TRust, transparency and Accountability
The purpose of the HR&S Practical strategy TRUST is to facilitate for partners to benefit from a collaboration built on truth, trust, harmony, equity, transparency, and accountability in ethics and governance.
A set of Principes related to ethics and set of Policies & Procedures realated to governance have been proposed by HR&S. Each proposal comes with a detailed description.
The Principles, Policies & Procedures shall be discussed between the partners and the partners shall jointly agree on which ones that the programme aims to comply with. The level of complexity shall mirror the ambitions of the programme. The Principles, Policies and Procedures agreed on shall be presented in the written agreement and then be revised when appropriate.
- Equal partnership.
- Knowledge sharing.
- Sustainable economy.
- Institutional capacity
- Financial administration & accounting.
- Quality assurance.
- Governance & Management.
- Intellectual Property Rights.
- Evidence of outcome and impact.
- Critical thinking.
- Willingness to change.
- Cross-cultural understanding.
Policies & procedures
financial administration & accounting
- General statement on financial administration & accounting.
- Internal control.
- Bank statement audit.
- Financial statement audit.
- Annual financial and programme reports.
- Monthly financial reports.
- Cash management.
- Transfer of funds.
- Petty cash.
- Accounts receivable collection.
- Procurement standards.
- Receiving items.
- Accounts payable.
- Cash disbursements.
- Payroll taxes.
- Property management.
- Overhead and administration costs.
- Travel expenses.
- Per diem.
- Entertainment expenses.
- Leased vehicles.
- Employee expenses and advances.
- Related party transactions.
- Record retention.
- Personnel files.
The author believes that a collaboration built on the value empathy shall lead to trust. She defines empathy as “shared experience”. She further defines empathy as differentiated from sympathy or pity. Those values will not create the platform for equal partnership and trust but other platforms such as patronizing attitudes. With empathy she means the capacity to put ourselves in someone else’s situation, not thinking too much about it, really just sharing their experience, getting a sense of what it is they are going through, and with that, even though it can be difficult sometimes, having a sense of intendment, knowing that we are doing everything that we can in our mind to help the person through, develop an equal partnership and ensuring trust. Empathy shall obviously be perceived in both directions. Empathy is required for the partners not to feel isolated or abandoned within the partnership.
We tell the truth, to our partners and to the public.
We do this for the sake of honesty, transparency and accountability.
We ensure trust.
Trust is more important than ever and it concerns all relationships; partners, customers, colleagues, leaders, authorities and all other stakeholders. Trust is right at the foundation of the survival and success of any business and partnership. Without trust, there can be no sustainable business and a relationship without trust is not really a relationship at all. The moment a person is not trusted by an individual or team, their chances for success within that group are diminished dramatically. Our working relationships that are built on trust are an important sustainable competitive advantage because trust is so valuable and so rare.
We work together in harmony.
We focus on positive communication and positive thinking, and on how to support each other in becoming a better person and a better institution.
We do not judge.
We ensure equity in every situation and at every level.
Women empowerment: The English philosopher John Stuart Mill compares the woman’s situation in the society of the past with the conditions of slavery in history. He believed that women’s pressure was the main obstacle to human development. In the women’s subordinate position from 1869 he writes: “Men not only want the obedience of women, but they also want their feelings. […] They have therefore done everything to make their senses betrayed. The lords of all other slaves trust for the maintenance of obedience to fear, either fear for themselves or for superior powers. The women’s lords wanted more than simple obedience and took advantage of the entire power of the education to win this purpose.”
Resilience is defined by HR&S as having the capacity to stay strong, even when challenges threaten the programme and/or the partnership.
Weakness in an activity or behavior that threatens a programme, is managed by the other partners who; fill the gap, provide support, as well as show respect, patience, care, and love. Resilience is about staying strong for each other, being humble, being flexible, staying focused, listening carefully, not judging and never give up on each other.
A business person must have a tough-minded attitude and spirit. It is necessary to stay with the vision and pursue the dream, in order to make the business to grow. The context may change at any time; including the finances and the market.
