As equal partners and important stakeholders, civil society and other non-business organizations can participate through a number of Global Compact engagement mechanisms, including Policy Dialogues, Learning, Local Networks and Partnership Projects. In these areas, such organizations have a crucial role to play in helping to foster partnerships and produce substantive action. Non-business participants are also encouraged to commit their organization to the ten principles and to report on progress made within their organization.
Since the Global Compact launch to October 31st 2013, non-business participants weren't required to reporting on their activities. On 31 October 2013 the Global Compact introduced a Communication on Engagement (COE) for non-business participants. This reporting mechanism aims to provide non-business participants with an opportunity to engage more actively in the initiative and to better connect with business participants. The COE is a tool for non-business participants express their commitment through transparency and communicate the ways they advance the Global Compact. In the spirit of continuous improvement and engagement, non-business participants will be required to disclose specific activities in support of the initiative to stakeholders every two years, as well as results.
The COE is a disclosure of specific activities that a non-business participant takes in support of the Global Compact and its results. The COE is a public document uploaded to the Global Compact website. When possible, the COE must be fully integrated in the organization's main medium of stakeholder communication, such as an annual report.
Non-business participants in the Global Compact will be required to communicate to stakeholders on their activities in support of the initiative within two years of joining – or two years from 31 October 2013 for existing non-business participants, and every two years thereafter. Failure to submit a COE every two years will result in a change of participant status to "non-communicating". Organizations that do not submit a COE within one year of becoming "non-communicating" will be expelled from the initiative.
The COE must include the following elements:
- A statement by the chief executive or equivalent expressing continued support for the Global Compact and renewing the participant's ongoing commitment to the initiative and its principles.
- A description of the practical actions that the organization has taken to support the Global Compact principles and to engage with the initiative. Practical actions should relate to one or more of the specific activities suggested to each type of non-business participant in support of the initiative.
- Measurement of outcomes (i.e. qualitative or quantitative measurements of results).
To learn more, read the COE Policy