GIFE Transparency Panel

"Ser pedra é fácil, o difícil é ser vidraça".

Chinese proverb

About the Panel

What is the GIFE Transparency Panel

Relationships that are more open and transparent enhance the capacity of organizations to strengthen their legitimacy and public confidence. Private social investment must be able to make use of mechanisms that allow for more direct commitment to transparency, especially keeping in mind its mission to contribute to the public good. The GIFE Transparency Panel is an instrument aiming at changing the transparency settings between foundations and private institutes in Brazil.

The Panel is an online tool that organizes and provides relevant institutional information on foundations and institutes associated with GIFE on the basis of a set of indicators. This tool allows anyone to check if an organization publishes information on each indicator on its website, and access it through a link that directs the user to the specific data in the member organization’s website.

The participation of members in the Panel is voluntary, which means each participating organization authorizes the disclosure of their data. By joining, members make the commitment to improving their transparency practices, regardless of the stage they are in.

The online platform also gathers literature produced by GIFE and other leading organizations on the subject, as well as analytical reports on the collected data, links to international practices, and similar guides.

GIFE Panel Transparency is an ongoing project. The expectation is that the project is developed in subsequent phases and that the indicators can be improved depending on the results achieved and the analysis and conversations conducted, or in other words depending on the progress of the theme itself.

Inspired by the pioneering experience of GlassPockets – a 2010 project by the Foundation Center (USA) built on a movement for transparency in foundations dating back to the end of the 1950s – this initiative has the support of the C & A Institute.

The indicators

The selected indicators were developed after consulting the existing literature on the subject as well as research references from other concrete international experiences of similar transparency panels that included in them selection, research and publication of indicators of transparency between foundations and private institutes. From the consultation and debate processes, the indicators were improved to their final version. Click here for an overview of the contributions received throughout this process of public consultation.

The 8 basic principles for the development of the Panel indicators are:

  • Indicators must be objectively verifiable and uncontroversial;
  • They should be comparable;
  • They must be valid and relevant to any type of association or foundation (business, family, independent);
  • They only attest to the availability of the information or not on the websites of the organizations, and not its quality. The information made available is the responsibility of each organization that publishes it on their respective websites;
  • They will be updated periodically. The update dates are listed on the platform.
  • The information that forms the basis of the indicators should be available on the websites of the organizations;
  • The current legal requirements for the sector were not used as criteria (although some of the indicators may mirror elements required by law).
  • In addition to the research on international experiences, the documents GIFE/IBGC Governance Guide and the Charter of Principles for Transparency and Accountability published by GIFE in 2012 were also used.

Click here to download the list of the indicators in pdf.

The organization ought to clarify its mission on its website by stating explicitly why it was established, what it proposes to do, and who the target of its activities are.

It is recommended that the mission be able to reflect the purpose of the organization as established in its By-laws, even though it is not a requirement to join the Panel.

What is the direction of the organization? What will the organization be? What does the organization intend to change?

Factor Indicator Description Only information provided in the activity reports/ annual reports will be accepted
Contact Address The organization provides the full address of its headquarters on its website No
Telephone The organization provides at least one contact phone on its website. No
E-mail The organization provides at least one direct contact email on its website. No
Purpose of the organization Mission
Vision The organization makes its vision clear on its website, describing the future it aspires to and answering questions such as: What does the organization want to become?
Governance and management Composition of the deliberative board The organization makes the composition of its deliberative board (the body responsible for taking organizational decisions) explicit on its website, indicating the names and surnames of its board members. Although they retain a deliberative role, boards may be named differently, such as board of trustees, board of directors, governance board, administrative board.
The disclosure of information on the composition of advisory boards or other instances or forums of discussion is not relevant in this indicator.
It is recommended, although not a Panel requirement:

  • That information on positions on the board as well as institutional affiliation of the board members is made available.
  • That the organization clarifies how its decision-making process is structured
Composition of the fiscal board The organization makes the composition of its fiscal board explicit on its website, indicating the name and surname of its board members.
It is recommended that information on positions within the board and institutional affiliation of the board members be made available, although it does not constitute a Panel requirement.
By-laws The organization publishes its by-laws on its website.
It is recommended the most recent valid by-laws be made available, although it does not constitute a Panel requirement.
Composition of the General Assembly (only in the case of associations) The organization makes the composition of its general assembly (composed of members of the organization) explicit on its website, indicating the name of the participating individuals and organizations.
Note: This requirement is only valid in the case of organizations legally established as associations. In the case of organizations whose legal nature is that of a private foundation, this item is indicated as N/A.
Composition of executive staff The organization makes the name and surname of the main executive staff (e.g. main managers of the financial department, projects, human resources, communication, etc.) explicit on its website.
Planning, programs and activities Main programs, projects, actions and activities The organization explicitly lists the names and brief descriptions of its programs, projects, actions and activities underway on its website, including necessary information for the reader to understand what their objectives are. Yes
Information about planning, strategic direction The organization makes information about its own strategic direction (information which indicate the future objectives of the organization such as those derived from strategic planning) explicit on its website, which enables the reader to understand which are the main goals or objectives of the organization for the future.
t is recommended that the information be made available and presented in a detailed format, including goals and objective, even if such detailed information does not constitute a Panel requirement.
Report of activities The organization publishes its report of activities/annual report in its website (from the preceding year).
Economic/Financial Information Reports of independent auditors The organization publishes the reports of independent auditors (from the preceding year) on its website. It can either publish the full report or only the opinion of auditors.
It is recommended that the full reports be made available, although it does not constitute a Panel requirement.
Financial Statement The organization publishes a report of the financial statements (from the preceding year) on its website.
Evaluation Reports of evaluation The organization publishes specific evaluation reports regarding its programs, projects or institutional issues (concerning the organization itself) on its website.
Evaluations included in activity reports do not count here.

What we expect from the Panel

GIFE Transparency Panel aims to:

  • Be a self-regulating tool that allows users to directly access the information made available by organizations on their websites, thus fostering more open communication;
  • Increase the accountability capacity of its members, therefore shedding light on their transparency and accountability practices, and the ways in which social investors are fulfilling their own mission;
  • Serve as a channel for dialogue and knowledge reference on the subject of transparency, thus constituting a source for research and advocacy for more transparent relations in the private social investment field;
  • To encourage the adoption of transparency practices among social investors and among other actors, thus contributing to the spread of a culture of transparency. However, the Panel does not aim to certify organizations or create any kind of certification process.

The origins of the Panel

The process of establishing the GIFE Transparency Panel will take place in accordance with the following steps: