The huge success of the training sessions showed that there is a strong demand among member institutions for training activities. The IOI has become highly aware of the necessity of training programmes for its members and is planning to offer additional training courses focusing on areas that are of specific concern to ombudsman institutions and taking into account regional topics of specific interest.
Since November 2010 the IOI General Secretariat hosted various training initiatives in Vienna and was able to forge close ties with renowned partner institutions offering training such as the Vienna-based International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA), the Queen Margaret University (UK/Scotland), the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), the Ombudsman of Ontario (Canada) and the Ombudsman of New South Wales (Australia).
The very positive feedback from our members encourages the IOI to further embark on such projects and provide its membership with additional trainings at the IOI headquarter in Vienna as well as in the IOI regions in the future.
With the view to strengthen our members’ capability and to foster the exchange of expertise among Ombudsman worldwide, the IOI always strives to identify the specific training needs of its members and to broaden the range of topics offered to its members in tailor-made training seminars.
The IOI aims at implementing research projects that will become the basis for an intensified exchange of best practices among member institutions that will for the first time have comprehensive data available on other members of the ombudsman community.
Comparative research project on Asian Ombudsman Institutions
The upcoming research project will deal with Asian Ombuds institutions.
Comparative research project: "APOR Ombudsman Institutions"
The IOI General Secretariat commissioned the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights, an independent Austrian research institution, to conduct a comparative research study on the ombudsman offices of the Australasian and Pacific Region. The APOR comparative research project links up with a very successful research project on the European Region conducted by Prof. Kucsko-Stadlmayr. It aims at analysing the legal basis, the legal status as well as the position of ombudsman institutions of the APOR Region within their political systems and societies. In addition, the project focuses on the compliance of the various ombudsman institutions with norms of good administration and international and regional human rights standards, on their accessibility to different societal groups and on their monitoring and data collection mechanisms.
A print version of the study "'Australasia and Pacific Ombudsman Institutions" was published in 2013. It contains a detailed comparative analysis of the ombudsman institutions of the APOR Region. An online access will be available for members soon.
Access to research on European ombudsman institutions
Against the background of this intensified scientific cooperation the IOI General Secretariat is pleased to offer all IOI Members the opportunity of free of charge electronic access to the following publication: Kucsko-Stadlmayer, Gabriele (ed.): "European Ombusman-Institutions. A comparative legal analysis regarding the multifaceted realisation of an idea", Springer Wien New York, 2008. This comparative legal study that was realised by the European region in 2007/2008 and contains well founded information about approaches, assignments and competences of Ombudsman institutions in 49 European states . It can therefore provide a valuable incentive for the status and potential of development of the Ombudsman regime.
For further information please contact the IOI General Secretariat.
Using membership fees, the Executive Committee of the IOI is able to grant subsidies for regional projects based on a transparent tender procedure.
Out of numerous project proposals six applications from five regions were selected in 2011. Most of the projects concerned training initiatives or public communication and research activities.
In 2012, five projects from four regions were subsidized. A webinar, training courses, a capacity building workshop and a fundamental rights campaign for detainees were financially supported by the IOI.
Amongst several other promising projects, the proposals that received subsidies in 2013 were an information campaign against human trafficking, a project on awareness raising of women’s rights and child rights as well as a training course for new Ombudsmen and developing or expanding offices.
Ombudsman under threat
Threats to Ombudsman institutions come in a variety of forms but have a common denominator: they come as a direct response to the complaint handling work of Ombudsmen and their efforts to protect human rights and fight corruption.
The IOI acknowledges the general need to support member institutions under threat as one of its core tasks, especially when democracy is weakened, undermined or comes under threat. The IOI sees the need to support democratic oversight bodies such as the Ombudsman in order to protect the citizens concerned.
The IOI therefore developed a set of guidelines to establish principles and courses of action to coordinate IOI support for Ombudsmen coming under threat, facing reprisals or operating under difficult circumstances.
When supporting a member in need, the IOI will respect its values and principles and apply a “do-no-harm” principle. Coordination and communication of any actions and at all stages of the process is of utmost importance; especially with the Ombudsman institution in question.
