Title: NGO reporting in the European context: practices in the healthcare sector

Authors: Eva Cerioni; Alessia D'Andrea; Stefano Marasca

Addresses: Faculty of Economics, Department of Management, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Piazzale Martelli 8, Ancona, Italy ' Faculty of Economics, Department of Management, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Piazzale Martelli 8, Ancona, Italy ' Faculty of Economics, Department of Management, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Piazzale Martelli 8, Ancona, Italy

Abstract: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports are a communication tool adopted by NGOs to legitimise their activities in the eyes of their stakeholders. The present paper investigates how widely diffused reporting practices are within NGOs, also delving into the content of NGO reports, the presence of external assurance, and the categories of stakeholders involved in the accountability process. A content analysis method was applied to the reports published by NGOs operating in ‘Health and Nutrition’ sector in Europe. These organisations play a relevant role in the health sector, managing funds for research and action, and working in medical assistance. Our findings reveal a lack of comparability and standardisation in frameworks and structures used in reporting practices by NGOs. The research show that NGOs follow both ‘upward’ and ‘downward’ accountability approaches. Further research can focus on investigating the reporting practices in other healthcare settings as well as exploring them from a temporal perspective.

Keywords: NGOs; non-governmental organisations; stakeholders; non-financial reporting; corporate social responsibility report; social audit; upward accountability; downward accountability; health; comparability; standardisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJENVH.2020.113654

International Journal of Environment and Health, 2020 Vol.10 No.1, pp.66 - 89

Received: 12 Jun 2020
Accepted: 03 Aug 2020

Published online: 06 Mar 2021 *

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