GFMD Code of practice (2016)

The Steering Committee elected at the 2021 General Assembly is expected to update the GFMD Code of Practice and put the changes to a vote of all members.


This Code of Practice serves as a statement that GFMD members are committed to maintaining the highest standards of integrity, governance, financial transparency and accountability while furthering the GFMD’s mission.

Adopting and adhering to this Code of Practice serves as an ethical charter for the activities and operations of GFMD members, as well as an internal guideline for the application of GFMD values and mission.

The GFMD member’s Code of Practice takes inspiration from the Code of Ethics as adopted by the World Association of Non-Governmental Organisations.

Guiding Principles

GFMD members shall not, in the course of their work, violate any person’s fundamental human rights, with which each person is endowed.

GFMD members fundamentally respect religious, ethnic, gender, political and cultural diversity, but also work to transcend and enable dialogue across divisions sometimes resulting from such diversity.

GFMD members shall serve the greater good of freedom of expression and respect of human rights as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

GFMD members shall seek to develop good relationships and fair partnerships with sister organisations operating in the media sector.

Accountability and transparency

GFMD members shall be accountable towards the general public; those beneficiaries whom they serve; those partners they work with; and those who support them. Information provided about GFMD members to those stakeholders shall be accurate, timely and balanced.

GFMD members shall seek to be transparent in all their dealings with the public, donors, partners and beneficiaries.

GFMD members shall protect and consider any information confidential in case it may endanger (the work of) any of its staff, partners or beneficiaries.

Anti-corruption, conflicts of interest and legality

GFMD members shall not engage in, and avoid being a willing partner of, any form of corruption, bribery, or other financial improprieties or illegalities.

GFMD members shall never misuse funds and their staff and partners will behave honestly and never accept or pay bribes.

GFMD members shall take prompt corrective action whenever wrongdoing is discovered among its staff, contractors, and partners.

GFMD members shall be honest and truthful in its dealings with its donors, project beneficiaries, staff, partner organisations and the public in general.

GFMD members shall avoid any potential or actual conflict of interest, including institutional affiliations, which might possibly involve a conflict of interest.

Non-profit, non-governmental and independent

GFMD General members are not-for-profit organisations. Any surplus that is generated through the operations of GFMD members is to be utilized solely to help the organisation fulfil its mission and objectives.

GFMD General members are non-governmental organisations.

GFMD members are not to be part of, or controlled by, government or an intergovernmental agency.

GFMD General members shall maintain their independence. Their vision, policies and activities shall not be determined by others (e.g. for-profit corporations, donors, governments, government officials, political parties) but shall be decided upon solely by the governance structure as laid down in their statutes.

GFMD members shall not be rigidly aligned to or affiliated with any political party and shall not seek to implement the policy of any government.

Governance and staff

GFMD members shall have an effective governance structure, which reflects the core values, mission and cultural standards of their organisations.

GFMD members shall have an independent board that can ultimately be held responsible for all activities and (human and financial) resources of the organisation.

The functioning of the board (structure, term, duration, nomination process, grounds for cancellation, responsibilities, frequency and mode of conduct) shall be laid down in the statutes and relevant by-laws of each organisation.

GFMD members shall seek to employ capable and responsible staff. GFMD members shall expect from their staff to maintain the highest standards of professional and personal conduct.

Finances and use of funds

GFMD members shall work according to good practice to ensure that financial and legal procedures and safeguards are followed and that fiscal integrity is maintained.

GFMD members shall have their financial records audited regularly by a qualified and recognised auditing firm to certify that the organisation is operating in full compliance with the law and in accordance with generally accepted accounting practices.

Exceptions will only be permissible in rare circumstances accompanied by full and acceptable information and explanations.

GMFD members shall only seek and accept funding which is consistent with their mission

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