Governing Well: Five questions aid organisations’ governing boards should be asking

Aid organisations’ governing boards could and should play a much stronger role in ensuring that the organisations they oversee meet the CHS Commitments to people affected by crisis. This “Governing Well” report makes the case for doing so, and offers five questions for boards to consider with examples:

  1. What do we value, and how can we “live our values”?
  2. What is power, and how do we use our power?
  3. What is organisational culture, and how can we make ours people-centred?
  4. How is the workforce doing, and what do they need to succeed?
  5. How can we continuously learn and improve?

The report is informed by inputs from an Advisory Circle, a series of conversations with governing board members and experts, a review of publicly-available regulatory frameworks, and multiple case studies (using a governance lens) of organisational failures. Its overarching ideas were tested with the CHS Alliance Board and with participants in the 17 May 2022 Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Weeks session. One of the interviews for the project was published in the 19 May 2022 episode of the Embodying Change podcast.

We would like to express our appreciation to the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whose funding has made this project possible. We welcome your feedback and stand ready to support cross-organisational learning to continue increasing accountability to crisis-affected people.

This project was funded with UK aid from the UK government.