Civil Society

The pandemic threatens societies and citizens everywhere. Governments, health care providers and citizens have to face this threat together to overcome it. G&I International supports these efforts wherever it is present. G&II strengthens the ability of organizations, managers and professionals to make the right decisions and to prevent wrongdoing in these extremely challenging circumstances. 

Justice in times of corona means saving lives, mourning the dead and finding a way out that works.

G&II offers to facilitate moral deliberations around difficult corona decisions for government organisations, local governments, health organizations and civil society organizations. It will do the same for financial institutions with regard to decisions relating to the economic crisis.

G&II offers to help organizations to assess specific violation risks that emerge because of the corona- and the economic crisis and to help them mitigate those risks.

G&II is working to create a moral archive of the corona-care, as a basis for real-time moral deliberation and future debriefings of professionals, for public reconciliation and for institutional learning.

Special assistance during the Corona crisis

The civil society sector is already facing many new and complex moral decisions as a result of the corona crisis. From thinking about how to deal with internal matters and protect their own staff, to ensuring continuation of normal programme delivery without putting others at risk, to critical decisions in emergency response, within a very short period of time civil society organisations are faced with an entirely new set of circumstances within which to make these decisions. Not only do such decisions have the potential to impact communities on an international scale, the time pressure under which they are taken increases the potential for moral mistakes, as well as moral stress and moral injury.

G&I International offers its considerable experience in facilitating moral deliberations to support civil society organisations in taking difficult corona-related decisions in the civil society sector. We also offer our assistance to estimate the specific risks of integrity violations that emerge because of the corona crisis, and help to mitigate those.

 

Civil society movements and organisations work towards positive change and justice at local, national, regional and global levels. They deliver services such as education, health or humanitarian aid.

They organise and support empowerment and emancipation initiatives: for women, LGBTI, youth, the elderly, migrants. They advocate to hold governments and businesses to account. They work for just laws, human rights, gender-, diversity and migrant justice, living wage, social and environmental responsibility etc.

Civil Society actors exist in all shapes and sizes, from small voluntary local initiatives to global movements. From trade unions to environmental, anti-poverty, human rights and peace movements. There are International non-governmental organisations and UN agencies.

G&I sees it as an obligation, in keeping with our mission, to support civil society actors in their work in the service of justice.

Integrity within civil society

Civil society organisations are value driven. They face complex moral decisions with big consequences for employees, volunteers, program-participants and communities. Decisions are often taken with urgency. The pressure can lead to mission overdrive and to moral injury.  Time for moral deliberations and learning is too often not taken.

And like any organisation, civil society is not immune to violations. Just as in business and in government, there are risks of professional mistakes, interpersonal violations (sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying) corruption and vested interests, and fraud or theft. The work of humanitarian and development agencies, often in vulnerable and dangerous contexts, exposes them to a multitude of integrity risks.

Recent history has shown that the sector needs assistance. The media attention on the handling of several cases in the wake of #metoo means that the entire sector is now facing scrutiny. The failure to handle such crises makes the sector vulnerable to attacks by those who wish to see it curtailed.

G&I has experience of supporting its clients through crises around integrity for more than 25 years.

After the crisis has passed, G&I will work with the client organisation to build and strengthen its integrity system. That system will, in future, enhance moral judgement within the organisation and lower the occurrence of violations, preventing most crises.

G&I has developed a consistent, coherent and systematic approach to managing integrity in organisations. That approach has been adopted by the whole of the Dutch Civil society sector and can be replicated in civil society organisations around the globe.

G&I works with organisations of all sizes, from small teams of 20 people to a staff of 130,000. Our advice is always made to measure.

Often G&I is invited into an organisation at the point of crisis. The first step is to help clients to analyse and manage the crisis, to react and communicate carefully and effectively.

Once the immediate crisis is resolved, G&I helps clients to develop their integrity system. Usually that starts with a review of the existing integrity system. That is often followed by recommendations for an upgrade or redesign of the system. G&I then helps the organisation to implement those changes.

Integrity systems of organisations have two pillars: a moral learning process and a compliance practice. The moral learning process delivers better decision making and the creation of internal morespudence. The compliance practice lowers the number of violations through prevention and handles the violations which still occur in an appropriate manner.

G&I installs moral learning processes, and develops a compliance practice that both prevents integrity violations from taking place as far as possible, and allows them to be carefully handled when they nevertheless inevitably do.

G&I establishes and supports learning communities within civil society organisations, in which integrity is professionalised and cross-organisational learning is paramount.

G&I works with civil society organisations on a broad and international scale. Both in the Netherlands, and in the international development, environmental and humanitarian sector.

In the Netherlands G&I has partnered with Partos, Goede Doelen Nederland and the Central Bureau on Fundraising on the Joint Action Plan on Integrity. This was drafted in 2018, which resulted in the creation of new accreditation standards on integrity for Civil Society members. G&I continues to support members of these branch organisations individually in developing their integrity systems in numerous ways.

G&I produced the Integrity System Guide, in partnership with Partos and Goede Doelen Nederland. This presents a unique approach to dealing with a systemic approach to integrity in the civil society sector. It is available in English and is increasingly being used internationally.

Title: Integrity Officer Education Programme/Opleidingsprogramma voor integriteitsfunctionarissen

Start date: January 2021

The individuals who function as integrity officers require specific knowledge and expertise in order to be able to fulfil their role. To support those integrity officers, G&I offers a modular, practice-oriented education programme that will allow Integrity Officers to develop the necessary knowledge and skills to meet their responsibilities, whilst learing on-the-job. Read more (Dutch version)

For more information please contact: Emily Marr (e.marr@gi-international.com) or Mira Krozer (m.krozer@gi-international.com)

Registration: Click here to register

Professionals