Our Incorporation Text

Our Incorporation Text 

The number of members of the Checks and Balances Network, whose foundations were laid in 2011, increased over years and neared 300. Meanwhile, the changing political environment of Turkey and the requests of members to contribute to the network’s activities by involving their fields of specialization to a larger extent made it obligatory to review the operational structure of the network. Having completed its growth and development stage, the CBN was then ready to move on to the next stage. A new operational structure was established to enable all the members to be involved more in various decision-making mechanisms and activities. Upon the introduction of this structure, workgroups previously operating under names such as “relations with decision-makers”, “localization and expansion”, “media relations” were replaced by reform groups that could prepare policy recommendations in institutional reform areas related to the checks and balances system. The “coordination group” that exercised the right to decide on behalf of members was maintained in the new structure. In the other hand, three new groups, namely “internal evaluation group”, “communications group” and “editorial group” that shared the decision-making authority and aimed to provide support and guidance to the coordination group were established. Thus, instead of a single decision-making mechanism, a system was established in which responsibilities are shared and actors check each other in a way to serve the values that the CNB defends.  

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

The general assembly is composed of institutions that join the Checks and Balances Network and sign the declaration. All the institutional members from across Turkey constitute the network’s general assembly, with centers located in Adana, Ankara, Bursa, Diyarbakır, Van, İstanbul, İzmir, Kayseri, and Ordu. Every NGO that is a member of the network can be represented by one person in each reform group in the network. Every member institution takes part in the network with at least three contact people. Every member of the network has equal responsibilities, which are listed in the incorporation document. Every NGO that is a member of the network can select one of their representatives from among their professional employees. To be eligible to join the CNB, institutions must have their board decision, sign the declaration and the text of principles and values. In case of violation of the code of ethics, and principles and values described in the CBN governance documents, institutions will be removed from the CBN upon decision of the Coordination Group. Membership acceptance and cancellation procedures are described in detail in the governance document. Institutional representation is essential in the CBN. Individual membership to the network is possible only upon invitation of the Coordination Group. Individuals may be invited to join the network’s activities by the Coordination Group and provide support, and since the decision are made by consensus, individuals can support the network’s activities like institutional members. If selected, they can take part in every organ. However, individuals have no voting rights as far as voting-based decisions are concerned, and they cannot take part in decision-making mechanisms.

REFORM GROUPS (RGs)

The CBN carries out its continuous and sustainable advocacy work in various reform areas through reform groups. Each reform group builds and implements its own strategy considering the network’s overall strategy, values and declaration. The final aim of these groups is to ensure that the reform areas they work on have the following characteristics:

Accountable, transparent and participatory,

Independent and effective, as should be in the checks and balances system,

Carrying out its activities in a fair and equal way, without discriminating based on gender, belief, ethnic origin, political closeness, language, location, educational and economic status.

Our 7 reform groups that work on 7 priority areas where reforms are needed for a better functioning of the checks and balances system in Turkey are as follows:

Constitutional Reform Group

Legislative Reform Group

Executive Reform Group

Judiciary Reform Group

Media Reform Group

Local Administrations Reform Group

Civil Society Reform Group

Established under the leadership of the CBN members, these reform groups are open to individuals, experts, institutions and organizations that adopt the values and principles of the network and want to contribute to reform efforts.

COORDINATION GROUP (CG)

It is a structure that is formed by two individuals elected by each RG and provincial coordinators from among themselves, and it makes the strategic decisions of the network. It is a group where network-related decisions coming from the RG and local level are represented on behalf of the network. It ensures transparency among RGs and members, and is a guiding structure for strategic decisions. It makes the decisions detailed in the incorporation document of the network, and fulfills duties and responsibilities. Within the group, it is essential to ensure diversity in all the fields covered by the network including political approach, field of work, and gender. CG members are elected for a period of three years. Two full CG members and two reserve CG members are elected at the general assembly from among four candidates determined by each reform group and provincial coordinator. Gender balance needs to be established in the CG representation. One of the representatives must be a woman and the other a man. Special care is paid to make sure that one of the representatives is under 35 years old and a woman. RG and provincial coordinators’ representatives to be elected for the CG must come from an NGO that is a member of the network for at least a year, and representatives must have been involved actively in the network’s work for one year.

CG is composed of 16 institutional members from reform groups and provincial coordinators and one member representing the IPC. Communication Group sends to CG one of its members who will have no voting right, and Internal Evaluation Group sends to CG one of its representatives as an observer.

