How Management Standards are helping to improve our work to alleviate suffering and restore hope for our brothers and sisters in need.
Caritas Internationalis is a network of 162 national member organisations whose mission is to “serve, accompany and defend the poor”.
Through collective engagement, in solidarity, mutual support and fraternal cooperation, we strive to provide rapid response to humanitarian crisis, we seek to build resilient communities and to allow their members to take their destiny into their own hands. We act as a prophetic voice to address the root causes of poverty and to promote justice, guided by the Gospel and the teachings of the Catholic Church.
It’s a duty and a responsibility for Caritas organisations and agents to offer the best service which the poorest deserve and the best that we can provide. In the Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict XVI said, “Individuals who care for those in need must first be professionally competent: they should be properly trained in what to do and how to do it, and committed to continuing care.”
Pope Benedict also called for a ‘formation of the heart’: “We are dealing with human beings, and human beings always need something more than technically proper care. They need humanity.”
That’s the primarily objective pursued by the Caritas Internationalis Management Standards, a common instrument for all our Member Organisations. They’re based on existing good practices and accepted global principles within the humanitarian and international development community, and safeguard our professional competence and efficacy in serving our neighbours.
In 2015 they were adopted on experimental basis and since January 1, 2019 they are the official and permanent tool for organisational assessment, aimed at providing each member organisation and the entire Confederation with a common framework for institutional development and capacity strengthening.
In 2020, the Representative Council adopted a revised version of the Management Standards with the introduction of a Standard on Safeguarding.
The Management Standard on Safeguarding is the official Caritas Internationalis framework of reference for safeguarding and covers all key safeguarding policies, systems, procedures and practices that member organisations need to have in place in order to be compliant with safeguarding requirements. It is a cross-cutting Standard and is embedded in the Management Standards tool for organisational assessment and institutional development and capacity strengthening.
The revised Standards are in force since January 1, 2021.
In his message to Caritas of October 2015 Pope Francis wrote about Management Standards:” These instruments must 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 identifies 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.”