We aim to ensure Equal partnership. Equal partnership is defined by HR&S as a working relationship where the partners share inputs, responsibilities and benefits equally. Such partnership is achieved by sharing all work assignments related to the design, implementation, evaluation and reporting, in a balanced and even manner between all partners. An equal partnership also depends on trust and on mutual sharing of skills, knowledge, experiences and support. More details about the HR&S view on equal partnership is available in TAct and ROPE.
Equal partnership is a win-win set-up. Different partners are able to operate under different conditions and face different challenges. HR&S may have its strengths and weaknesses and the partners may have their strengths and weaknesses. Where someone is weak, someone else is strong.
“Someone can be educated but not learned, and someone else can be learned but not educated.”
The partners contribute equally much with inputs and share responsibility and benefits equally.
The sharing of work tasks is determined by who has the most experience and capacity. Each partner contributes according to skills and resources.
Each partner must share openly and honestly about their expectations on their partners and on how they plan to contribute as well as benefits.
All partners are present when decisions are made and policies agreed on.
We do not compromise on any quality value.
We do not accept a Traditional Development Aid attitude where a receiver expects donations and free services from a giver and where a giver assumes low performance and weak finance accounting from a receiver. No partner shall have the attitude to patronise and no partner shall see herself as vulnerable and dependent on support.
Each partner has to take the time to fully understand each other. Information can for example be collected from each other´s websites.
Family members and members of ethical groups do nor supersede business agreements. Family relation or ethical group togetherness do not generate any type of benefits in relation to non-family members or members of other ethnical groups. Thus, any agreement at the business level has to be honoured and shall be respected above family or ethnical group considerations. If family or ethnic group respect is in conflict with a planned business equal partnership, then the business shall not be entered into.
We aim to ensure open, honest and frequent sharing of knowledge.
The partners share form their experience and know-how including what they know about the latest developments such as equipment, technology, fin-tech solutions, etc. Partners also share openly about their business ideas; products, services, costumers, markets etc. that has direct implications on the collaboration.
Frequent evaluation planning sessions ensure that programmes are adjusted to lessons learned.
Sustainable economy planning starts at the onset of a new Programme and all HR&S programmes shall become financially sustainable after a pre-defined period of time. The HR&S programmes tend to start at a small scale and take the time required to scale up while building trust, procedures, transparency, and accountability.
The partners develop a business idea while developing a new programme.
Sources of start-up costs are identified and all partners contribute to the expected costs. Profit and benefits are shared.
A business plan is developed as the programme becomes firm.
The justification for the IC component is that one key to success has been found to be that all partners have enough institutional capacity to manage their share of the joint programme.
In leadership roles, accountability is the acknowledgement and assumption of responsibility for actions, products, decisions, and policies including the administration, governance, and implementation within the scope of the role or employment position and encompassing the obligation to report, explain and be answerable for resulting consequences. The level of trust a leader is able to achieve with his or her associates is contingent upon the associate’s perceptions of the leader’s ability, honesty, and integrity.
HR&S and its partners ensure good working conditions where social security structures, team building and support are addressed. Performance stress and master suppression techniques are avoided.
Institutional capacity includes ensuring that the staff has access to the tools and training they need.
The institutions must also create an environment for its staff that carries peace and harmony where members show respect for each other and appreciate each other. The institutions must ensure that each staff member experiences full-worthy membership of the team and experience ownership. The institution shall also ensure that each staff member cares for and share the dream of the institution.
Partners shall pay insurance in their country to cover for emergencies, sickness, retirement and loss of employment. The national insurance system can be strengthened by a Partnership Social Security Fund. The partners invest in the fund and in case of emergency a loan can be taken by the members. The loan has 3 % interest, is collateral and a guarantee is required to safeguard pay-back.
Time management and long-term planning of programmes are key to a trustful partnership and strategies are developed and agreed on.
Assets such as computers, solar panels, generators, equipment, and vehicles: Items that play a role for the partnership programme or have been procured through the partnership programme cannot be removed unless agreed on.If a mutual profit can be generated then items can be hired-out or be used by a customer. The annual financial report shall compile all programme related items and the status thereof. Maintenance of items is key to success and sustainability. All items and related structures shall be properly managed, including use, service, maintenance and repair. Manual instruction shall be respected and service agreements are in place when appropriate.
