Overview of CARE's Accountability Reporting

For a number of years CARE has had a range of good practices in place demonstrating accountability with our stakeholders, but we have not been as strong at reporting on these practices all together and making them a systematic part of who we are and how we work. As part of our commitments laid out in our organisational Accountability Framework, CARE is strengthening the way we capture, analyse, openly share, discuss and act on key information that relates to what we do, how we perform, how we behave and how we work with others. We have put in place regular reporting mechanisms for internal review and improvement, and also report in to a number of external mechanisms and processes, outlined below.

Internal Reporting Mechanisms

The CI-wide Accountability Framework was developed and approved in early FY17. To begin reporting, it was agreed that existing FY16 data and examples of good practice would be pulled together and analysed against the framework, for internal learning and improvement purposes. The report was discussed by the National Directors Committee (NDC) and the CI Supervisory Board (SB) and shared with staff.

Based on learning from the first report, the feedback received and timing of when various data sets are available, the NDC agreed on the below-staggered reporting approach for management attention moving forward:
  1. CARE’s Global Reach and Impact: To be reviewed and discussed annually in June, for the NDC and CI Council. Includes overall progress on change goals, gaps and achievements on key elements of the program strategy, as well as disaggregated data by CI Members and regions.
  2. CARE’s Financial and Fundraising Performance: To be discussed annually by the Supervisory Board in September and by the National Directors Committee in November. To support better leadership discussions on CARE’s global financial picture and how we are positioned for growth, this focuses on previous FY financial health indicators, alignment of investment with program areas, fundraising performance and progress against the Global Growth Framework, as well as member’s future 2-3 year planning. This dataset also includes the INGO Peer Benchmarking which tracks CARE’s fundraising performance against our peers.
  3. CARE Member and Affiliate Organisational Performance: To be discussed annually by the NDC in November, with exchanges on a common set of performance standards, feedback drawn from the CI Feedback Surveys, and analysis of overall trends and recommendations of areas to attend to. A set of CI Members Standards are under development in line with the CI Performance categories currently reported against by COs (CO Performance Standards assessment) and similarly by Affiliates (Affiliate Performance Monitoring and Learning).

CARE FY16 Accountability Report


External Transparency & Reporting Mechanisms

CARE is a signatory to a number of industry-wide and voluntary standards, with a range of reporting requirements. Our continued effort to institutionalize accountability affirms CARE’s professional credibility and legitimacy alongside other like-minded organisations working in humanitarian and development sectors. Some of the key platforms and initiatives are outlined below.
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1. Accountable Now

a) Background

At the global level, CARE International has reported to the INGO Accountability Charter since 2013, which has recently been rebranded as Accountable Now. Along with eight civil society accountability networks from around the world, this body has developed a set of global standards on CSO Accountability. The first report against these 12 Accountability Commitments is due in 2018. It will be assessed by an independent review panel and will provide a comparative analysis against peer organisations for our learning and improvement.
Accountable Now Areas of Focus:
1. Justice and equality
2. Women’s rights and gender equality
3. Healthy planet
4. Lasting positive change

Approach to change:
5. People-driven work
6. Strong partnerships
7. Advocating for fundamental change
8. Open organisations

Accountable Now Internal Commitments:
9. Empowered and effective staff and volunteers
10. Well-handled resources
11. Responsive decision-making
12. Responsible leadership

Click here to access the past accountability reports and learning documents from our peers.

Please see the document below to access the Outcome Summary of the last Accountable Now workshop, held in Amsterdam in September 2017, focusing on "Stakeholder Data Informing Better Decision":

Accountable Now Commitments

New Reporting and Assessment Framework

New Reporting Questions


b) Accountable Now Report 2018

In May 2018, CARE submitted its report to Accountable Now, pulling together CI-wide data and learning from FY17. As a member of Accountable Now, CARE must submit a report every two years showing the key dimensions of our accountability, including links to our work that highlight and demonstrate the content within the report. This year, we are among the first organisations to report against the 12 new Global Accountability Commitments of the Accountable Now platform. Our submittal is the result of a collective exercise and a significant achievement in improving the ways in which we frame and communicate CARE’s accountability.

CARE International Accountable Now Report


We recently received the Panel’s feedback on our Report, please find below the main highlights, comments and areas for improvement identified by the Panel. The documents below provide the detailed analysis on each category of the New Reporting Framework.

Strengths/Major accomplishments:
1) Reporting CI-wide data for the first time is a big achievement, as is having a global accountability framework in place, which is certainly a good practice for other organisations to consider.
2) CARE’s interactive online map displaying the organisation’s reach and impact has been hugely appreciated. The Panel considered the map as a particularly user-friendly and engaging way of presenting information on both impact and reach; it is recognised as a good practice.
3) CARE’s efforts in becoming a more transparent organisation have been acknowledged. The Panel especially appreciated the comprehensive and publicly accessible online Accountability Resource Wiki guide which give access to our various accountability policies. It is also considered as a good practice.
4) The Scale by Design Accelerator initiative to support sustainable projects, the proactive and comprehensive approach to learning captured on key program focus areas, and the advocacy planning and implementation approach and guidance have also been underlined as strong areas.
5) The Panel also welcomes the many links provided to policies and further information. These will provide very useful guidance to other NGOs who are striving to address these issues.

