme’s newsletter. We very much appreciate your suggestions. If you would like to contribute to the newsletter, please email.
This newsletter and the associated website www.NGOregnet.org are produced by the Charity Commission's International Programme. The Programme is supporting the development of a healthy, accountable and independent NGO sector worldwide by facilitating the exchange of good ideas for NGO regulation nationally, regionally and internationally.