CSO Ethics: (I) History of CAP involvement

Data publicării: mai 27, 2019

CSO Ethics: (I) History of CAP involvement

This is a series of articles aimed at helping the actors contributing to the development of the Republic of Moldova, in particular the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), to respect certain ethical principles. In these texts, the Platform for Active Citizenship and Human Rights Partnership (CAP) has sought to use accessible language, with concrete examples and arguments of people working in organizations that apply ethical principles in their current work. The CAP team and its constituents thank the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) for their inspiration and support for promoting ethical principles!

Over the course of several years, CAP has worked to contribute to the development of civil society in Moldova. At the NGO Forum in 2008 it was decided the approval of the NGO Code of Ethics, and CAP – which has performed the role of Secretariat of the National NGO Council of Moldova – has included the ethical principles and the involvement of key CSOs in its advocacy activities for efficient public policies as part of its strategic priorities, thus contributing to the consolidation of multiple organizations’ networks.

In 2015, CAP started working with CPDE, Antoniţa Fonari, CAP Executive Director, being elected as Non-EU Representative in CPDE. Thus, CAP has become involved in promoting several of the CPDE values, including the Istanbul Principles. These principles were included as CAP considered them to be the most accessible and clear set of ethical principles. Beginning with 2015, CAP started to present the Istanbul Principles to other NGOs and always reminded CSO network colleagues – including in the context of the Black Sea NGO Forum – of their importance.

In February 2017, CAP, together with the National NGOs Council from Moldova, organized the NGO Code of Ethics workshop, and during the year 2018, the Istanbul Principles were discussed and explained in several areas of the Republic of Moldova in a series of regional workshops and a national workshop.

On this occasion, we recall that the Istanbul Principles for CSO Development Effectiveness are as follows:

  1. Respect and promote human rights and social justice by the development and implementation of strategies, activities and good practices that promote human rights, including the right to development, decent work, social justice and equity for everyone.
  2. Embody gender equality and equity while promoting women and girls’ rights by promoting and implementing development projects which include the gender equality component.
  3. Focus on people’s empowerment, democratic ownership and participation by supporting an inclusive participation of all people and actors in the development, planning of development, implementation and review of policies and developmental initiatives that affect their lives, especially among the poor and marginalized.
  4. Promote Environmental Sustainability by developing and implementing priorities and approaches that promote environmental sustainability for future generations and respond to environmental crises.
  5. Practice transparency and accountability by demonstrating a sustained organizational commitment to transparency, multiple accountability, and integrity in their internal operations.
  6. Pursue equitable partnerships and solidarity by assuming transparent relationships with CSOs and other development actors, freely and as equals, based on shared development goals and values, mutual respect, trust, organizational autonomy, long-term accompaniment, solidarity and global citizenship.
  7. Create and share knowledge and commit to mutual learning by encouraging exchanges of experience between civil society organizations and other developing actors, recommendations based on development practices and outcomes, including the knowledge and wisdom of local and indigenous communities, and by strengthening innovation and vision for the future.
  8. Commit to realizing positive sustainable change by pursuing the sustainability of the impact of development actions, with an emphasis on results and creating conditions that ensure sustainable change, especially for those in poverty and marginalized populations, thus ensuring a sustainable heritage for the present and future generations.

In 2019, CAP started collecting recommendations from actors who follow codes / ethical principles, opinions and encouraging as many Moldovan CSOs to respect the Istanbul Principles or another code of ethics. In this respect, the CAP team has communicated with several colleagues who are part of the largest CSO networks in the country, including organizations that provide consultancy to CSOs: the Center for Organizational Consultancy and Training (CICO), the National NGO Council of Moldova, the National Youth Council of Moldova (CNTM), the Platform for Gender Equality, the National Participation Council, CONCORDIA, CONTACT, TDV, Institute for European Policies and Reforms, Legal Resources Centre from Moldova, Expert-Group, National Environmental Center etc.

In the following articles, CAP will analyze the responses received in order to understand, from different perspectives, the importance of ethical principles in the work of CSOs in Moldova. Then CAP will address the most important topics related to organizational ethics proposed by the respondents and will talk about concrete and practical measures to implement the Istanbul Principles.