Governance

Structure & Supervision

Solidaridad is an international network organization with offices across the globe. The interconnected network places a focus on decentralized responsibility and implementation by regional teams. Local knowledge, experience and vision are guiding principles. The network's connectedness is fostered by a global vision, strategy, programming, communication and internal quality-control systems. Each part of the network contributes to the whole. The premise of the structure is that it promotes capacity building: strengthening Solidaridad teams in the region, enabling them to take control of supervisory tasks and to manage programming themselves.

The regional Solidaridad teams cooperate with their own partners on the planning, implementation, communication and evaluation of programs, and on reporting their results.

The Solidaridad Network consists of eight regional expertise centres located in Asia, South America, Southern Africa, East and Central Africa, West Africa, Central America, North America and Europe - each with their own specific expertise and focus. Solidaridad's programs are developed and implemented by regional centres, each locally registered and with a local legal structure. The regional centres:

  • are connected to the supervisory bodies of Solidaridad Network and the Executive Board, thereby contributing to the network strategy

  • manage interaction between the regional centre and the country offices

  • are responsible for the development, implementation, reporting and evaluation of the programs in their respective regions, taking the network's quality standards and systems into account

  • are responsible for regional fundraising, thereby contributing to the network budget

  • employ local staff

  • are responsible for appropriate financial management and supervision, including the auditing of financial statements by an independent auditor.

In line with its vision on local ownership and governance, Solidaridad created legal entities in Panama City, Nairobi, Hong Kong, San Francisco and Utrecht for its regional expertise centres. From these legal entities, funds are received for, and allocated to, the country programs in the regions. The legal entities also act as contract partners for development contracts per continent, serving as a financial and administrative organization, including the handling of internal payments and consolidating financial statements.

Supervision & Governance

Solidaridad’s governance structure is based on the continental European governance model. This means, amongst others, a board with a two-tier structure, emphasis on dialogue with stakeholders and focus on achieving consensus. This governance model follows the subsidiarity principle. It aims to ensure that decisions are made as closely as possible to the deepest levels in the organization and that constant checks are made to verify that actions across Solidaridad Network are justified in light of the possibilities available at continental, national or regional office level.

International Supervisory Board

Within Solidaridad, the International Supervisory Board (ISB) is at the highest level of international oversight. The ISB monitors policies, the quality of programmes, financial control and the performance of the Executive Board of Directors (EBoD). Direct supervision of the regional offices is organized by continent. Each Continental Supervisory Board (CSB) is represented in the ISB by its chairman, thus enabling the ISB to focus on the interest of Solidaridad Network as a whole, instead of focusing on individual regional offices. The members of the ISB are:

Name Function in the board
Mariam Dao Gabala Appointed per 22 June 2015 as chairperson of the ISB, representing the CSB Africa.
Gerrit Meester Appointed per 13 December 2016, representing the CSB Europe.
Shahamin Sahadat Zaman Appointed per 19 December 2016, representing the CSB Asia.
Roxana Maria Irma Barrantes Caceres Appointed per 11 July 2018, representing the CSB Latin America.
Kannan Pashupathy Appointed per 5 June 2014, representing the CSB North America.

The International Supervisory Board (ISB) met once in 2018, in June. The second meeting scheduled for December 2018 eventually took place on 1 February 2019. Main agenda points for the June meeting were the approval of the Network Secretariat’s financial statements for 2017 and the discussion of regional office annual reports. Solidaridad’s innovation agenda was also discussed, as well as its strategic approach towards digital data.

Continental Supervisory Boards

The regional operations are supervised by Continental Supervisory Boards (CSBs), which are legally registered in the same places as the continental legal entities. Solidaridad's five CSBs provide direct supervision to the regional centres and country offices. The CSBs consist of leaders in business, civil society organizations or academic institutions from each continent: North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Europe. Each of these continental organizations is connected with the Solidaridad Network Foundation in Utrecht, the Netherlands, through the delegation of supervisory board members to the International Supervisory Board, thus creating a global network.

