The NGO community has long been pushing the corporate sector to adopt codes of conduct to uphold best practice on everything from ethics to environmental impact. Nor are they afraid of publicizing corporate failures to adhere to said codes. However, the legitimacy of such demands from civil society has been undermined somewhat by the lack of accountability and clear governance of many NGO themselves. As Jeremy Hobbs, executive director of Oxfam International notes:
It is increasingly the case that NGOs get hostile media reporting, asking “Who are these NGOs accountable to?” We can no longer avoid facing up to this.
To meet this challenge, 11 leading NGOs, including Oxfam, Greenpeace and Amnesty International, recently signed a voluntary “accountability charter” promising transparency to match that demanded of business and government. Read the Accountability Charter in full.