A two-day workshop on Governance and Transparency was held by EFNA in Dublin from March 22 – 23rd. Noémi Ambrus, Senior Trainer with Civil Support, Budapest hosted the workshop.
We began by examining the board’s roles and responsibilities. These can be summarised as to:
- Establish Mission
- Set Direction
- Ensure Resources
- Provide oversight
- Extend outreach
Noémi described board members as needing to wear three hats – Governance, Implementation and Volunteer.
Individual board member responsibilities include:
- Understanding the organisation’s mission, aims and objectives, as well as their policies and requirements.
- Being an active rather than passive board member, and undertaking special responsibilities when asked.
The importance of fiduciary responsibility was stressed. Prudence should be exercised in the control and transfer of funds and a system of internal controls established.
The board should maintain independence and objectivity, serving the organization as whole rather than individual or special group interests.
Any possible conflicts of interest should be discussed with the board chair in a timely fashion.
Membership – why is it important to be a member of EFNA?
The group discussed why being a member of EFNA is beneficial, and came up with the following:
- Forum for dialogue
- Knowhow can be shared
- Better perspective on other diseases
- Fund raising opportunities
- Training and capacity building
In the group’s second session each member assessed the transparency and accountability of their organisation’s website. The assessment was made on the following criteria:
- Organisational goals – impact focus (Mission vision / Strategy / Operational plans – Are these things easy to find, easy to understand, up to date?)
- Transparency on fundraising (List of donors / contributions / framework for cooperation with industry funders?)
- Annual report (Easy to find / previous years available / Audit report / Treasurer’s report / financial statements)
- Membership (List of members / membership criteria / application process / benefits of membership / updates?)
- Governance (Board members & senior staff listed? / Statutes and policies / Whistleblower policy)
This workshop was held alongside an EGM to discuss updates to EFNA’s constitution. A new constitution based on these discussions is currently with the notary.