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Survey on Information Disclosure in NGO Annual Reports

Conducted by NGO Governance Platform Project in early 2017, the “Survey on Information Disclosure in NGO Annual Reports” concerns itself with information disclosure in the annual reports of social service NGOs. It looks into three things:

  1. existing legislatures that govern social service NGOs and their reporting behavior i.e. the legal and regulatory context;
  2. guidelines and other materials available that may shape annual report contents i.e. the extralegal circumstances;
  3. contents of annual reports of all HKCSS agency members available i.e. the practices.

The first two parts translate into two reviews, respectively on the local regulatory regime for NGOs and the guidelines or standards available, both of which may guide NGOs’ reporting behavior in particular their use of annual reports; the last part is operationalized by a survey of all HKCSS members’ annual reports relevant and available. The first two parts of background review produce a survey framework that is necessary for the use in the last part of the survey of hundreds of reports.

This exploratory research study of both the shapers and the contents of the annual reports of social service NGOs attempts to not only increase the sectors knowledge on how the sector as a whole is using annual reports as one of the main channels of communications and disclosure, but also to encourage enhancement in effective communications and transparency by introducing a framework informed by relevant resources, and bringing to light good practices already adopted by sector forerunners.

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Key survey findings were announced at the Seminar on “Effective Stakeholder Communication through Annual Report Disclosure” held in August 2017. The presentation deck is available here.