AGREED CODE OF CONDUCT 
FOR 
PAKISTANI NGOs AND CBOs

Preamble


 Mandated to serve in the public interest, citizen organizations (NGOs) have been active in a broad assortment of fields across the country, operating for the welfare and uplift of the marginalised groups and the attainment of civil rights. 


 Spurred on by voluntary initiatives, these groups function regardless of personal or parochial interests and seek to organize themselves on the basis of a code of conduct, regulating their relationships with each other, with the government, international development agencies as well as their own staff (volunteers and paid professionals). 


 It is within such a mechanism of self-regulation that NGOs intend to pursue their objectives.


 a)    With the aim of establishing a just, responsible and emancipated society, we seek to strengthen an enabling environment for civil 

         society institutions, public welfare and citizen rights groups.


 b)     It is our concerted view that achieving a responsible, just and dynamic society calls for a state system that is responsible, democratic 

         and sensitive to citizens’ welfare and development. To make such a system a reality, we earnestly wish to engage in a meaningful and

         positive dialogue with the government at all levels. We are eager to pave the way for a genuine partnership between NGOs and state

         institutions based on mutual trust and respect and geared towards the common goal of eradicating poverty and deprivations.    


 c)     In line with our belief that voluntary citizen groups have vital roles to play in the development process, we would like to see greater 

         collaboration, information and resource sharing and unity amongst these organizations. We seek to promote transparency and 

         accountability within the NGO sector, encouraging mutual respect and understanding to put an end to narrow differences and 

         unhealthy competition. 


 d)      Our relationship with donor organizations should be built around our own priorities and objectives. It should be based on the 

           principles of equality, mutual respect, transparency and accountability.



 Introduction


 Notwithstanding structural differences and divergence in activities, NGOs operating in Pakistan espouse common values. Quest for poverty alleviation, equity and a positive change in public life is a unifying strand that runs through their actions. We believe that an organization has to have an effective governing structure if it is to produce good results. It is all too important for NGOs to set up governing structures that are essentially based on accountability and foster democratic values. To us, transparency is the essence of our work. 


Additionally, it is indispensable for NGOs to frame a policy of financial administration. Financial resources should be organized in a way that facilitates justifiable utilization of funds. Apart from establishing accountability at all levels, we need a system whereby we can organize our resources in an effective and sustainable manner. 

 Guided by the above mission, Pakistan NGOs Forum believes in the following values:

 Community Level


 Setting priorities in accordance with citizens’ development and welfare needs.

 Promoting participatory democracy

 Ensuring citizens’ primacy in the development process at all levels.

 Promoting respect for citizen rights, particularly the rights of women and children as enshrined in the country’s constitution.

 Making all possible efforts for effective information dissemination and service delivery and meaningful development interventions.

 Fostering greater collaboration and networking among organizations working towards common goals.

 Promoting the spirit of initiative

 Adopting methods that allow for complete participation of relevant people in all programmes undertaken

 Reviewing community-based development interventions and honing them in line with the needs of the participating communities.

 Rethinking organizational mission and objectives on the basis of citizens’ needs and the demands thrown up by the changing times


 Organizational Level:


 Ensuring accountability and transparency

 Having clearly defined mission and objectives and living by them

 Implementing the governing system vis-à-vis holding of meetings and discharging of responsibilities.

 Framing policies that prevent direct or indirect conflict of interest between the staff and the governing body members.

 Keeping the governing body, office bearers and staff from taking decisions that serve or might be perceived to serve their personal 

     interests.

 Having the governing body structure in written.

 Providing for smooth lines of communication between the governing body and the staff

 Disallowing board members to seek employment and facilities in the organization; making mandatory for them to resign from the board

     should they be interested in the aforementioned things.

 Making it obligatory on the governing structure to pass annual budgets, appointing an independent auditor and maintaining regular audit

     reports.

 Ensuring that the governing structure has a good grasp of organizational matters, that it puts together policies for the organization at all 

     levels and accepts its governance responsibilities.

 Making sure that the organization members are acquainted with the programmes being undertaken as well as accounting and governing

      methods.

 Critically reviewing organizational culture and operational methods to promote a greater sense of responsibility, innovativeness and 

      respect for diversity.

 Putting in black and white all policies related to the organizational staff and volunteers and bring them in conformity with relevant national

      legislation, Labor Act etc to protect the rights of all those associated with the organization.

 Taking on appropriate procedures to ensure organizational discipline and effective settlement of differences that may arise among those

      working for the organization.

 Providing for transparent hiring and firing rules and putting them in writing

 Formulating policies for professional enhancement of volunteers and staff.

 Devising equitable and impartial methods to assess staff capabilities experience education and sense of responsibility.

 Adopting policies that facilitate higher levels of communication and sharing of ideas among those working for the organization at different levels.


 Organizational and Financial Resources


 Adopting accredited accounting and auditing procedures including vouchers and verification system.

 Organizing financial matters on proper lines

 Appointing trained people to look after financial matters

 Getting amounts exceeding 100,000 audited annually by a chartered accountant

 Having an authorized officer and the executive body verify amounts less than 100,000 and 10,000 respectively.

 Adopting a precise policy guideline for the employee loans and benefits; putting the policy in written

 Formulating policies concerning external remuneration and benefits to prevent dual receipt of salaries etc.

 Adopting cost-effective ways of purchasing goods and hiring services and preventing such decisions to be influenced by personal 

     interest.

 Taking firm and open action against the organization members found guilty of theft or misappropriation.

 Seeking to harness diverse sources of funding rather than relying on a single source.

 Cutting organizational costs down to the minimum possible level

 Utilizing funds for the purposes they have been obtained for.

 Drafting accounts in such a way that they are accessible and intelligible to the members of the organization as well as communities.

 Framing such principles at the organizational level that allow for appropriate utilization of organizational assets.

 Ensuring proper supervision of staff functioning and timing.

 Reviewing programme costs from time to time and allocating resources accordingly.