ARIJ Code of Ethics

This Code of Ethics serves to inform beneficiaries, donors and the public of the internal guidelines, whereby ARIJ (Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalists) maintains the highest standards of integrity, governance, financial management, partnerships and implementation of our mission.

This Code of Ethics consists of three parts:

  • A brief introduction to ARIJ
  • Guiding Principles; principles must be adhered to, when in a business relationship with ARIJ.
  • Code of Conduct; outlines mandatory courses of action for specific situations.

The principles and the standards of conduct set out in this Code of Ethics must be adhered to by: (List is non-exhaustive)

  • ARIJ staff
  • Members of the board of ARIJ
  • Entities and/or individuals partnering with ARIJ
  • Consultants hired by ARIJ

Failure to comply may lead ARIJ to terminate the relevant business relationship.

The ARIJ Code of Ethics takes inspiration from the Code of Ethics adopted by the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations on 5 March 2005.

ARIJ Founden is a non-governmental and not-for-profit organization registered in Denmark, Copenhagen. ARIJ Founden owns Arab Researchers for Management Workshops and Training company in Jordan. Both entities are referred to here as ARIJ (Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism) 

ARIJ provides journalists in the MENA region with a supportive, connected and collaborative ecosystem that empowers, enlightens, and engages them with state-of-the art training, coaching and networking.

Founded in 2005, ARIJ has helped journalists adapt to changing technology, emerging business models, a continually shifting political landscape and growing threats to press freedom and information access.

Guiding Principles

ARIJ shall act in the public interest and maintain its independence from e.g. governments, for- profit corporations, donors and political organisations.

ARIJ shall not, in the course of its work, violate any person’s fundamental human rights.

ARIJ shall be sensitive to the moral values, religion, customs, traditions, and culture of the communities it works in.

ARIJ aims to work beyond borders of politics, religion, culture, race and ethnicity and with organizations and individuals that share common values and objectives.

ARIJ strives to ensure that our investigative training, coaching and initiatives are shaped by both international human rights standards and the priorities of each country we operate in. Founded on a Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA), our programmes are implemented in an accountable, inclusive and transparent manner in favour of marginalized groups. In every aspect of our work, ARIJ strives to be conscious of and responsive to gender inequalities hindering equal access to the media, both in terms of the production of media and the information disseminated by and through media.

ARIJ strives not to be affiliated with unethical journalism and promotes the role of the media in de-escalating rather than escalating a conflict.

Code of Conduct

Accountability and transparency

ARIJ shall be accountable toward donors and members of the public. Information provided about the organization to donors and the public shall be accurate, timely and balanced.

ARIJ shall make available to the public basic financial information, governance structure, names of its board members, listing of officers, description of activities, partnerships and joint ventures.

ARIJ shall seek to be transparent in all its dealings with the government, the public, donors, partners and beneficiaries. ARIJ shall protect personal matters and consider any information confidential in case it may endanger (the work of) any of its staff, partners or beneficiaries.

Anti-corruption, conflicts of interest and legality

ARIJ shall not engage in any form of corruption, bribery, or other financial improprieties or illegalities.  ARIJ shall never misuse funds; its staff and affiliates will have honestly and never accept or pay bribes.

ARIJ shall have an internal business integrity management system to control procedures and prevent any wrongdoing. ARIJ shall take prompt corrective action whenever wrongdoing is discovered among its staff, contractors or partners.

ARIJ shall avoid any conflict of interest, also in relation to institutional affiliations. All potential or actual conflicts of interest shall be disclosed immediately. Such disclosure does not preclude or imply ethical impropriety, if all reasonable steps are taken to resolve the conflict of interest.

ARIJ shall respect the laws, customs and business practices of the countries in which it operates. ARIJ shall not commit or condone an illegal act or instruct an employee, partner or contractor to do so.