Financial administration & accounting
The HR&S Financial Administration & Accounting (FAA) procedures follow international standards and ensure transparency and accountability. Our FAA procedures aim to be user-friendly, still ambitious enough to address all areas of importance. The level of complexity increases as the demands of the programme increases. The FAA is presented more in detail elsewhere.
Quality assurance concerns many sectors.
Quality assurance includes laboratory accreditation.
Governance & Management
The Board of governance is a group of individuals within a company, elected or appointed as representatives of the owners or the stockholders to establish corporate governance and oversee for example the organisational strategies, capital investments, profit share policies, and financial accuracy. A strong and effective Board is an invaluable asset, one that is a key to success in creating the wealth envisioned. There are two kinds of Boards; Advisory Board and Fully mandated board. An Advisory Board is a less formal association of individuals where the Board members do not have any fiduciary or legal responsibility but a genuine interest in the success. A fully mandated Board on the other hand has the ultimate power, holds fiduciary and legal responsibilities and is fully accountable.
An institution depends on having an efficient management team handling management, transparency and accountability. The management team benefits from having a Board of a minimum three, but preferably five members or more. The management team holds a CEO/Director (or any other title), a Head of Finance and a Secretary. The presentation of the management must include a clear description of the title of each member as well as their assignments, authorities and responsibilities. The Head of Finance is responsible for the bookkeeping, compiling supporting documents, and annual financial reporting. The full management team meets monthly or more often. Minutes from all meetings are signed by at least two management members, compiled and are made official.
The management team also meet regularly with the staff. The management ensures enough staff members that are capable and motivated enough to handle the tasks of the business. The management also develops clear institutional procedures that support the employees to perform.
Intellectual property rights
The Intellectual property rights (IPR) are to be ensured. Intellectual property is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect, and primarily encompasses copyrights, patents, and trademarks. It also includes other types of rights, such as trade secrets, publicity rights, moral rights, and rights against unfair competition. Artistic works like music and literature, as well as some discoveries, inventions, words, phrases, symbols, and designs, can all be protected as intellectual property. The intellectual property law gives people and businesses property rights to the information and intellectual goods they create, usually for a limited period of time.
Evidence of outcome and impact
Monitoring and evidence: Strategies to be clear and efficient.
Programme reports: All partners shall produce and disseminate annual financial, auditing, and programme reports, and the reports are distributed within a few months after the end of the year.
We work in a professional manner.
We support the rules of efficient and effective social businesses.
We introduce change in a comfortable manner and address motivation and benefits. We do not accept if quality values are compromised.
Firm and clear
We are not activists.
We do not ha a political or religious agenda.
We consider it important to be firm and clear, as naïve kindness and generosity have shown to create more confusion than sustainable results.
We do not support pity, guilt, or patronising attitudes as a reason for solidarity.
We put words on realities, including challenges.
We speak up. We are not scared of having an opinion, even if controversial.
We are not scared of changing our minds if proven wrong.
We do not judge, and at the same time, we do not accept wrong-doings that will jepapardise agreed on the expected impact.
Willingness to change
We represent a willingness to change and the capacity to understand the benefit of positive development.
Professionalism rather than activism.
Evidence rather than compassion.
We aim for cross-cultural understanding and learning. Expectations and core-values are agreed on by all partners prior to establishing a new partnership.
We recognise that life is different at different locations and that each culture can learn from another culture. We recognise that each culture comes with strengths and weaknesses and none is superior to another. We do not patronise or victimise and we are not driven by pity or guilt.
It is important to realise that both sides tend to lack a deep understanding of the other culture and its traditions and values, why cross-cultural training is key. At the same time, there are some obvious understandings that can easily be taught, and that will significantly increase the level of mutual cross-cultural understanding. HR&S offers such training. The partners in non-OECD countries must understand better the situation in OECD countries and vice versa.
Over the long-term, business, and partnership, success is dependent upon a network of positive and respectful relationships.
We show respect. We are respectful to the country we operate in. We are respectful to the authorities of the country, to each person and to all its institutions. We show respect to givers and ensure their donations are handled in a professional manner.
Motivation can become a key aspect in cultures managing at the traditional and survival modes. Motivation captures; the level of salary, clear and achievable goals, benefits and acknowledgement, responsibility and respect, team building and team appreciation, good leadership, access to work tools, the perception of respect to agreements the relation to authorities and the legal system of the country.