Trustees: Supervisory Council

Home-based with travel to The Hague


Hivos was founded in 1968, inspired by humanist values. The founders held the conviction that development work should not be linked to missionary work, and true cooperation presumes respect for differing beliefs. These convictions are still reflected in their work.

They believe that human life in its many forms is valuable, and that people are filled with potential. Living a life in freedom and dignity, with respect for each other and the planet, leads to greater individual wellbeing and fair, vibrant societies.


Hivos believe that every human being has the right to live in freedom and dignity, and that we are all free to be who we are, with respect for individual gender and sexual identity. Living such a life, also means feeling free to believe and say what you want, to challenge governments and stir up the established order. As this freedom is exercised, there is a responsibility not to impinge on somebody else’s freedom. And Hivos respects the natural limitations of the earth.
They believe in open societies, in which freedom and diversity are valued individually and collectively. Such a society welcomes diversity and offers equal opportunities to all. They also believe in green societies, in which the environment and the planet’s natural resources are used sustainably to the benefit of all. Open and green societies are interwoven: together they create a free, fair and sustainable world.


Based on a track record of 50 years of partnering with frontrunners in daring, innovative and impactful development programmes, Hivos seeks new and creative solutions to persistent global problems. Solutions created by people taking their lives into their own hands. They offer a positive counterbalancing force against discrimination, inequality, abuse of power and the unsustainable use of the planet’s resources. Their mission is to innovate for social change, with smart projects in the right places. They strive for a free, fair and sustainable society.

At the heart of their strategy are frontrunners: pioneers be it activists, social entrepreneurs, civil society or artists that operate at the frontline of developments, due to their great ideas, new solutions, high-impact collaborations and bold approaches. Hivos scouts for and helps to develop smart ideas and new approaches. They support the most promising solutions and bring them to scale. They link all parties that can – and want to – be part of these solutions. And they help create an enabling environment, including the political environment, in which these solutions really stand a chance and can flourish.
Hivos is currently working in about 25 countries in the South. In our Strategic Plan 2016-2020 and our Business plan 2017-2018, it is  outlined how Hivos wants to realize its vision and mission.


Hivos are currently looking for 2 trustees to join The Supervisory Council (SC) with two separate focal points: One trustee with a background in the LGBTI+ community/networks and one trustee with good knowledge of civil society building in the Global South.

The Supervisory Council (SC) comprises a minimum of five and a maximum of nine members. One member is nominated by the Dutch workers’ council. The SC is currently discussing how to prepare itself and the organization for further internationalisation. The work of Hivos takes place in various regions in the world and current reflection concentrates around how to reflect the international character increasingly in management and governance of Hivos. An organisational model with regional and/or country boards is currently piloted. What the consequences are for the composition of the SC has not been formulated yet. Hivos expects the international members of the SC to play an essential role in this debate and bring their southern perspectives into it.   The SC supervises the Board of Directors and has the decision-making power with regard to Hivos’ general policies and other areas, as established in the articles of association. This includes amongst others: -

  • changes in the articles of association;
  • appointment and dismissal of the Board, the  SC is employer of the board;
  • approval of the annual budget and accounts;
  • discharge of the Board;
  • entering into alliances, institutional forms of cooperation and participations;
  • approval of strategic policy frameworks.

In addition, the SC supports the Board with advice and suggestions. The SC members carry these responsibilities both individually and jointly. The SC has two standing committees: the audit committee and the remuneration committee. Both committees exercise their tasks on behalf of the full SC in accordance with the approved rules and regulations.


The members of the SC are appointed for a term of four years. Members who complete their term can be reappointed for a maximum of two additional terms, for a total period not exceeding twelve years.  To guarantee continuity, the SC uses a roster in which members are appointed at different times. Reappointment of SC members does not happen automatically as the SC regularly evaluates whether its composition is commensurate with the challenges the organisation is facing.


The SC functions according to best practices laid down in the Dutch Code of Good Governance (“Code Goed Bestuur”) of the Wijffels Commission, and the rules of the Central Bureau on Fundraising (CBF).


The SC has five to six meetings a year, two of which are in person in The Hague and the others over Skype.


The SC Members report to the Chair of the Supervisory Council


  • Each member of the SC needs to be capable of assessing the main lines of Hivos’ policies;
  • Members of the SC need to have governance experience (with emphasis on governance or supervision at a distance), as well as experience with legal and/or organizational issues;
  • At least one member of the SC will be a financial expert, meaning that this member will have relevant knowledge and experience on financial and accountancy matters; - The SC should include as much as possible representation of sectors of society that are relevant for Hivos (with the related expertise and capabilities). This includes the following sectors: academia, politics, trade unions, development cooperation and business. At least one of the members has demonstrable fundraising experience;
  • Members from developing countries preferably have strong expertise on civil society's role in development while having linkages with other stakeholders (social movements, private sector, knowledge institutes, international organisations, etc.). They are able to contribute to Hivos' profile as an innovative organization, have an understanding of the dynamics of Dutch/ European development cooperation and have preferably prior knowledge of Hivos’ work, or at least its priority areas;
  • Members of the SC are prepared to subscribe to the humanistic principles and recognize themselves in the vision and mission of Hivos.

In addition to this, members of the SC will meet the following requirements:

  • Wisdom and maturity in arriving at opinions and judgements/decisions;
  • Independence and impartiality  members will not be employees or active board members of Hivos’ partners;
  • Ability and willingness to exercise the supervisory task from a distance - A team driven attitude, aimed at good quality decision processes;
  • A constructive and critical attitude;
  • A strong sense of norms and values and social responsibility;
  • Familiar with the Dutch governance model or willingness to operate within the model (oversight at a distance) and prepared to act as a sounding board for the Board on political and strategic matters.

From the International members there are the following expectations:

  • Expertise and experience in international cooperation, preferably wide experience in/ with bi- or multilateral donors, foundations, development agencies, knowledge institutes with an international orientation or international organizations.
  • Management and/or Board experience, particularly in the field of funding and resource mobilization for International Non Governmental Organizations (INGO) or alternatively in funding INGO’s for programmatic and institutional purposes.
  • Knowledge of and involvement in current international debates regarding the Hivos Open and Green Society domains and thematic areas; financing for development; post 2015 agenda; funding mechanisms; development effectiveness and/or the new definition of Official Development Assistance (ODA) criteria; SDIs and measuring progress against those.
  • One member would preferably have an active LGBTI background, to contribute to Hivos’ agenda for strengthening the world wide position of LGBTI people, especially in countries where they are suppressed in their freedom.
  • One member would preferably have a background in building strong networks and/or mergers between (I)NGOs within the sectors of green and sustainable development, Human Rights organisations, Women Empowerment, and the like.


To apply for the position of trustee, please prepare a copy of your CV, together with a supporting statement and a list of nonexecutive directorships and trustee posts that you currently hold, and apply using the Oxford HR application form, link

Please ensure that your submission fully addresses the appointment criteria in the person specification.

You should provide the names, positions, organisations and contact telephone numbers of two referees. References will only be taken once your express permission has been granted.

We would be grateful if you could also let us know if you require any special provision as a result of any disability should you be called for interview.

We particularly welcome applications from women from the Global South and the LGBTI+ community


All candidates will receive feedback within four working days of the closing date. Shortlisted candidates may be required to undertake an additional assessment prior to the final interview.


If you have any queries on any aspect of the appointment process, need additional information or would like to have an informal discussion, please contact Yolanda Weldring via email at

Closing date: 
22nd March 2018