Equal opportunity

Equal opportunity shall be ensured in recruitment processes and in decisions regarding staff development and/or advancement. Such decisions must be made based on performance and merit. Factors such as ethnicity, religion, gender, race, marital status, family responsibilities, etc. must be excluded from such decisions.

Sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse

ARIJ has zero tolerance against sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is understood as unwanted non- verbal, verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature. Employees, partners, beneficiaries or others, who are subjected to sexual harassment, are encouraged to report according to the procedure in ARIJ Gender policy. Clear policies and procedures must be implemented, to ensure professional handling of internal reports of sexual harassment.

If requested by ARIJ, participation in anti-harassment procedures and disclosure of any information relevant to the procedures is mandatory. Failure to participate in anti-harassment procedures, at the request of ARIJ, may lead ARIJ to terminate the relevant business relationship.

ARIJ prohibits sexual exploitation and abuse and considers such acts as serious misconduct, which may constitute grounds for disciplinary sanctions, including summary dismissal and criminal proceedings. Sexual Exploitation is defined as the abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust for sexual purposes. Sexual abuse is defined as the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, including inappropriate touching, by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

ARIJ forbids the exchange of money, employment, goods, assistance or services for sex, including sexual favours or other forms of humiliating, degrading or exploitative behaviour.

ARIJ strictly forbids sexual activity with persons under the age of 18, regardless of the local age of consent. Mistaken belief regarding the age of a child is not an acceptable defence.

Sexual relationships between ARIJ employees and members of ARIJ partner organizations are discouraged since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics and might undermine the credibility of ARIJ. ARIJ employees engaged such relationships should report to the relevant line manager, to avoid potential conflicts of interest. When an ARIJ employee develops concerns or suspicions regarding sexual exploitation or abuse, by an ARIJ Employee or related personnel, such concerns must be reported via the established reporting procedures.

Wages and Benefits

Wages and certain benefits shall be based on performance and merit; based on salary scale and market. 

Caretakers shall be allowed some form of maternity and/or parental leave based on ARIJ internal laws and Jordanian laws. 

Efficiency, effectiveness and evaluation

ARIJ shall organize its work efficiently and professionally and ensure that all activities are consistent with its publicly stated mission.

ARIJ shall critically examine its activities to determine their relevancy to the mission, their efficiency and effectiveness, the value of continuing the programmes or revising them, and the need for new programs.

Evaluations shall be honest and include input from a variety of stakeholders.

ARIJ shall have a managements implementation of all its activities and as a methodology to continuously improve the organization.

Governance and staff

ARIJ shall have a governance structure which reflects the core values, mission, and cultural standards of the organization.

ARIJ shall have an independent board to hold ultimate responsibility for all activities and (human and financial) resources of the organization. The functioning of the board (structure, term, duration, nomination process, grounds for cancellation, responsibilities, frequency, and mode of conduct) shall be laid down in the statutes and relevant by-laws.

ARIJ shall seek to employ capable and responsible staff, offer them proper supervision, treat them with fairness and equity, and provide them with avenues for individual growth and development.

ARIJ recruitment processes shall give equal consideration to applicants. Discrimination based on

e.g. race, religion, gender or age is prohibited in accordance with the Danish and Jordanian laws.

Finances and use of funds

ARIJ shall put in place financial procedures to ensure that the funds are managed safely and in accordance with the stated mission.

ARIJ shall have its financial records audited regularly by a qualified and recognized auditing firm to certify that the organization is operating in full compliance with the law and in accordance with generally accepted accounting practices.

Partnerships and networking

ARIJ shall seek to  coordinate its activities and form partnerships with like-minded organizations and collaborate to achieve shared goals, to reduce duplication and use of resources for competitive purposes.

ARIJ shall share information with non-governmental organizations with overlapping missions, values and target groups.

ARIJ shall network with other non-governmental organizations to promote the growth, effectiveness and efficiency of the investigative ecosystem and its ability to advance the public good and achieve accountability.