Governance

Structure & Supervision

Solidaridad is an international network organization with offices across the globe. The interconnected network emphasizes decentralized responsibility and implementation by regional teams. Local knowledge, experience, and vision are our guiding principles. Connections between the teams are 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 regions, enabling them to take control of supervisory tasks and to manage the programmes themselves.

The regional Solidaridad teams cooperate with their own partners on the planning, implementation, communication, and evaluation of programmes, 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 programmes are developed and implemented by the regional centres, each locally registered and with its own 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 programmes 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 of local ownership and governance, Solidaridad set up legal entities in Panama City, Nairobi, Hong Kong, San Francisco Bay Area, and Utrecht for its regional expertise centres. From these legal entities, funds are received for, and allocated to, the country programmes in the region. 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 other things, that we have a board with a two-tier structure, emphasize 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. Further more, 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) has the highest level of international oversight. The ISB monitors policies, programme quality, financial control, and the performance of the Executive Board of Directors (EBoD). Direct supervision of the regional offices is organized per continent. Each Continental Supervisory Board (CSB) is represented on the ISB by its chairman, thus enabling the ISB to focus on the interests 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 Chair since June 2015. Appointed per December 2014, representing the CSB Africa.
Jan Karel Mak Member. Appointed per 10 December 2018, representing the CSB Europe.
Shahamin Sahadat Zaman Member. Appointed per 19 December 2016, representing the CSB Asia.
Roxana Maria Irma Barrantes Caceres Member. Appointed per 11 July 2018, representing the CSB Latin America.
Kannan Pashupathy Member. Appointed per 5 June 2014, representing the CSB North America.

This year, the ISB met for the first time on 1 February. Postponed from December 2018, it addressed Solidaridad's innovation approach and the appointment of Jeroen Douglas as the new executive director.

The first meeting relating to 2019 took place on 29 and 30 June. It was also the first meeting where Jeroen Douglas participated in his new role. The Network Secretariat's financial statements for 2018 were approved and the annual reports of the regional offices discussed. There was also a review of Solidaridad’s 50th anniversary event in May.

The second meeting of 2019 was adjourned until 1 February 2020 and was held in Côte d’Ivoire. Topics included the annual plans and budgets, Governance, multi-annual strategic planning, and HR and Integrity procedures.

 

The members of the International Supervisory Board together with Executive Director Jeroen Douglas and Executive Assistant Maru Maldonado during their meeting in Côte d'Ivoire. From left to right: Shahamin Sahadat Zamin, Kannan Pashupatty, Maru Maldonado, Jan Karel Mak, Mariam Dao Gabala, Jeroen Douglas, and Roxana Barrantes.

Continental Supervisory Boards

Regional operations are supervised by Continental Supervisory Boards (CSBs), which are legally registered in the same place as the continental legal entities. Solidaridad's five CSBs provide direct supervision of the regional centres and country offices. The CSBs consist of leaders in business, civil society organizations, or academic institutions from each continent: North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Each of these continental organizations is connected to 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 from December 2014
Audrey Gadzepko (Ghana) Member from 3 November 2014
Kamau Kuria (Kenya) Member from 19 December 2012
Graham von Maltitz (South Africa) Member from 19 December 2012
CSB Asia
Shahamin Zaman (Bangladesh) Chair / ISB representative from 19 January 2017
Mumunusamy Subbramaniam (Mr. Subbu) (India) Member from 17 August 2010
Mahesh Haribhai Mehta (India) Member from 16 June 2016
Sato Kan Hiroshi (Japan) Member from January 2017
Liang Xiaohui (China) Member from 3 November 2018
CSB Latin America
Roxana Barrantes (Peru) Chair / ISB representative from 14 November 2012
Roberto Ugaz (Peru) Member from 17 May 2018
Marina Stadthagen (Nicaragua) Member from 13 December 2011
Bernhard Roehs (Guatemala) Member from 28 March 2019
CSB North America
Kannan Pashupathy (USA) Chair / ISB representative from June 2014
Arlene Mitchell (USA) Member till April 2019
Jeroen Douglas (Netherlands) Member from June 2014
Chris Wolz (USA) Member from November 2019
CSB Europe
Jan Karel Mak (NL) Member from 2016 / Chair from September 2018
Martin Staehle (Germany) Member from 1 March 2019
Carlos Alva Nieto (NL) member from 1 January 2016
Katrien Termeer (NL) Member from 1 January 2017
Claire Kouwenhoven-Gentil (NL) Member from 9 June 2017
Harriet Lamb (UK) Member from 1 January 2019
Marian Kappeyne van de Coppello (NL) Member from 1 August 2019

The Continental Supervisory Boards' work in their respective regions sets the parameters for growth, determines the future direction, and ensures 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. 

Regional Management

The Executive Board of Directors (EBoD) is the main policy-making body, ensuring coherence between international commodity strategies and regional programmes. The EBoD is also responsible for the overall implementation of the international policy and the commodity strategy. It consists of the managing directors of each regional expertise centre. Jeroen Douglas is the executive director of Solidaridad Network.

In 2019, the members of the Solidaridad Executive Board of Directors were: Shatadru Chattopadhayay (Asia), Mandla Nkomo (Southern Africa), Michaelyn Baur (Central America), Isaac Gyamfi (West Africa), Rebecca Kaduru (North America), Heske Verburg (Europe), Gonzalo la Cruz (South America), Rachel Wanyoike (East and Central Africa) and Jeroen Douglas (ED and chair of the EBoD).

From left to right: Rebecca Kaduru, Heske Verburg, Jeroen Douglas, Gonzalo la Cruz, Isaac Gyamfi, Mandla Nkomo, Shatadru Chattopadhayay, Rachel Wanyoike, and Michaelyn Bauer

The executive director is supported 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 eight 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 of the Continental Supervisory Boards of Solidaridad receive remuneration of any kind.

Remuneration of Solidaridad's directors entails a base salary, equal to the total guaranteed annual income (monthly salary, holiday pay and fixed 13th month). Base salary levels adhere to the Guidelines for the Remuneration of Directors of Philanthropic Organisations (Adviesregeling Beloning Directeuren Goede Doelen), set by the Dutch Association of Fundraising Organisations (VFI). The guidelines were developed by Goede Doelen Nederland and set maximum levels of annual income (gross annual salary, holiday pay, any end-of-year bonus, and other income components). The guidelines take into account factors such as the size and complexity of the organization.

Remuneration of Solidaridad directors complies with the Dutch Standards for Remuneration Act (Wet Normering Topinkomens 2015) which determines maximum annual incomes. Solidaridad also complies with the salary scales as applied by the Dutch government for civil servants, the so-called BBRA scales. The executive director's salary fits within BBRA scale 17. The managing directors' salaries range from BBRA scale 15 to 16.

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

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