The biggest differentiator for creating impact is our staff. In the past 10 years, Solidaridad has witnessed fast growth in staff worldwide. Currently, we employ over a 1000 – mostly local – staff, spread over eight regions. Their knowledge, expertise and experience is key to our success.
Solidaridad has purposefully chosen to adopt a network structure based on local management, supervision, knowledge and expertise across the globe. The premise of the structure is that it promotes capacity building: strengthening Solidaridad teams in the region, enabling them to take control of supervisory tasks and to manage programming themselves. The regional Solidaridad teams cooperate with their own partners on the planning, implementation, communication and evaluation of programmes, and on reporting their results.
The organization consists of seven regional centres throughout the world with a Network Secretariat connecting the regions. The network secretariat (officially Solidaridad Network Foundation, founded in 2011) is located in Utrecht, the Netherlands, in the same office building as Solidaridad Europe, one of the regional centres. The Network Secretariat consists of the Executive Director with a small staff surrounding him and delivering tasks that support the whole network.
In order to ensure efficient daily operations and an efficient payment structure, the seven regional expertise centres are grouped on five continents, each with their own supervisory structure. Legal entities for these five continental Solidaridad regions are established in Utrecht, the Netherlands (for Europe), San Francisco Bay Area, USA (for North America), Panama City, Panama (for Latin America), Nairobi, Kenya (for Africa) and Hong Kong, China (for Asia).
The Executive Board of Directors is the main policy-making body, ensuring coherence between international commodity strategies and regional programmes.
The Executive Board of Directors is also responsible for the overall implementation of the international policy and commodity strategy. It consists of the managing directors from each region. The chair of the Executive Board of Directors is the Executive Director of Solidaridad Network.
Solidaridad’s governance structure is based on the continental European governance model. This means, amongst others, a board with a two-tier structure, emphasis on dialogue with stakeholders and focus on achieving consensus. This governance model aims to ensure that decisions are made as closely as possible to the deepest levels in the organization and that constant checks are made to verify that actions across Solidaridad Network are justified in light of the possibilities available at continental, national or regional centre level.
Within Solidaridad, the International Supervisory Board is at the highest level of international oversight; monitoring policies, quality of programmes, financial control and the performance of the Executive Board of Directors. Direct supervision of the regional centres is organized by continent. To ensure a dedicated focus on the interest of Solidaridad Network as a whole, each Continental Supervisory Board is represented in the International Supervisory Board by its chair. The chair of the International Supervisory Board is Shahamin Zaman.
The Continental Supervisory Boards work in their respective regions to set the parameters for growth, determine the future direction, and ensure a strong national and continental presence. The boards strive for an optimal composition of five members, respecting a balanced composition in terms of gender, regional representation and areas of expertise and knowledge.
The executive director is supported by staff who work at the Solidaridad network secretariat, based in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The network secretariat fulfils several functions within the global organization. It facilitates global policy development and acts as a service centre for the eight regional offices. The network secretariat provides support related to Solidaridad’s quality assurance systems, as well as maintaining standards for financial management, accountability and control, planning, monitoring and evaluation, ICT infrastructure, and human resource management. It is also responsible for global communication, which includes managing the international website, and developing communication guidelines, tools and standards for global branding.
In accordance with Solidaridad’s statutes, neither the members of the International Supervisory Board nor of the Continental Supervisory Boards of Solidaridad receive remuneration of any kind.
The remuneration of Solidaridad’s directors entails a base salary, equal to the total guaranteed annual income (monthly salary, holiday pay, and fixed 13th month). Base salary levels of Solidaridad directors comply with the Dutch Standards for Remuneration Act (Wet Normering Topinkomens 2015). These guidelines define maximum levels of annual income.
Remuneration of employees is embedded regionally, based on policies and regulations that can vary per Regional Expertise Centre. Solidaridad entities in the Netherlands (the Solidaridad Network Foundation and Solidaridad Europe) comply with the salary scales as applied by the Dutch government for civil servants, the so-called BBRA scales. The executive director’s salary fits within BBRA scale 17. The managing directors’ salaries range from BBRA scale 15 to 16.