Welcome to our autumn newsletter. It has been a busy time for the International Programme as we resume our projects with colleagues in the Gulf following the summer break and festival of Ramadhan. Our work in South East Asia is also gathering pace with projects under way in Vietnam and Indonesia, and we are continuing to roll out our training programme for NGO regulation in Pakistan.
This month also sees the departure of Didi Aalyli, the Manager of our projects in the Gulf and Middle East. Didi has made a fantastic contribution to the work of the Programme during the five years she has worked with us and to promoting effective regulation across the Gulf and Middle East. I know she will be missed not only by us here at the Charity Commission, but also by her many friends and colleagues in the countries where she has worked. Iím sure you will join me in wishing her every success
in her future career.
This loss inevitably means we will be shortly recruiting for a new Regional Manager to lead our projects in the Gulf and Middle East. The deadline for applications for the position is the 25 November and you can view the job description here
NGO regulation has come under the spotlight in recent years, particularly in the Arab World where governments have been concerned to review outdated NGO laws, and to respond to fears about the potential misuse of
charitable and NGO resources, which have escalated since 2001. Some have raised concerns that this has led to an imbalance of measures to protect the work of NGOs at the expense of measures designed to promote and support it, and at times, has created a charged atmosphere between governments and NGOs.
In response to this the Arab League will be hosting a regional event in partnership with the Charity Commissionís International Programme and the Humanitarian Forum early next spring to bring together NGO representatives
and government officials from across the region to discuss how balanced and effective regulation of NGOs can be achieved. The aim of the conference is to facilitate a constructive dialogue and shared understanding between government and NGO actors on this important issue. For more information about this event, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
At the invitation of the State Bank of Vietnam, the Charity Commission jointly-organised and presented a workshop with the World Bank on NGO oversight in September. The workshop was held in response to the recently published Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) report on Vietnamís compliance with Financial Action Task Force (FATF recommendations. The report encouraged Vietnam to undertake more outreach and to complete a domestic review of the NGO sector in order to improve its compliance rating with FATF Special Recommendation VIII. Officials from the State Bank, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the Ministry of Home Affairs, Oxfam, the regulator for international NGOs and the Ministry of Finance attended. The Charity Commissionís participation was funded via a World Bank Trust Fund by the Canadian government.
Earlier this year, the European Commission Directorate-General of Justice, Freedom and Security (DG JFS) published results from of a study on recent public and self-regulatory initiatives improving transparency and accountability of non-profit organisations in the European Union. DG JFS commissioned the European Centre for Not for Profit Law (ECNL) to conduct the study, which maps and assesses the recent and most important public and self-regulatory initiatives enhancing the transparency and accountability of non-profit organisations in the 27 EU member states.
It is the first time that research of this scale has been conducted on this topic, and the Study identified over 140 initiatives in the field of public regulation and self-regulation.
During the festival of Ramadhan, the Charity Commission ran an advertising campaign on YouTube and satellite television channels to encourage mosques and Muslim organisations that may be charitable to register as
charities. The campaign reminded viewers of the many benefits of registering with the Charity Commission from boosting their reputation by gaining a publicly recognisable registration number to benefiting from generous tax breaks, and tailored advice and guidance from the Charity Commission. To view the advert, which is available in Urdu, Bengali, and English, please click here
The ICNL has recently introduced the NGO Law Monitor on its website. This project, which is in its initial pilot phase, seeks to provide up-to-date information on legal issues affecting not-for-profit, non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) around the world. The first phase presents reports on 10 countries and 3 regional multilateral organisations. In the coming months, reports relating to an additional 21 countries and 7 regional
organisations will be made available.
This newsletter is also available to download here