Supervisory Board Report
Our ongoing operations are monitored by an external Supervisory Board. This Supervisory Board approves our organisational strategy, our policies and standards, our Annual Plans and Reports and ensures that Management maintains the integrity of everything we do - in order to meet our legal obligations in full.
War Child is registered in the Netherlands as a foundation. Dutch law states that a clear division must be maintained between the managerial and executive responsibilities of an organisation and its supervisory responsibilities. Our Supervisory Board ensures that we adhere to this structure.
The Supervisory Board appoints the Managing Director and is responsible for providing the holder of the position with advice and supervision. The board undertakes these responsibilities during four regularly scheduled quarterly meetings and additional meetings when necessary.
All our board members work on a voluntary basis and lend us significant expertise and experience. The board has no managerial responsibility and is responsible for its assessment of the quality of its contribution. Board members are appointed for four years and can be reappointed for an additional four-year term to maintain continuity. The Supervisory Board Rules contain principles of governance and are available on War Child’s website.
Meet our Supervisory Board
Peter Bakker is Chair of our board and responsible for overseeing our general operations. He also serves as President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development as is an Ambassador Against Hunger for the UN World Food Programme.
Rob Theunissen is Treasurer of our Supervisory Board. Rob provides key oversight of our financial and ICT operations and contributes to the ongoing strategic development of our organisation. He is a Partner at McKinsey & Company.
Willemijn Verloop is Vice Chair and founded our organisation in 1995. Today Willemijn is primarily responsible for supervising our marketing, communication and fundraising activities. She is also the director of Social Enterprise NL and a founding partner of Social Impact Ventures - and sits on the supervisory boards of Tony Chocolonely and Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam.
Raymond Cloosterman sits on the board and contributes his significant expertise in the areas of marketing and fundraising. Raymond is the founder and CEO of Dutch cosmetics giant Rituals.
Edith Kroese sits on the board and contributes specialist expertise in the areas of strategic planning and impact measurement. She also supervises monitoring and evaluation in both our Amsterdam office and our countries of operation. Edith is founder and Managing Director of business consultancy Avance.
Arjan Hehenkamp sits on the board and contributes specialist expertise to enhance the security and efficiency of our humanitarian operations. Arjan is currently adjunct director of Stichting Vluchteling. He has over 25 years’ experience leading international medical and humanitarian programmes for international NGOs - including Artsen zonder Grenzen.
Hans van der Noordaa joined our Board in October 2019. Hans has a long history of success in C-level executive positions for the ING Group and until recently held the position of CEO at Delta Lloyd. His portfolio currently boasts a variety of non-executive supervisory roles such as Chair of the Supervisory Board of Deloitte and Chair of the Supervisory Board of the Amsterdam Johan Cruijff ArenA. The Supervisory Board took the decision that, from early 2020, Hans van der Noordaa will take over from Peter Bakker to become War Child's new Chair of the Supervisory Board.
Stef Oud joined the Board in December 2019. He is the founder and partner at XtraAdvice B.V. focused on supporting professional service firms. Stef brings years of experience in management, technology and digital consulting. He is a long time War Child volunteer and has been involved in many projects and fundraising activities.
Meetings and Activities
The Supervisory Board meets regularly throughout the year to review the performance of War Child against set objectives outlined in our Annual Plan, our 2025 strategy and within the organisation’s articles of association. In 2019 the Board held four regular meetings and two audit committee meetings, all attended by management.
One key topic of supervision over the course of the year concerned the new brand ambitions and strategies. The board agreed with the overarching ambition and commitment to becoming ‘the most trusted brand in the field of psychosocial support for children affected by armed conflict’. They also reflected on the new brand ‘tone of voice’ and style guidelines - elements that reflect an increased sense of ‘urgency’ on the topic of acting early with psychosocial support in crisis situations balanced with ‘trusted’ evidence-based statements that reflect our commitment to becoming a Networked Expert Organisation.
The board also monitored the development of the updated Strategy 2016-2025. Our strategy defines all our ambitions and the routes to achieve those ambitions - and it has been important for the Board to establish the key elements that will guide the overarching framework from the beginning. The creation of a strong structure - and related elements - was supported by member of the Board Rob Theunissen who helped develop and re-formulate our four key objectives that reflect the need for relevance attached to our work.
Overseeing War Child’s ‘Family Structure’
The focus of our ambition is shifting - to not only develop our expertise and deliver increasingly relevant evidence-based interventions but also to bring these interventions to scale at an accelerated pace. To facilitate this, the Supervisory Board oversaw a process whereby the Senior Management Team (SMT) worked with a McKinsey & Company team over a period of several months to develop a robust Theory of Scale and associated Scaling Strategy.
In order to bring our partner organisations in Sweden and Germany under one umbrella, the composition of War Child Europe was another issue explored during 2019 board meetings. The Board backed a decision to establish this new entity via a ‘family structure’ - one that does not include the traditional concepts of a Members Assembly but rather focuses on an internationally active team - a shared programme platform - hosted by the various donor and programme countries. In the last meeting of the year in December, an update was given on the development of this structure and the board was informed that War Child is in the process of selecting a new model to do this. In 2020 the board will review the first draft of this plan.
The make-up and development of the Supervisory Board itself was also discussed. The end of Peter Bakker’s term as Chair of the Board led to the search for a new Chair and an additional Board member. By the end of 2019 it had been agreed that Hans van der Noordaa would join the Supervisory Board and would take up the position of Chair of the Board as of May 2020. In October it was announced that Stef Oud would also join as a member of the Board from December 2019 onwards.