Charity Commission – international programme

Howard Lake | 17 June 2008 | Blogs

The Charity Commission’s international programme was established to support “the development of a healthy NGO sector worldwide”.
Since 2002, the Charity Commission has provided technical assistance to over 20 countries and has run regional workshops “to share best practice”. The Commission works in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and South East Asia, and it has developed “to be a portal for national and international best practice”. The NGO website “is designed to help people, organisations and governments find out more about the regulation of NGOs”, and “acts as a gateway to information on developments around the world”. This international work is largely funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Global Opportunities Fund.
Somewhat surprisingly, the section on European regulation is under construction. It doesn’t even contain information on the registers in Scotland and the Isle of Man, nor on the imminent registers for Ireland and for Northern Ireland, or the proposed (limited) register for Jersey. Even though Guidestar Europe is working with partners in the Netherlands, Germany and Hungary, there is no mention of these jurisdictions, either.
There is nothing in the section on “Americas”, and I was also surprised to note that there is no information on the register for New Zealand, which has been up and running for a year or tow.
However, there is information on the website about the development of registers in a number of jurisdictions in Sub Saharan Africa, Asia and Oceania, and the Middle East and North Africa. If you are interested in any of these regions, check out the list of countries, download the documents, and be sure to check out the section on “Making information publicly available”. It’s reading documents like these that make me especially appreciative of the Charity Commission, Guidestar, and OSCR.
I think that it makes sense for the Charity Commission NGO website to include details of registers missing from the website. The website even asks people to contact them to let them know about developments not featured. Anyway, I have contacted them about this, and will let you know if they update the site. I wonder how closely they work with Guidestar? Hmm …