Amsterdam, April 2021

Declaration of accountability

Simavi operates and reports in accordance with standard guidelines and rules specified by recognised authorities, covering accounting standards, fundraising and governance. Standards issued by the Dutch Accounting Standards Board (RJ650), the Central Bureau for Fundraising (CBF), the Dutch Fundraising Institutions Association (Goede Doelen Nederland), ISO 9001:2015/PARTOS 9001:2018, and Code Wijffels, are of particular importance. Simavi operates in accordance with these rules.

Supervisory board, managing director and management

Simavi has a two-tier board. The managing director is responsible for achieving its mission, strategy and execution, whereas the supervisory board is entrusted with the supervision of the organisation and its effectiveness.

In the governance model, a clear distinction is made between the functions of management, performance and supervision. This is laid down in the articles of association, the administrative regulations and the regulations for the supervisory board and it’s committees. These prescribe the composition, functioning, appointment and evaluation of the various levels of the organisation and are available upon request. The articles of association and the regulations are assessed regularly.

The managing director manages the organisation and is ultimately responsible for mission and strategy, decisions made, the functioning of the organisation and the results achieved. The management team is responsible for all operational activities and consists of the managing director and the leads of the operational circles.

The supervisory board supervises the functioning of the managing director and the foundation. Apart from this supervisory task, the board also serves as a sound board and advisor on strategic topics. The management team develops the policies of the organisation together with the managing director; the latter decides on the adoption of the policies and the effective implementation of thereof.

Organisational structure

Simavi is an agile, flat organisation with an open and dynamic working culture, organised in eight operational circles: Partnership Development, Programme Implementation, Private Fundraising, Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning, Marketing & Communication, HRM, Finance & Operations and the Compass circle. Each circle has its specific purpose and goals and bears the responsibility for achieving these with vast autonomy, without losing sight of the interconnectivity.

Administration and supervision on partnerships of Simavi

Simavi is an active member of various alliances. Simavi acts as the leading partner in some of these consortia. The governance structure of the alliances is laid down in appropriate agreements. These agreements define the various roles and responsibilities of each of the partners, both towards programme implementation and the donor relations. 

Simavi is the direct administrator of two other foundations: the Zien Foundation and the Netherlands Foundation for International Child Health. This means that the management is also the administrator of these foundations. The activities of both foundations are fully integrated in the activities of Simavi and are performed by the Simavi organisation. It is ensured that earmarked funds of these foundations are spent on the goals of these foundations.

Appointment, functioning and remuneration of the supervisory board

The supervisory board consists of five to seven members. Board members are appointed by co-optation, based on profiles which are set by the board and managing director. These contain the competences and relevant expertise and networks required, which are essential for the supervisory board. Vacancies are published online in networks that are relevant to the profile. Supervisory board members are appointed for a maximum of two four-year terms. (Details can be found in part II of the Annual report.) Members of the board do not receive any form of compensation or remuneration. Actual expenses incurred can be reimbursed.

The supervisory board convenes at least four times a year. The meetings are held according to an agenda and minutes are kept of the meetings.

The supervisory board appoints the managing director and assesses his/her functioning at least once a year. The board decides on the remuneration of the managing director. The supervisory board also evaluates its own functioning annually, using both internal and external information, such as the reflection with the managing director.

Appointment and functioning of the management

The management consists of the circle leads, appointed by the managing director, in accordance with Simavi recruitment and selection policy. The performance of the circle leads is assessed annually by the managing director, using the Simavi performance appraisal system. All circle leads and the managing director are paid employees of Simavi.

The quality management system, internal and external audits and reviews

The proper functioning of the organisation, its internal controls, financial accounting, in- and external reporting are annually audited by certified external auditors (currently: PWC). The finance department has separate functions for accounting and programme/ organisational control.

The quality of the activities of Simavi is safeguarded by an ISO-certified quality management system (ISO 9001:2015/PARTOS 9001:2018). The quality system is anchored in internal manuals, in which the processes, procedures and policies are described. These are updated when required; adjustments are proposed by the relevant circle lead and approved by the managing director.

Twice a year, internal audits take place on the processes according to a three year rotation scheme. The primary processes are audited biannually. Secondary processes are assessed once every three years. During the audits improvement points are identified. The relevant circle lead is responsible for implementing such improvements. This process is monitored by the management team and managing director.

The quality management systems and the internal organisation of Simavi are also regularly assessed by external parties.

Since 1998, Simavi has the CBF recognition (Centraal Bureau Fondsenwerving). This recognition is based on the assessment the quality management system of the organisation, the implementation of Code of Good Governance and the adherence to the norms stipulated by the CBF. The CBF reviews its assessment annually. The recognition is extended for consecutive periods of three years.

