Proudly Made in Africa (PMIA) won a Governance Improvement Award in 2018. Since then, the organisation has undergone a number of changes and been part of a failed merger attempt with a large NGO. The board is also in a transition period as long-standing members are retiring and new members are being recruited. We wound down our UK subsidiary, Value Added in Africa (UK) Ltd. in 2020 in order to streamline our administration processes and focus on our new strategy.
Throughout this period of change, we have continued our progress in implementing good governance practices.
- In 2019, we adopted the Charities’ SORP for our accounting and bookkeeping and our 2019 audited accounts are in SORP FRS102 format for the first time. This adoption enables us to comply with the Charities Governance Code and show our funders that we are in line industry best practice. We tendered the SORP process with various accountants and opted to remain with our current nominated accountants, KSI Faulkner Orr, who remain the best value for service.
- PMIA joined the Slave Free Trade Foundation in 2019 in recognition of work we do around preventing Modern Slavery in supply chains. We also applied to the United Nations Global Compact for sustainable business practices and have been an active member of the Irish network to date. These memberships are important to PMIA to ensure our work is independently checked by industry peers and carried out in accordance with the most up-to-date leading practice.
- PMIA established a partnership with Deloitte in 2019 and took part in Impact Day, their flagship CSR initiative. During Impact Day in September 2019, the PMIA executive team completed training on GDPR, HR Management and the Governance Code. Deloitte also reworked our website free of charge, moved us to a free hosting platform to remove unnecessary monthly costs and ensured the legal aspects and statements of the website were up to date. As a result of our participation in Impact Day, all PMIA staff have now had GDPR training.
- In January 2020, the PMIA board and executive team begun planning our new 5-year strategy. This was published in July ’20 to coincide with our full website relaunch and for the first time in our organisation’s history, we have a clear vision and mission statement that encompasses all of our programmes. Prior to this strategy, we would tailor descriptions of our work depending on the audience and this resulted in confusing variations of our vision and mission circulating across our social media, website and funder correspondences. Having one cohesive document has enabled to us to work more effectively and efficiently, meaning we can:
- pitch ourselves to funders better as we now have clear and cohesive statements about everything that we do across all platforms and correspondences
- focus on the right activities – if activities don’t align with the strategy document, we don’t waste time on them
- better monitoring our impact – our strategy clearly frames the problems our work strives to solve and this enables us to draw clear lines to how our solutions contribute to resolving those problems.
- At PMIA’s 2020 AGM on 1st September, Company Secretary duties were passed from the CEO to a board trustee in line with recommended practice.
- PMIA’s governance sub-committee completed a full review of all policies and protocols against the Governance Code and PMIA is on track to be fully compliant by end of 2020.
- As with everyone else, PMIA has been impacted by Covid19 and all staff have been working from home since March 2020. In light of public health guidelines, the PMIA CEO has worked with our Governance sub-committee to create a suite of policies, checklists and protocols to protect staff and ensure business continuity. The CEO has also been an pro-active participant in stakeholder forums like the Charities’ Institute CEO forum and the Dóchas Covid-19 Response working group to ensure that we have both a holistic and rounded view of what’s required of organisations and a practical response appropriate to our organisation.
- In response to Covid-19, we have created new Working From Home guidelines, a Safe At Work protocol and a roadmap for return to the office. Our office is a shared working space and the CEO has worked with the co-tenants to create complementing practices and policies.
PMIA is a small operation with 3 employees. We are committed to having the best governance to show funders, donors and the public we are trustworthy and responsible organisation.