“Fostering resilient societies”
The world in which we operate
ETC is a knowledge and value driven organisation that through its networks and networking capacity contributes to the sustainable development of people and their environment. “Resilience” is core in our thinking. We see resilience as a key concept in socio-economic development and transformation, both in stable and in fragile environments. In our perception resilience refers to the ability of communities and ecosystems to adapt and thrive in an ever faster changing world, at every level, i.e. from global to local. Resilient societies are societies that possess a set of value-driven qualities and competences, including self-esteem, gender sensitivity, ability to govern, focus on sustainable development, promotion of equitable access to vital resources (“public goods”) and social security and the capability of overcoming set-backs. These societies are inherently socially inclusive, offering opportunities to all, benefiting from the diverse skills and competences of its members and evolving over time. But the reality in many societies is different. The face of poverty is rapidly changing due to uneven socio-economic and demographic transformation between but also within countries and communities. The picture is now more differentiated than ever before with regard to distribution of wealth and poverty, social cohesion and power inequalities, susceptibility to climate change and depletion of ecosystems, autonomy and dependency, peace and conflict. Building resilience can be seen as an antidote to individual and community-level vulnerability and a self-sustaining approach to promoting human development. The more integrated nature of the global economy, society, and ecosystem increases the likelihood of transmitting and magnifying shocks. The need to develop more sophisticated approaches to resilience grows in parallel. Pictured against this image of our world and perceived trends, we see it as our aim to take our responsibility in building resilient societies by applying our knowledge and convening capacity through our networks.
ETC: who are we, what is our mission and vision and what are our values?
ETC is a Netherlands based, not-for-profit organisation working worldwide to strengthen resilience in support of people-centred development in rural and urban settings. We focus our expertise and efforts in the areas of food and nutrition security, agro-ecology and energy access. In all areas we enhance gender equality, innovative capacity and entrepreneurial capacity. We advise governments, civil society organisations, bilateral and multilateral development agencies and engage the private sector to facilitate change that is truly gender sensitive, inclusive and benefiting the poor. ETC works together with hundreds of partner organisations in all continents and hosts a number of prominent national and global programmes and network organisations.
Our vision and mission
Our vision is: “sustainable development of people and environment, in a global context, based on local circumstances and local initiatives”. This vision drives and motivates ETC staff.
Our mission is: “to operate as a vibrant, innovative and information-sharing organisation which, through capacity building, advice, and facilitation of change processes and thematic networks, contributes to ecological sound, socially equitable, gender sensitive, economically viable and culturally acceptable situations”. Or in brief “building resilient communities”.
We adhere to ethical entrepreneurship with zero tolerance for corruption, comply with legal rules and regulations and promote the sustainable use of natural resources. We take a participatory approach to all our field activities and emphasise the value of local needs, indigenous knowledge and cultural diversity. ETC believes that people will achieve their full potential only in an atmosphere that emphasises individual freedom, equity, democracy, diversity and reciprocity.
ETC wants to contribute to sustainable development all over the world, using the perspective of fostering resilience. We aim at bringing people and communities back to their resilient nature, or strengthening the resilience that is already present, thereby creating space for sustainable development by their own strengths and talents.
Resilience does not mean immunity to damage. Rather it means having the capacity to recover from damage, by being flexible and by drawing on inner resources. Our world is rapidly changing, and it requires the ability to adapt. ETC would not be able to do this work if it did not apply this to itself. Fundamental change has been needed and is needed for ETC to be able to thrive.
ETC: how do we work?
In pursuing ETC’s vision, we believe that sharing experience and knowledge is vital for building a sustainable future. In order for this to thrive association with and servicing of international networks is indispensable. Hence networking is a key characteristic of how we work and manifest ourselves.
We apply people-centred, participatory approaches in a systemic manner, in which relations and effects between sectors are taken into account from the start, aiming for healthy and resilient people and communities. Where feasible we work with local experts for knowledge exchange, mutual appreciation and reciprocity.
We aim at bridging the divide between development challenges in the Netherlands, Europe and elsewhere in the understanding that problems, solutions and problem-solving capacities and approaches are not exclusive anymore. In view of an increasing global interdependence merging knowledge and capacity in the Netherlands with what is available elsewhere is highly beneficial.
