WG NGOs and International Organizations

We provide a platform for professionals responsible for Ethics, Compliance and similar areas within Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), International Organizations (IOs) and Charitable Foundations as well as professionals from the private sector to exchange on their challenges and priorities between themselves and leverage expertise from multinationals in the private sector.

The sector is mostly unregulated and therefore not for profit organizations are not mandated to have a specific compliance program. However expectations towards integrity and transparency are even higher when serving a charitable cause.  Usually tight financial constraints keep overhead and non-operational cost to a minimum – thus it is even more important that we can contribute to a lean but effective compliance set up: being able to address risks in an efficient and professional way while ensuring that main work can be done.

See the presentation of this new working group delivered on the occasion of our last Annual General Meeting on 28 March 2019.

Get in touch with us: Sandra Middel (Board member ECS), Maximilien Roche and Therese Schumann (co-chairs)

Upcoming events                 Past events 

27 January  2021

Webinar: Integrity Challenges for International Organizations and NGOs during the Covid-19-crisis: Urgency vs. integrity  – The impact of COVID-19 on compliance in the not for profit sector

The past year has driven significant changes both in the core work we do in our organizations – but also in the shared task of integrity, risk management and compliance. Most of us have been facing challenges, ranging from less travel, managing more cases or additional IT-topics like data privacy in online interviews.

Taking a new turn, the ECS Working Group on NGOs and International Organizations  hosted an interactive session with high-profile experts and exchanged experience and ideas on the challenges and how to address them during the Covid crisis.


  • Mr. Helmut Buss, Director, Ethics Office, UNHCR
  • Mrs. Maria Thestrup, Chief Ethics, Risk and Compliance Officer, ICRC
  • Ms. Emilie Wiinblad Mathez, Senior Ethics Adviser, UNHCR

Our Working Group’s kick-off event was held on July 1, 2019 in the office of Lalive in Geneva. We had great attendance by compliance professionals from International NGOs, UN agencies, sport federations and specialized consultants.

Malika Aït-Mohamed Parent, the keynote speaker, delivered an insightful presentation with a clear message : the not-for-profit sector is an unregulated, therefore a self-regulated industry: compliance in this sector is being defined and custom-designed by each organization separately, in reaction to issues or scandals affecting the sector. Malika then presented the wealth of resources already available on the topic of compliance and anti-corruption in the humanitarian sector. See here the link to Malika’s presentation.

Following the keynote speech, participants discussed how the Working Group could contribute to the ongoing reflexion on the topic of compliance in the not-for-profit sector and deliver some value to its members and the broader professional community.

Many ideas of topics and formats were discussed. Ultimately, the consensus was that a broader consultation of the community was necessary to define activities and priorities.

A formal survey process would need to be launched. Several participants volunteered to contribute to the survey’s content and to the analysis of results.

The survey’s link will be shared with all participants and other professionals interested in the topic, inviting them to respond and share the link with their network.


Sandra Middel-TissotChair ECS
Co-Chair WG NGOs and International Organizations
Maximilien RocheCo-Chair WG NGOs and International Organizations
Therese SchumannCo-Chair WG NGOs and International Organizations

These are the upcoming dates for our Annual General Meetings:

Thursday, 20 March 2025
Thursday, 19 March 2026

If you are an ECS member, you are cordially invited to our Annual General Meetings! Each AGM is followed by discussion on current compliance topics and an networking Apèro.