Romanian NGO Code of Conduct

General context

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General context

At the moment we are aware of more than 30 countries were the process of self regulation regarding the functioning of the nonprofit, nongovernmental sector is taking place. Even if these efforts started in some countries much earlier, it looks like this tendency is becoming more obvious recently.

At practical level, according to various criteria, such as implementing agency, the evaluation criteria, the issuing of a certificate and its validity period, the monitoring process, the norms used and the complexity of the process, several self regulation models can be identified in countries that embarked in such a self regulatory process of the non profit sector.

The present model used in Romania is based on comments and feedback received during many events organized by the Romanian non profit sector: the National NGO Forum held in Cluj 2006, the first National Conference on Self Regulation of the NGO Sector, held in Bucharest on 7th of March 2007 as well as specialized meetings dedicated to the nonprofit sector.

The need for self regulation of the Romanian non profit sector is related to the need:

•           to ensure transparency and responsibility in the activity of the NGOs

•           to increase the quality of services offered by the NGOs to their clients and beneficiaries

•           to adopt efficient mechanism for decision making

•           to improve the quality of communication between NGOs and various social actors

•           to encourage the exchange of best practices between organizations as well as implementing them

Self regulation of the non profit sector it’s not a new issue for Romania. In the last ten years, with different occasions and in various formats, this topic has been a subject of debate for the sector.

Developing a Code of Conduct for the NGO sector was the objective of the “Strengthening the Legitimacy of the NGO Sector” Project initiated by Opportunity Associates Romania in partnership with CENTRAS and Civil Society Development Foundation.

The need for a Code of Conduct become obvious during the public debate held with the occasion of the first international conference dedicated to the development of the NGO sector (Johns Hopkins Fellows Conference, Bucharest, July 2006).

This novelty of this initiative was the systematic approach as far as duration and extensiveness of the consultation process regarding the content and the implementation methodology of the Code of Conduct.

The large number of NGOs and social actors consulted represented a valuable contribution in the self regulation process of the Romanian non profit sector.

The Romanian model

The proposed model for Romania is implemented through a coalition of organizations committed to the development of the non profit sector. The Coalition intends to promote a model of good practice assumed by its members as well as technical assistance for organizations interested to become members of the Coalitions but which do not fulfill the Code of Conduct’s criteria yet.

Funding

Initial support was offered by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the “Romania Civil Society Strengthening Program “implemented by World Learning for International Development in 2006.

At present the program is funded with the generous support of

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