We strengthen lobbying and advocacy capacity for resilient communities. ETC hosts several networks, some of which have established themselves as separate, independent identities, such as the RUAF network. In all its networking programmes, ETC recognizes and builds on the dynamics of local knowledge and enhances the innovative capacities of people to adjust to change. The concept of resilience is key. Resilience emphasizes communities’ capacities to recover from shocks, but more so the capacity to develop their own site-appropriate systems and institutions for managing resources, be it for food security or livelihood sustenance, while safeguarding the environment.
We promote institutional learning and exchange knowledge and approaches where relevant between programmes and between focus areas. Such applies to focusing on gender and women’s economic development, on collaboration with the private sector to create shared values in the Netherlands and elsewhere, on installing mechanisms for accountability and results focused development, etc.
We offer our services on a not-for-profit basis. Any surpluses generated are reinvested in the Foundation to allow ETC to become a resilient organisation and allowing it to undertake a limited number of projects at compensation for operational cost only.
Public accountability and transparency
ETC will annually publish its narrative and financial report. In addition ETC will maintain an informative website which will be kept up to date on a frequent basis. Moreover, we will make increasing use of social media for communication with partners and other interested stakeholders, as well as policy influencing.
Early 2014 ETC is in the process of reviewing and updating its Quality Management System and subsequently will apply for an internationally recognized quality label/standard.
Moreover, ETC is a member of a Dutch branch network of non-governmental agencies active in the field of aid and development, by the name of PARTOS, and adheres to the branch code of conduct. It also will follow the guidelines in reporting issued under the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). In terms of Governance, ETC will adhere to the “code Wijffels” on governance integrity.
ETC will adhere to the ANBI (Agencies aiming at providing general, public benefits) guidelines and will declare on an annual basis the remuneration of its managing director and members of the ETC Board of Governors. Lastly, as a not-for-profit foundation, ETC will use any surpluses generated in the ETC Foundation or its subsidiary ETC Ltd within the guidelines of its mission, visions and values.
Declaration of remuneration of the managing director and members of the Board of Governors
The ETC managing director is a part time position occupied by a senior consultant entrusted with additional management responsibilities (30% FTE). The director will be remunerated according to the applicable salary scale of a senior consultant which ranges from Euro 3820 till Euro 6315 gross pay per month for a full time position There are no additional monetary benefits apart from a management responsibility allowance of Euro 450 per month. Members of the Board of Governors do not receive a honorarium, but solely a compensation for travel cost at a fixed rate of Euro 75 per Board of Governors meeting.
Organisational management model and fundraising
The organisational management model of ETC has been formally defined by the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, ETC’s Articles of Association and the Dutch Tax Administration (ANBI) as a “not-for-profit organisation”, established in 1978 and based in Leusden, The Netherlands. ETC is involved in the initiation, implementation and management of a wide range of development projects, programmes and consultancy services worldwide, working with a variety of development actors. Our clients and donors are a variety of (international) NGOs, charity organisations, financial trusts, bilateral and multilateral agencies. ETC consists of two separate juridical entities that have separate administrative and financial reporting structures:
(1) ETC Foundation (the Foundation) that hosts all the subsidised activities. Typical fundraising efforts involve the development of concept notes or proposals, addressing specific issues and target groups, e.g. in the area of agricultural research for development, energy access, gender and energy.
(2) ETC Netherlands BV (BV) is the organisation that carries out the activities acquired in competition. Examples of such activities are short-term or long term technical advice or consultancy assignments, training, evaluations and audits. The BV is an independent body that reports directly to management and has its own annual statement of accounts. The BV does not have a profit-making objective, but supports the building up of necessary reserves.
ETC Foundation is the full owner of ETC Netherlands BV. All of ETC professional staff are employed by the Foundation. Staff may be seconded to the BV for activities carried out under the BV.
In the future, ETC will increasingly focus on larger programmes and projects and consultancy frameworks – in many cases in a joint collaboration and or consortium arrangement with likeminded organizations, and in particular through joint ventures within our existing and expanding networks. In many of our programmes we envisage to engage the private sector. Where feasible and opportune we foster partnerships with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other line ministries as well as provincial and local authorities (for our work in the Netherlands, mainly in the thematic field of closed-loop farming). Innovative, multi-actor interventions, made feasible through “branding” in well-selected niches with topical statements in forums at global and local levels become more prominent in our work.
The financial results of ETC Foundation and ETC Netherlands BV are added to the reserves of the Foundation on an annual basis. These reserves are deposited on an interest bearing bank account. The reserves serve two purposes:
- to serve the overall continuity of the organisation;
- to allow the organisation to implement a few projects at operational cost.