Rikolto's governance structure

In 2016, our organisational and governance structure underwent a complete makeover and we became an international network organisation. Following the internationalisation our organisation and governance, we changed our brand name from Vredeseilanden/VECO to Rikolto. In 2018 we created a company/profit organisation to complement our activities funded with donations.

Read more about this organisational change…

A Belgian Public Interest Foundation, Rikolto International s.o.n. has been operational since 2017 and is managed by an International Board of Directors and an International Management Team composed of the directors of the different programmes in the various regions.

This Public Interest Foundation operates alongside the non-profit organisation Rikolto Belgium v.z.w. (previously Vredeseilanden v.z.w.), which has ultimate responsibility for all funds raised from Belgium donors.

At the end of November 2018, Rikolto International s.o.n. and Rikolto Belgium v.z.w. created Rikolto b.v., an enterprise with limited liability and social purpose, with the goal of scaling the methodologies, methods, tools and instruments that the Rikolto family has been developing in its programmes financed through commercial contracts with third parties.

Rikolto International - Board of Directors

The composition of our International Board of Directors is based on the members’ complementary individual expertise (finance, HR and mission-related content), their background or stakeholder representation (civil society, public sector and private sector), their knowledge of Rikolto and a geographical distribution across the Rikolto regions.  In 2019 Marijke Beel joined the international Board to complement the team with her expertise in people management. Together with Koen Dolphen, she ensures the link with the Belgian Board.

These are members of the Board (end of 2019): Stephanie Daniels (Chair), Amon Mattee, Koen Dolphen, Lettemieke Mulder, Ronnie Natawidjaja, Sharon Hesp, Mark Lundy, Marijke Beel and Alex Arnaud Assanvo. 

The directors are appointed for a maximum period of three years and are eligible for reappointment twice. The Board members can only nominate new members if they are proposed by the International Management Team, to ensure diversity and knowledge of Rikolto’s work. The Chair and all other Board members are volunteers. They receive no payment for their services, nor do they have an executive function within the organisation. The Board delegates operational responsibility to the organisation’s Executive Management: since 1st September 2018, Chris Claes is the Executive Director of Rikolto International.

The Rikolto International Board of Directors meets three times a year in a virtual meeting and one time in a physical meeting, jointly with the International Management Team. Based on proposals from the Management Team, the Board defines the general policies and strategies of the organisation. They follow up on the implementation of these policies and strategies and on the results and impact achieved. Social, economic and environmental concerns form the core of these strategic conversations.

Rikolto International - International Management Team, Executive Management and Global Support Team

The International Management Team, which steers the daily operations of the whole network organisation, is composed of the regional directors of the different Rikolto regions. In 2019, also the coordinators of the different programmatic cross-country programmes (clusters) joined the Management Team.

Global financial reporting standards and quality control are the responsibility of the Finance department of the Global Support Team. This team will also take on many support functions to increase our global impact and improve our way of working, e.g. communications, fundraising, designing tools for planning, learning and accountability, etc. 

Meet the team...

Rikolto Belgium vzw - General Assembly

The General Assembly consists of 80 members representing our key stakeholders. They are volunteers, experts from various organisations or private companies, people working for governmental institutions or public administration, members of the Board of Directors and former staff members. In total, our GA comprises 35 women and 45 men (as at 31/12/2019). 

Anyone may apply to become a member of the General Assembly. Applications are presented at the next General Assembly. Membership is valid for an indefinite period. The Articles of Association stipulate that current Rikolto staff cannot be a member of the General Assembly. 

The General Assembly is the supreme body of Rikolto Belgium v.z.w. (non-profit organisation). It appoints the Board of Directors and ratifies the annual accounts and the annual report. Within the General Assembly there is a Financial Committee that thoroughly studies the financial reports ahead of each General Assembly. 

In 2019, apart from its formal obligations, the General Assembly thoroughly discussed the renewed mission and vision of Rikolto Belgium v.z.w.

Rikolto Belgium vzw - Board of Directors

In 2019 Marijke Beel and Frie De Greef joined the Belgian Board of Directors to complement the team with their expertise in people management and in socio-cultural topics. Together with Koen Dolphen, Marijke ensures the link with the International Board.

These are the members of the Belgian Board (end of 2019): Marijke Beel, Marc Bosmans, Kristof Debrabandere (chair), Frie De Greef, Koen Dolphen, Karel Bolckmans, Marnix Somers, Toon Martens and Petra Dombrecht.

The directors are appointed for a maximum period of four years, renewable once. The Board of Directors is responsible for general management and determines the organisation’s strategy. The Board monitors the organisation’s sustainability performance. This concerns practical decisions as well as choices within the programme. 

The Board delegates operational responsibilities to the organisation’s Executive Management: Jan Wyckaert. The Chair and all other Board members are volunteers. They receive no payment for their services, nor do they have an executive function within the organisation. 

The Board has incorporated the principles of good governance into its Articles of Association and Rules and Regulations, based on the Belgian King Baudoin Foundation’s "Good Practices and Recommendations for the Management of Social Profit Organisations" (Goed praktijken en aanbevelingen voor het besturen van Social Profit organisaties).

In 2019, the Board organised a two-day meeting to achieve more in-depth knowledge of the Belgian programme, the new role of volunteers within our organisation and private fundraising.

Rikolto BV

Rikolto BV is a limited company, and all profits go to Rikolto International s.o.n. and Rikolto Belgium v.z.w. The limited company was set up to scale the methodologies, methods, tools and instruments that the Rikolto family has been developing in its programmes. Its activities are financed by commercial contracts with third parties who seek its consultancy and advisory services.

It was established by Rikolto Belgium and Rikolto International, which each hold 50% of the shares. The three organisations are related in financial, economic and organisational terms and share a common mission and vision. The respective executive directors of Rikolto Belgium and Rikolto International, Jan Wyckaert & Chris Claes, have been statutorily appointed as the college of directors of Rikolto BV to oversee its daily management. A supervisory board has been established consisting of two board members from the Rikolto Belgium & Rikolto International boards of directors. According to the statutes of the two sole shareholders Rikolto Belgium & Rikolto International, this supervisory board can also represent the general assembly of Rikolto BV.

In 2016 the Belgian government (through the consultancy agency Deloitte) screened all Belgian NGOs on their governance and management. Rikolto achieved an excellent result and is now recognised as “programme NGO” for the next ten years, allowing us to apply for long-term funding from the government.