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UICC World Cancer Congress 2006
Bridging the Gap: Transforming Knowledge into Action
July 8-12, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
-- Panelist will compare and contrast governance practices in light of organizational, cultural, economic and political influences.
-- Evolving practices from each region will be reviewed with characteristics of effectiveness noted.
-- Evolving trends, both positive and negative. in NGO governance will be highlighted and suggestions made regarding how best organizations might respond
-- Participants will be asked to share their governance experiences in light of the issues being raised and engage in the conversations regarding enhancing governance practice.
Background/Issues: The performance of Boards of Directors in their role of establishing organizational vision and goals, directing resources and overseeing organizational probity has long been recognized as a key determinant of organizational health. Recent, well publicized examples of governance failures among high profile US companies and NGOs, as well as changing attitudes of governments around the world toward NGOs, are creating heightened awareness of the performance of the governance functions of NGOs. Legislation by governments across the globe, are demanding stronger accountability and clarity of mission, both areas of clear responsibility by Boards of Directors.
Responding to the demand for improved performance by Boards, benchmark standards have been developed and new systems of governance processes implemented. These new systems and process sometimes create conflict with the traditional governance philosophies and processes of a country's individual culture. Successful adoption of enhanced governance practices will be therefore be dependent on emerging trends of laws and standards and operational practices which need to be in alignment with community values and culture.
This Colloquium on NGO governance will be conducted from three regional perspectives: India (Southeast Asia), Switzerland (European Union), USA (North America). Specific examples of NGO governance from each country will be highlighted. Regional issues and concerns resulting from implications of laws and culture will be discussed. Participants will be encouraged to engage in the dialogue and present issues and concerns from their perspective.
Among issues to be discussed:
-- How do governments impact NGO governance? What are the emerging trends such as the restraints on outside funding being considered in Russia; or, the impending regulations on NGOs being considered in the US Congress?
-- How involved in the management of an organization should a board become? What are different practices in different regions? How do the laws affect the role of the board of directors?
-- How do you define a "healthy" relationship between a Board and the CEO?
-- How do boards effectively set standards and monitor the performance?
-- How do Boards decide the best use of resources?
-- How do boards decide organizational outcomes and objectives? What is the Boards appropriate role in planning?
Examples to be shared: Presenters will share governance practices from their regions. Samples of structures, processes and standards will be provided. The following is a sample of the material to be discussed which can be adapted to most cultures:
Five Principles of Good Governance from the Center for African Family Studies 1. Accountability to funding agencies, stakeholders, legal authority, employees and beneficiaries
2. Effectiveness and efficiency in the use of resources and in getting results
3. Integrity and fairness in all dealings hence governance that is honest faithful and diligent
4. Responsibility, hence leadership that is capable, responsible, representative and conscious of its obligations
5. Transparency and open leadership with accurate and timely disclosure of information relating to activities of an organization