Together, Caritas organisations work to strengthen themselves, each other and the confederation through setting and living up to the Caritas Internationalis Management Standards.
They’re based on existing good practice and accepted global principles within the humanitarian and international development community, and safeguard our professional competence and efficacy in serving our neighbours.
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The worldwide Caritas Internationalis endeavour to implement its management standards recently received strong support from Pope Francis, who wrote this message to all Caritas organisations:
“As I said at your last General Assembly, I thank the Lord for Caritas and its valuable service in the world. I also congratulate the governance bodies and the General Secretariat of Caritas Internationalis for developing and approving the Management Standards and Code of Conduct for the member organisations.
“These instruments must now be applied to strengthen the transparency and credibility of Caritas. Let us remember that we are accountable to God, to the Church, to the donors and in particular, to the poor with whom the Lord indentifies Himself. By serving them with humility, dedication, self-denial and professionalism, we promote the Church’s mission of forming one human family, caring for creation.”
Pope Francis, 19 October 2015
Management standards in practise
An African Caritas member organisation found itself in a challenging situation when its government, in collaboration with local business engaged in corporate social responsibility, introduced new systems for funding social services, especially in the poorest parts of the country. It was a good new opportunity, but for organisations who wanted to apply for funding it was essential to be a credible partner in terms of their capacity to deliver good services meeting certain quality standards.
In responding to this challenge, Caritas could build on improvements they had recently made in their management and reporting, thanks to an analysis of their strengths and weaknesses, after they had conducted a self-assessment of their organisational ‘well-being’ using the Caritas Internationalis Management Standards as point of reference.
On the basis of that analysis, the Caritas member in Africa had set up an administrative and financial management committee, composed of an independent accountant, the treasurer, the accountant, the Secretary General and a member of the board of directors, to put in place procedures and appropriate management principles. The committee worked as a strong promoter of implementing rigorous management processes based on the Management Standards.
With the organisation’s enhanced capabilities, further underlined by the annual audit of their financial statements, their proposals met a warm welcome by funding partners. Caritas is now one of the privileged partners of the Ministry for Social Integration and is solicited for partnerships by companies because of their credible capacity to use the national network and its capillarity for serving the most vulnerable members of society. Caritas was able to triple its annual budget and outreach thanks to its increased funding base.