Annually, the quality management system of Simavi is audited by an independent accreditation firm(currently: EIK Certificering). Simavi complies with the ISO-norm 9001:2015. The certification is extended for consecutive periods of three years. Simavi also obtained the PARTOS 9001:2018certification, which focuses on organisations that operate in the development sector.

Since 2008, Simavi is recognised as an ANBI-organisation by the Dutch tax-authorities. This entails that the organisation is qualified as a Fundraising organisation. Donations to such organisations are tax deductible.

Policy cycle of Simavi

The statutory objectives and mission of Simavi are anchored in the articles of association of the organisation. Based on these, Simavi determines a multi-annual strategic plan with a multi-annual budget estimate in which strategic choices are formulated and motivated, including the results aimed for. This strategic plan is reviewed annually and updated when deemed necessary.

Based on the strategic plan, external developments and new insights from the current year, the organisation drafts an annual plan and budget estimate, with a detailed activity plan. The activities (on operational level) are connected directly to the objectives and targets of the strategic plan. Where possible measurable indicators on the output and outcome level are set to allow adequate monitoring of the performance. The management team drafts these strategic and annual plans, in collaboration with the members of staff. The managing director and the supervisory board approve the plans for execution.

Monitoring of the organisation and management review

Each quarter, the management assesses the progress and the prognosis of the annual plan and the budget estimate based on the quarterly results. This is shared with the supervisory board and the members of staff. The Finance & Operations department provides an overview of the financial status of the budget by budget holder each month. The members of staff monitor the progress of the projects that they manage or perform themselves.

Halfway through the year, the circle leads assesses the progress on the annual plan in a mid-term review, to take measures where necessary to ensure achievement of the targeted results. In addition, points of improvement are formulated and adaptations are made to the plans where needed.

Every quarter, the managing director reports to the supervisory board on the progress of the organisation. The reporting contains the highlights for the quarter, key points from the risk monitoring and financial information on the realisation and the prognosis in comparison to the budget estimate.

At year end, the management prepares an annual report and annual accounts. These are submitted to the supervisory board for approval. The supervisory board also receives the audit reports and the management review of the external auditor.

Human Resource Management

The Simavi people are our most valuable resource. It are the people who make the difference and who ensure the success and effectiveness of the organisation. Simavi has an employee performance and evaluation system intended to ensure that each individual staff member can optimally contribute to and grow within the organisation.

Simavi has a formalised HR-structure. The salaries of the staff are based on an official salary structure. The functions are grouped into categories based on the job characteristics. The categories are linked to a salary grid. The categorisation and salary grid are based on a standardised calculation method performed by an independent agency (Human Capital Group).

HR-records and the salary administration are kept up to date by a separate and independent function within the organisation.

Simavi has an employee representation body (ERB). It consists of three to five elected employees who discuss issues that are important to Simavi and its employees. They advise the managing director on the employees’ behalf. The ERB tasks are set out in its rules and regulations.

Risk management

Simavi is committed to the management of risk as an integral part of its operations, focusing on strategies to minimise the risk of not achieving the mission and objectives of Simavi. For this Simavi has adopted a Risk Management Policy. The objectives of this policy are to: outline the Simavi approach to risk management; improve decision-making, accountability and outcomes through the effective use of risk management; integrate risk management into daily operations of Simavi; and consider risk appetite in strategic and operational decision making. For more details, please refer to our Risk Management Policy, available on request.

ICT systems and security

Simavi is making use of standardised IT systems and software, for both programme management and financial accounting/reporting. Our data and systems are hosted in certified datacentres. Proper safety measures are in place to ensure unhampered operations and privacy compliance and to prevent loss or leakage of data. Where applicable the data on our programmes are reported in the open data system of IATI.

External accountability

Simavi pursues an open dialogue with all stakeholders, such as volunteers, professional employees, private, corporate and institutional donors, subsidy providers, executing partner organisations, collaborating organisations, networks, embassies, colleague-organisations and politicians. They are, where relevant, informed about operational matters, programme results, management and policy, fundraising and financial matters. Our relations receive a newsletter at least twice a year. The content of this newsletter is adapted to the target audience. In addition Simavi maintains an informative and transparent website (Dutch and English) and we communicate about our work regularly.

The annual report and the annual accounts are published in English and can be viewed or downloaded on the Simavi website. Donors of specific programmes and projects, and subsidy providers receive a report of the programmes they support at least once a year, depending on the agreements that have been made with them.

Simavi has a code of conduct and a complaints procedure and a Whistle-blower policy.

Esther Oeganda

Everybody has the human right to safe water and sanitation.

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