The members of the five Continental Supervisory Boards are:

CSB / Representative name and country Position
CSB Africa
Mariam Dao Gabala (Ivory Coast) Chair / ISB representative
Audrey Gadzepko (Ghana) Member
Kamau Kuria (Kenya) Member
Graham von Maltitz (South Africa) Member
CSB Asia
Shahamin Zaman (Bangladesh) Chair / ISB representative
Mumunusamy Subbramaniam (Mr. Subbu) (India) Member
Mahesh Haribhai Mehta (India) Member from 16 June 2016
CSB Latin America
Roxana Barrantes (Peru) Chair / ISB representative
Roberto Ugaz Member
Marina Stadthagen (Nicaragua) Member
CSB North America
Kannan Pashupathy (USA) Chair / ISB representative
Arlene Mitchell (USA) Member
Jeroen Douglas (Argentina) Member
CSB Europe
Jan Karel Mak (NL) Member from 2016 / Chair from December 2018
Gerrit Meester (NL) Chair till Dec 2018
Carlos Alva Nieto (NL) member from 2016
Katrien Termeer (NL) Member from 2017
Claire Kouwenhoven-Gentil (NL) Member from 2017
Harriet Lamb (NL) Member from 2018

The Continental and Supervisory Board’s work in their respective regions set the parameters for growth, determine the future direction, and ensure a strong national and continental presence. The boards strive for an optimal composition of five members, respecting a balanced composition in terms of gender, regional representation and areas of expertise and knowledge. In accordance with Solidaridad’s articles the members of the Supervisory Boards receive no remuneration of any kind.  

Regional Management

The Executive Board of Directors (EBoD) is the main policy-making body, ensuring coherence between international commodity strategies and regional programs. The EBoD is also responsible for the overall implementation of the international policy and commodity strategy. It consists of the managing directors from each regional expertise centre. In 2018, the chair of the EBoD was former  Executive Director of Solidaridad Network, Nico Roozen.

The members of the Solidaridad Executive Board of Directors in 2018 were: Shatadru Chattopadhayay (Asia), Mandla Nkomo (Southern Africa), Michaelyn Baur (Central America), Isaac Gyamfi (West Africa), Sebastian Teunissen (North America), Heske Verburg (Europe), Gonzalo la Cruz (South America) and Karugu Macharia, replaced by Rachel Wanyoike per 1 December 2018 (East and Central Africa).

From left to right: Jeroen Douglas, Nico Roozen, Sebastian Teunissen, Isaac Gyamfi, Heske Verburg, Michaelyn Bauer, Gonzalo la Cruz, Rachel Wanyoike, Shatadru Chattopadhayay, Mandla Nkomo.

The Executive Director is surrounded by staff who work at the Solidaridad Network Secretariat, based in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The Network Secretariat fulfils several functions within the global organization. It facilitates global policy development and acts as a service centre for the nine regional offices. The Network Secretariat provides support related to Solidaridad's quality assurance systems, as well as maintaining standards for financial management, accountability and control, planning, monitoring and evaluation, ICT infrastructure and human resource management. It is also responsible for global communication, which includes managing the international website, and developing communication guidelines, tools and standards for global branding.

Remuneration

In accordance with Solidaridad’s statutes, neither the members of the International Supervisory Board nor the Continental Supervisory Boards of Solidaridad receive remuneration of any kind.

Remuneration of Solidaridad Directors entails a base salary, which is bounded by the VFI’s Guidelines for the Remuneration of Directors in Philanthropic Organisations (e.g. Adviesregeling Beloning Directeuren Goede Doelen). This scheme has been developed by Goede Doelen Nederland and sets maximum standards for annual income (e.g. gross annual salary, holiday pay, any end-of-year bonus and other income components). This scheme takes into account, among other things, the size and complexity of the organization. Furthermore, the Wet Normering Topinkomens (2015) determines the absolute maximum for annual income, amongst others. Solidaridad complies with both standards, which provide simplicity and consistency.

The base salary equals the total guaranteed annual income (e.g. monthly salary, including holiday pay and fixed 13th month). Remuneration of Solidaridad Directors complies with the salary scales as applied by the government for civil servants, the so-called BBRA scales. The Executive Director salary fits within BBRA scale 17. The Managing Directors salaries range from BBRA scale 15-16.

Remuneration of employees is embedded regionally, based on policies and regulations that can vary per Regional Expertise Centre.

Remuneration of all employees that are based in the Netherlands (the Solidaridad Network Foundation and Solidaridad Europe) is based on the BBRA scales.