NETWORK REPRESENTATIVES

From the Coordination Group (CG) members, three people of whom one woman, one man and one young person (below 35 years) are assigned as network representatives. The decision is made by consensus considering the people who become candidates from among CG members. In case of lack of consensus, members receiving the highest number of votes are elected as network representatives. Network representatives are elected for a period of one year. Network representatives ensure coordination between the CG and the secretariat, they stand by the secretariat in all the processes of the CG. On behalf of the CG, they work with the secretariat and prepare meeting agendas. In urgent cases where the CG cannot be consulted, they take initiative. Network representatives represent the network in official correspondence, however they are not the only face of the network in public sphere. Depending on the content of the work done and field of specialization, people determined by the related reform group can take part in the works in addition to network representatives by consulting the Communication Group.

INTERNAL EVALUATION GROUP

The Internal Evaluation Group checks the conformity of all the work of the network with advocacy priorities specified in the strategic plan and the network’s principles and values and the declaration. This is a group that strengthens mediation between the groups and supervises the accountability of the groups towards each other. It makes the decisions and fulfills the tasks and responsibilities described in the institutional incorporation document and governance documents of the network. It takes the CBN declaration, governance documents and principles and values text as the basis. Members taking part in the CG cannot take part in the internal evaluation group. In the group, it is essential to have diversity in all the fields that are also included in the network’s principles such as political approach, field of operation, gender etc.

 

Members are elected by the General Assembly. In total five full members and three reserve members, of which four full members and two reserve members from among the previous coordination group members, and one full member and one reserve member from among provincial coordinators, are elected.

COMMUNICATION GROUP 

This is a group that promotes the values of the network and explains what checks and balances is about, plans and coordinates strategically all the communication-related work, starting with the CBN’s reputation, visibility and building public opinions. Specialization or experience and know-how are preferably sought to take part in the communication group. Due to the function of the group, individuals and institution’s representatives who are experienced in communications with previous professional history in this field are preferred. Diversity and balance among members are sought after in the group.

The Communication Group is composed of at least one member from each reform group and from among provincial coordinators and a member of secretariat who is a specialist in communications.

PROVINCIAL COORDINATORS

Provincial coordinators are the CBN’s contact people and representatives in provinces acting in line with the CBN’s principles, declaration, strategy, communication plan and stance. In the general assembly, two full and two reserve members are elected from among four candidates nominated by provincial coordinators. Gender balance is sought in the representation of the coordination group. One of the representatives must be a woman and the other a man. Coordination Group representatives cannot be from the same region.

CBN OFFICE

This is a professional team of people who support, carry out, and coordinate the network’s activities in collaboration with professionals and experts. It is composed of staff members from IPC and Democracy and Participation Association. All the processes related to recruitment and remuneration of team members are specified in detail in the network’s incorporation document. The team makes the decisions detailed in the incorporation document of the network, and fulfills duties and responsibilities.

Please have a look at our incorporation text to have detailed information about how the CBN works.

How did we work previously?

As members, we established 6 work groups back in 2014 to implement our strategic plan and coordinate our activities:

Research and Policy Development Group: Carries out research and field work to keep checks and balances on the political agenda and develop policies, publishes its findings, contributes to building negotiation processes.

Communication and Public Opinion Creation Group: Ensures our network’s communication with the media and citizens and ensures coordination of activities to mobilize the society through the social media.

Current Developments and Monitoring Work Group: Prepares regular analyses about current political developments, and shares the stance of our network with the public.

Relations with Decision-Makers and Opinion Leaders Work Group: Ensures regular relations at national and local level with decision makers to keep checks and balances on the agenda and have institutional reforms implemented.

Localization and Expansion Work Group: Ensures that our members and citizens come together quickly through local structures and get organized around concrete actions and initiatives so that our network can get stronger and expand at the local level and that local organizations can be effective in decision-making processes.

International Relations and Fundraising Group: Works to coordinate international partnership and develop financial resources.

Every work group selects two representatives, of whom 1 woman and 1 man in order to ensure its own coordination. Representatives of work groups constitute the Coordination Group. Members of the Coordination Group are responsible for determining the network’s policies and ensuring that the works progress in line with the annual strategic plan.

Ethics Group: Nominated by the Coordination Group, the Ethics Group ensures that the CBN’s activities are in line with our principles and values, national laws and international good practices. The Ethics Group also checks the conformity of the Network’s activities with the strategic plan.

Consultants who voluntarily contribute to the CNB with their expertise and experience support the Coordination Group and Work Groups. Consultants provide support for development of strategic plan, creation of policies in line with the strategic plan and determination of activities.

CBN Office

Builds the budget and employs staff members in line with the CBN’S annual strategic plan. The professional team can consult the Advisory Board and other consultants when necessary. The CBN Office is responsible to the Coordination Group for the CBN’s activities carried out in line with its strategic plan and the budget applied. 

 

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