14 Dec Consultative meeting on the possibilities of introducing Quality Assurance Systems in the civil sector
Niš, 12th December 2016. – Consultative meeting on the possibilities of introducing Quality Assurance Systems in the civil sector (QAS) was held today.
The Quality Assurance Systems in the civil sector is designed as a self-regulatory mechanism for CSO work and as a means of promoting development, accountability and transparency of CSO. The aim of this meeting was to gather suggestions that would be QAS model elements as a common response to the challenges the sector faces.
Bojana Selaković, ad Executive Director of Civic Initiatives, presented the concept of Quality Assurance System (QAS) in the civil sector, its elements and its benefits to CSO. She pointed out that the key objectives of QAS, viewed as a global concept of raising the organizational capacities of CSO, is the reduction of the impact of various external factors on the success and development of CSO and to meet the needs of different interested parties. Application of QAS in the CSO sector should contribute to its better credibility and public image, increasing the confidence of various stakeholders (beneficiaries, donors and decision-makers) and the motivation of donors, but also to facilitate coping with the facing weaknesses and challenges. Although initially designed for the business sector, various models of QAS are also applied in the public and non-profit sector. The intention of TACSO RC Civic Initiatives and organizations that have recognized and endorsed the initiative is that, through a broad consultative process and participation of a large number of CSO from all over Serbia, to create QAS model that realistically reflect the needs and aspirations of civil society.
Regarding the topic of standards for fundraising as an element of Quality Assurance Systems in the civil sector, Mladen Jovanović (President of the Management Board of the National Coalition for Decentralization) spoke to gathered representatives of CSO from Niš and the surrounding cities. His key message was related to the need for CSO to their plans and activities more adapted to the needs of users and citizens rather than donors. Standards for transparency in fundraising has developed Trag Foundation, with the support of partners from SIGN Network.
The process of introducing QAS to the civil society sector in Serbia would rely on the practice of neighboring countries that have had similar experiences in development of the sector, that have been introduced to QAS and of countries in which this process is in progress (Slovenia, Montenegro, Croatia), as well as existing tools in the sector (Code of Ethics CSO) and other similar processes in Serbia. Given the fact that at present there is no system that could determine whether these organizations operate in accordance with the principles set out in the Code of Ethics, there is a need for further promotion of the Code of Ethics and QAS, as a system of standards that can ensure implementation of the agreed principles OCD in their daily work.