Thanks to our choice of Supervisory Board model as our governance form, the directors also form the Executive Team (i.e. Board of Directors). This means they can operate quickly and flexibly. The Supervisory Board makes sure it does so carefully and effectively. The Supervisory Board is responsible for the Free Press Unlimited foundation.
We at Free Press Unlimited attach great importance to the gathering and sharing of knowledge. Teams and departments can learn a lot from each other. In fact, their collected expertise is more than the sum of its parts, as is seen every year during our Free Press Unlimited days. Our organisation structure is designed for that: we are a network of five project teams and seven support departments that are closely linked with each other. This makes the (daily) exchange of information simple and attractive.
Of the five project teams, four are regionally oriented – Sudan & South Sudan, Syria/Eurasia, Fragile Africa and MENA (Middle East & North Africa) – and one global: Gender, Safety & Accountability. During the course of 2018, the Syria programme was added to the MENA team. The size of the teams ranges from 3.8 FTE (MENA) to 10 FTE in the large Sudan team, which also includes the staff of Radio Dabanga. Each project team has a team leader.
The 7 support departments are: Communications, Knowledge & Quality, Donor Relations, Finances, Human Resources, Office Management and Safety. The first four have a department head, the other departments are directly steered by the Executive Team.
Supervisory Board, Board of Directors and Management
The Supervisory Board is responsible for Free Press Unlimited. It monitors the performance of the organisation and intervenes if it feels it is necessary. The Supervisory Board is responsible for the overall strategy of the organisation and makes decisions on the basis of the annual budgets and reports. In its own report, it holds itself accountable for its activities in 2018. With 7 members, our Supervisory Board was always quite large; in 2018 we decided to have a smaller supervisory body of 5 members.
The Board of Directors of Free Press Unlimited consists of Leon Willems and Ruth Kronenburg. They also form the Executive Team: Leon is Managing Director and Ruth is Operational Director. This Executive Team conducts the daily policy and is accountable to the Supervisory Board. Its duties and responsibilities are set out in the Articles of Association of Free Press Unlimited and in a management regulations.
The annual gross remuneration of the Directors (in 2018: Leon Willems € 93.908 and Ruth Kronenburg € 92.781) is in line with the remuneration scheme for directors of Goede Doelen Nederland the Wijffels Code. The additional activities of the board members are directly related to their work for Free Press Unlimited. Leon Willems is special advisor to the Global Forum for Media Development. Ruth Kronenburg is a member of the advisory committee of Pro Bono Connect, a project of the Dutch Lawyers Committee for Human Rights and in 2018, she was appointed to the Supervisory Board of the Transnational Institute (TNI). They receive no compensation for this work.
Instead of a limited management team, since 2017, Free Press Unlimited has a strategic management meeting. This is a quarterly meeting of the directors, the team leaders and the department heads. All team leaders and coordinators meet every month. They discuss and coordinate operational matters that are important for the entire organisation and support each other as managers
Ideally, Free Press Unlimited wants its partners to pull their own weight (financially) as quickly as possible, on condition that they can run their organisation in a professional manner. To achieve this, Free Press Unlimited gives them the best guidance possible: customised and at a realistic pace, given the often difficult circumstances in which they operate. We are planning to make two of our big projects independent in the course of 2019.