How to use the database
The database provides studies on humanitarian NGOs in war-torn countries. Considering the dispersal of records, which make cross-checking from contradictory sources quite difficult, the information put online have been selected according to their availability and their relevance for a strategic analysis. The initials of the author of the study and the dates of the latest revisions are provided at the end of the profile of each NGO. The transparency rating stopped in 2011.
Readers are invited to use the database in the spirit of the Internet community, freely, and free of charge. Should this data serve for writing a report, an article or a book, we would like our source to be mentioned.
1) A description with:
- the name and the acronym of the NGO;
- the address of the head office;
- the existence of possible “branches” abroad. Whatever the official name and the autonomy of the “affiliate”, a branch is a member organisation which belongs to and maintains a formal relationship with an international structure;
- the website of the NGO;
- the date of creation of the NGO;
- the field of action of the NGO: nutritional, medical care, educational, child sponsorship, defence of Human Rights, peace building, others;
- the level of action of the NGO: operational agency, financial channel (ranging from Foundations to the underground apparatus of political parties), duplicate (figurehead or replica of another “hidden” organization), empty shell;
- the possible religious character of the NGO: Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Orthodox, Buddhist, etc.;
- the occurrence of the NGO: either a permanent or an ad hoc organization;
- the percentage of private funds in the published budget of an NGO: unlike subsidies and contracts from the public sector, it includes personal donations and legacies, resources from various investments, the members’ contributions, the sales of goods or services, corporate sponsorship, support from foundations or non-governmental institutions, gifts in kind, and national lotteries (even if they depend on the state, for their resources come from individuals) etc. The yearly budget is given in millions to the nearest hundred of thousands;
- the regional, national or international character of the NGO: one or several countries of intervention;
- the transparency of the NGO: accountability, defined as the availability of activity and financial reports to citizens who are not members, private donors or institutional backers of the organization. Data should be accessible on Internet, for mail or telephone requests to the head office are much more unpredictable.
A six-point gradation from 0 to 5 sets up a hierarchy in this regard:
Level 0: no annual or financial report available on Internet;
Level 1: no financial report available on Internet. The website gives access to a mission statement but there are no exhaustive lists of interventions per country and no information on actual expenditures;
Level 2: the website gives access to only one financial report, dated from the previous year or older. There are no data about actual expenditures per country or per programme. At best, the annual report looks like an advertisement pamphlet and provides no exhaustive list of interventions;
Level 3: the NGO's website fulfils one of the two following expectations. Either it gives access to several financial reports dated from the previous year or older. Or it gives access to only one financial report but completes the picture with an exhaustive list of interventions and/or data on actual expenditures in the field;
Level 4: the NGO's website gives access to one or several financial reports, the latest being two years old maximum. There are also exhaustive lists of interventions and more detailed data on actual expenditures, especially regarding earmarking and the origin of financial resources per country or programme;
Level 5: confirming accountability on a regular basis, the NGO's website gives access to one or several financial reports, the latest being two years old maximum. There are also exhaustive lists of interventions and detailed data on actual expenditures, especially the source, the names and the origin of funding per country or programme. Out of the financial resources, the percentage of earmarking helps to clarify the situation in this regard. Even better, annual reports really try to assess difficulties from a self-critical perspective.