In the Republic of Congo, Well Grounded is working with Observatoire Congolais des Droits de l’Homme (OCDH), an organisation that monitors and campaigns on human rights in the Congo, including environmental rights and the rights of indigenous people. With Well Grounded’s support, and that of an external consultant group called Axyom, OCDH has been taking a look at how it is structured and how it works, and the organisation has been going through some fundamental reforms.
One issue that has been particularly important for OCDH’s members and staff to review is connected to ethics: as a human rights organisation, advocating dignity and equality of all people, they wanted to know whether they were putting those principles into practice within their own organisation and to explore how they behaved towards one another. In reflecting upon this, they agreed that although they try hard to live out certain common ethical principles, it could be helpful to write down what they consider these principles to be, and how the organisation can promote its values and combat what they consider to be negative ones.
They therefore drew up a “Code of Ethics and Good Conduct,” and everyone who now joins the organisation as a member or staff member signs up to this and commits to putting it into practice. OCDH hopes that this will help them regularly scrutinise their own performance and be confident that they are practicing what they preach.