Since its launch in 2002, Publish What You Pay operated under the legal framework of the Open Society Foundations (OSF) in London. In 2014, the then Global Steering Committee decided that PWYP would become formally independent of OSF, and a process was initiated to develop the structures and procedures that would enable it to function independently. The transition from OSF was completed in August 2015.
PWYP is a coalition that includes mainly national coalitions of local organisations, and member organisations in countries where there are no national coalitions. This section only refers to governance for PWYP at a global level. National coalitions have their own governance structures, and are in principle autonomous but have to adhere to the PWYP coalition membership standards, For more information on the responsibilities of members please see the PWYP passport.
The coalition members govern PWYP, and are themselves (operating collectively) the primary actors on the global stage. They employ a small decentralised secretariat to facilitate and coordinate their collective activities.
PWYP is registered as a charity and as a company limited by guarantee, in the UK due to the high levels of transparency required in line with the PWYP strategic pillar Practice What We Preach.
PWYP members have developed four levels for governance and management:
- A triennial Global Assembly, or International Coalition Strategy Meeting
- A Global Council
- A Board
- A decentralised Secretariat
Global Assembly or International Coalition Strategy meeting:
Our last meeting took place in Lima, Peru, in February 2016. You can read more about it here.
Every three years, funding permitted, PWYP representatives come together to enable all members to engage in strategy and policy review and development. The overall objectives are:
- To review progress made on PWYP’s international strategic priorities and, where necessary, adopt changes to the strategy or adopt a new strategy.
- To evaluate opportunities to strengthen and broaden civil society participation in the global PWYP coalition.
- To exchange lessons learned and best practices.
- To elect the Global Council through regional nomination mechanisms.
- To review and adopt any recommended changes to PWYP’s operating principles and coalition membership standards.
- To receive reports from the Global Council and Board, and hold them to account.
- The Global Assembly has the power to hold a vote of no confidence in the Global Council and/or the Board; should such a vote be carried, the members of the relevant body would stand down, setting in motion an electoral process.
PWYP Global Council
The Global Council brings together a maximum of 10 representatives of the regions and member organisations with global reach. The Global Council advises the Board and International Director. It develops strategies and prioritises activities in operational plans, making recommendations to the International Director and Board as appropriate. It does so through expression of, and debate between, the diversity of voices of PWYP members. It aims for decision by consensus, but votes on recommendations when necessary. The Global Council develops means for resolution of differences between members on matters of importance to PWYP.
The Global Council is accountable to the Global Assembly for its work, and makes key recommendations on policy and strategy to the Board. Their responsibilities are set out in the Terms of Reference and Role Descriptions in the Governance Manual
Visit the Global Council page to see its representatives, the full Terms of Reference and the minutes of its predecessor body the Global Steering Committee.
The PWYP board is selected to take primary responsibility to ensure that the objectives and interests of PWYP, as a registered charity, are protected and advanced. Board members govern PWYP in the interests of the members globally and collectively. The board will normally accept the recommendations on strategy and policy of the Global Council, unless there are good reasons of legal or financial probity for not doing so. The board appoints and ensures the effectiveness of the International Director.
A small decentralised Secretariat which is – at least for now – based in London with half of the team operating out of different regions. Its role is to support the national coalitions in their strategy, governance, management, communication and delivery of work plans. It is facilitative and enabling, and does not have a supervisory role over the national coalitions unless they, collectively through decisions of the Board, decide to delegate some management and oversight powers to the Secretariat. The Secretariat also has responsibility for coordinating PWYP work at international and regional level, as well as joint fundraising, and coordinating the implementation of funded projects.
For more information go to the Secretariat page.