Main Areas for Improvement:
1) Diversity and inclusion beyond gender and women’s rights
  • The Panel review recommends more specific references to inclusion beyond gender and women’s rights, and protection of human rights beyond sexual exploitation and abuse and would like to see an update of the progress made against the CI Gender Policy since the 2015 report.
2) Efforts to reduce negative environmental impacts
  • In the future, CARE would need to be able to share more information on how to improve its environmental performance in terms of organisation wide-efforts or global environment policy for instance, beyond the implementation of the Travel Smart Policy.
3) Stakeholders involvement, identifying and reaching out
  • CARE needs to better identify its relevant stakeholders, which has been already notified as a weakness in the previous reports. Also, there are no details on how CARE engages with its main stakeholders or if there are any particular challenges in engaging with certain communities or groups.
  • On section ‘stakeholder feedback’, the Panel would like to see more examples of what these different mechanisms mean in practice; as well as more details on the different existing channels used by participants, communities, and partners to give feedback (apart from the Feedback Survey).
  • What has also been considered as missing information was more detailed evidence on how CARE’s main stakeholders are actually involved in CARE’s work, in designing, programming and implementing projects. Panel members are keen on having more precise examples of how stakeholders feedback did impact CARE’s decision-making processes, programmes or policies.
  • In the Report, we did share the example of the Constituency Voice methodology, but we did not share what was actually the feedback received on CARE International as an organisation, neither how we did respond them. The Panel asks for more transparency on the results.
  • CARE needs also to define better how stakeholders are supporting advocacy work.
4) Information on pay/salaries, key donors, recruitment, staff development, and board oversight of adherence to policies.
  • A major gap concerns the information about payscale, salaries, and benefits in the report. The panel would like to see what is CARE’s plan and timeline to make the improvements mentioned in the report. The Panel is suggesting different approaches to share executive salaries/top management positions salaries and insists that it is a requirement for CARE to publish these data in the next report.
  • There are major gaps in financial information. CI should also be able to disclose information on its five largest donors (no analysis at the confederation-level has been found while writing the report)
  • The Panel also wants to see more disaggregated data on staff composition, gender, nationals from global south countries and number of disable people.
  • On the section ‘staff development and safe working environment’, more transparency on the recruitment process and staff policies are required.
  • On transparency, some gaps were also noted by the Panel; such as documents which are not systematically translated in the CARE’s website and a missing link to the CARE Line (which has been rectified already).
  • The Panel would suggest that CARE include action points in the “Top Learning” reports to demonstrate how they will address the lessons learned in CARE’s work and in collaboration with partners.

Panel Feedback


Improvement Analysis


Self-Assessment Feedback

2. The Core Humanitarian Standard

Core Humanitarian Standard describes the essential elements of principled, accountable and high-quality humanitarian action. Humanitarian organisations use it as a voluntary code with which to align their internal commitments, data collection and reporting. It can also be used as a basis for verification of performance. CARE UK, CARE Canada and CARE India have already begun the reporting process to CHS. For the first time, CARE International Secretariat will also report this year to CHS, providing essential evidence on the quality of our humanitarian response at the confederation level.
The CHS self-assessment tool is available in English, French and Spanish and includes the following components: 1) CHS self-assessment tool - this is the main guidance document; 2) Community-level questions; 3) Assessment questions for Organisations working with partners.
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CARE Policy Survey for CHS Assessment

3. Grand Bargain

CARE has signed the Charter for Change, and this along with the endorsement of the Grand Bargain commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit has had a catalytic role within CARE. Making high-level, public commitments compels us as an agency to deliver, to ‘walk the talk’. We also must report against these commitments, which requires intentional action and progress, as well as tracking new metric and being more transparent in a number of areas (e.g. how much funding we allocate to local actors, capacity strengthening efforts and funding, visibility afforded to local actors in our communications). This is still work in progress as the organisation is adapting its monitoring systems to enable us to deliver this data timely and openly.

https://www.agendaforhumanity.org/initiatives/3861

CARE's Charter for Change Annual Report

Overview of the Charter for Change and the Gran Bargain Localisation Work

Internal Change Map – how to make the organization more fit for partnering – endorsed by NDs in May

4. International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI)

IATI.pngIATI is a voluntary initiative seeking to improve the transparency of aid, development, and humanitarian resources in order to increase their effective utilisation. The initiative brings together donor and recipient countries and civil society organisations to increase the transparency and openness of aid. The IATI Standard is a framework for publishing data on development cooperation activities, intended to be used by all organisations in development, including government donors, private sector organisations, and national and international NGOs. More and more discussions are emerging in the humanitarian and development sector on the necessity to be more transparent about our activities and financial transactions. CARE UK and CARE Netherlands are already reporting to IATI standard and CARE International is currently assessing whether the overall CI confederation should report.