UPDATE: Adoption of New Standards at Special Meeting of Members - Thursday, December 13, 2018, 1:15pm - Mandarian Oriental Hotel, Washington, D.C.

InterAction will be holding a Special Meeting of Members to formally approve three outcomes measurement standards to be included in InterAction’s Standards under Section 3.0 Organizational Integrity and Transparency.  In addition, a pharmaceutical gifts-in-kind valuation methodology decision tree and pricing catalogue, along with standards modifications affecting Section 7.0 Program will also be formally approved.  The recommended standards can be found below and were emailed to all CEOs with the ability to vote by proxy if unable to attend this meeting.  One-quarter of the membership in person or by proxy will be considered a quorum and only full InterAction members are eligible to vote.

A dynamic and creative nongovernmental, nonprofit sector depends upon the public’s confidence in the efficacy of its programs, and in the integrity of the individuals and organizations comprising the sector. Program quality and individual and organizational integrity are ultimately the responsibility of each individual organization, its board, staff and constituents. However, umbrella groups that represent communities of interest within the nonprofit sector also have a significant leadership role to play in building the public trust by clearly defining high standards of governance, management and programs to guide its members, and by developing appropriate mechanisms to ensure accountability.

PVO Standards History

Beginning in 1989, in response to membership demand, InterAction began developing its Private Voluntary Organization (PVO) Standards. Developed over a three-year period through member working group participation, these standards are a set of ethical guidelines covering private voluntary organization (PVO) governance, financial reporting, fundraising, public relations, management practice, human resources and program services. Over the years, the standards have been reviewed, updated and added to by InterAction working groups and they continue to reflect best practices in the sector.

The PVO Standards are managed and enforced by the Membership and Standards Committee of the InterAction Board of Directors. Noncompliance with the standards can result in suspension of a member or denial of a membership application.

Assistance and Compliance

As a voluntary association, InterAction’s PVO Standards derive their weight and credibility from the collective commitment of the membership. The standards are not to be understood as supplanting the need for each individual member organization to manage its affairs with a concern for matters of program quality and individual and organizational integrity; rather, they are intended to complement the commitment of every member organization.

“The PVO Standards FAQ, as well as the PVO Standards Guidance and 2018 Self-Certification Plus Appendixes and Resource Materials documents will answer most questions that arise about the standards. InterAction staff remain available to provide technical support for any member organization seeking to improve its accountability and compliance with the standards.”

Since 2006, members have been required to participate every two years in a compliance process called Self-Certification Plus (SCP), which provides a mechanism for organizational examination of its own accountability structures and a thorough review and certification of compliance with InterAction’s PVO Standards. To date InterAction members have gone through six mandatory self-certification processes, each one building on the previous year’s processes while strengthening and increasing their capacity to meet compliance.

This rigorous self -certification process evaluates a member's compliance with standards in areas of governance and administration; program standards and organizational commitment standards.  It provides an opportunity for dialogue between an organization’s senior staff and its board and also affords members an opportunity to review their organizational practices, update and revise existing policies and draft new ones where they are missing, all with the end of improving their organizational effectiveness and accountability.

Global Standard for CSO Accountability

InterAction is one of nine project partners participating in shaping the The Global Standard for CSO Accountability, an initiative designed to capture a globally shared, dynamic understanding of accountability.  As a reference standard, the Global Standard for CSO Accountability seeks to strengthen the effectiveness of civil society by aligning existing and new accountability standards and practices, rather than replacing them. The Global Standard transforms accountability into an ongoing dialogue that helps drive learning and change, develop trust with stakeholders and enhance the legitimacy and credibility of CSOs.

The Standard consists of 12 Commitments and associated Key Actions organized into three clusters: what CSOs aim to achieve (the commitments of justice and equality, women’s rights and gender equality, healthy planet, and lasting positive change), their approach to change  (people-driven work, strong partnerships, advocating for fundamental change, and open organizations) and their internal practices (empowered and effective staff and volunteers, well-handled resources, responsive decision making, and responsible leadership). These commitments are aspirational in nature and call on CSOs to enhance their performance, both individually and collectively, to establish closer links with stakeholders, strengthen their impact and enhance their contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals. As InterAction begins to revise and update its own standards to incorporate impact measurement and timely sector work into its own Standards, we will look to align with the Global Standards.

Read about the Project Partners: