“Responsible Work and Ethical Financing of CSOs” was the topic of the one-day workshop which took place in a hybrid format on 14 July 2022 in Holiday Inn hotel in Skopje and on-line on ZOOM platform. Seventeen CSO representatives discussed the CSO strengthening in respecting and practicing the objectives of CSO Code. The workshop where there were discussions on transparency and accountability of CSOs and their significance, the organizational policies, practices and daily operations, but also the challenges that exist in practicing of good governance and ethical financing of the Code was facilitated by Nikica Kusinikova, the Executive Director of Konekt.

In the first part, the participants discussed the understanding of the CSOs when it comes to significance and importance of transparency and accountability and their dedication to this value that is manifested internally in their policies and in their practices and daily work. Then, they spoke about the challenges that they face while coordinating their activities and how they will improve their work, respecting the principles of good governance and ethical financing. “The organization practices good governance when there is an established internal system that provides the organization serves the public interest. The Code is a set of principles. How they will be implemented in a big organization or in a newly established organization will be different, but it is always important that the principle is respected”, is the conclusion of the first practical example dedicated to good governance. The people present agreed that in the sector there is very little talk about preventing conflict of interest. “One of the best wats to prevent conflict of interest is that it is completely avoided”, said the participants discussing what is conflict of interest, legal framework, its most frequent forms, as well as ways to avoid conflict of interest.

In the second part, Marija Vishnova from the Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN), gave a short overview of the Global Standard (GS) for accountability of CSOs and the efforts to help the organizations adopt, implement and strengthen the practices for accountability, additionally stressing the BCSDN and Global Standards (GS) efforts to support the Civil Society Code and CSOs in our country. Some of the issues during the discussion referred to the mechanism for checking the approximation of CSOs with the Code, its sustainability and the possibility for its revision in the future. The participants were also introduced to some of the GS basic materials and resources, the twelve principles of GS and the possibility to join the Group for Practicing Dynamic Accountability, Global Learning and space for sharing knowledge on Dynamic Accountability.

The event ended with a discussion and recommendations for future institutionalization of the Code and their efforts to strengthen the internal capacities, at the same time promoting and providing functional democracy and operational environment for the civil society in the country.

So far, 70 CSOs signed, and all interested organizations that wanted to join the Code could do that by filling in the following statement (deklaratë për pranimin e Kodit). The statements are deposited at the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation by e-mail at:asv@mcms.mk. By joining, the organizations become part of the platform for development of the Code and improving the transparency and accountability of the civil sector.

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