The guidelines provide an overview of the options for support available and clarify the procedures to be followed should such case present itself.
The International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) is committed to promoting and developing the concept of the Ombudsman and it does so in a variety of ways: it encourages the creation and development of Ombudsman institutions where they do not already exist, it funds research, provides training and promotes information exchange and shared learning.
In its ongoing dialogue with key international organizations and stakeholders, the IOI also engages in Ombudsman-related topics and issues statements on behalf of its entire membership.
As the only global organisation representing Ombudsman institutions, IOI considers policy areas that are of specific importance to its members and therefore contributes to improving public services around the world.
Vienna Declaration (April 2017)
Bangkok Declaration (Nov. 2016)
IOI Privatisation Policy Paper (May 2015)
Mediterranean Refugee Crisis (April 2015)
This calendar intends to list as many events related to topics and matters relevant to the wider Ombudsman community as possible. The Secretariat relies on information it receives from members and regions to update the calendar and give as broad a picture as possible. This calendar does not claim to be exhaustive! If you wish to add an event that could be of interest to the IOI community, please contact the IOI General Secretariat.
25 - 27 SEP 2018
Under the banner of "belonging" the forum organized by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) will bring together over 400 participants from human rights communities, business, international, national and local organisations to discuss new perspectives to pressing human rights issues and strategies on building the basic need for people to feel safe, secure and belong to a wider community.
1 - 3 OCT 2018
The Office of the Federal Ombudsman of Belgium will host the General Assembly and regional conference of the IOI's European Region under the theme of "The Ombudsman in an open and participative society".
10 - 12 OCT 2018
The 13th International Conference of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) will focus on "Expanding the civic space and promoting and protecting human rights defenders, with a focus on women: The role of NHRIs". The conference is hosted by the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) of Morocco with the support of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Conference on own initiative investigations
22 – 23 OCT 2018
Belfast, Northern Ireland / UK
The Office of the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO) will organize a conference to share best practice in conducting own initiative investigations.
IOI Regional Meeting - Caribbean & Latin America
25 October 2018
Mexico City, Mexico
The Office of the National Human Rights Commission of Mexico (CNDH) will host the regional meeting of the IOI's Caribbean & Latin American Region on the side lines of the Regional Forum on the Agenda 2030, which will be held in Mexico City from 23 - 25 October 2018
25 OCT 2018
The European Network of NHRIs (ENNHRI)will hold its General Assembly meeting as well as its annual conference in Athens. Given the current context of shrinking democratic space, threats to humanr ights, democracy and the rule of law, the conference topic of "Building bridges for human rights - NHRIs as Human Rights Defenders" becomes even more important. The event is hosted by the Office of the Greek Ombudsman and will bring together NHRIs and Human Rights Defenders from wider Europe.
5 - 7 NOV 2018
The Ontario Ombudsman’s Office has pioneered an innovative methodology for conducting systemic investigations. The Toronto course has been offered annually since 2007 and has welcomed colleagues from North America, but also from other regions of the world. A discounted rate of $699 CAD (plus 13% HST) is offered to all IOI members for the three-day course on advanced investigation techniques, interviewing witnesses, writing and publicizing reports and using new technologies and social media (the regular price is $999 CAD). For more details or registration please contact the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman.
7 – 9 NOV 2018
The 4th edition of the IOI's NPM workshop series will focus on “Strengthening the follow-up on NPM Recommendations” and is generously hosted by the Office of the Danish Parliamentary Ombudsman.
FOI Case handling workshop
26 - 27 NOV 2018
Save the date for a case handling workshop for experts of Freedom of Information (FOI) institutions.
30th Australasian and Pacific Ombudsman Region (APOR) Conference
28 – 29 NOV 2018
Auckland, New Zealand
This year's APOR Conference will deal with “Holding governments to account in a changing climate”. The conference is hosted by the Office of the Ombudsman of New Zealand and will be held at the Pasifika Centre, Manukau Institute of Technology in Auckland. The last conference day will include training on various subjects such as:
- “OPCAT and how to effectively monitor places of detention”
- “Leading the charge: how to be a strategic and effective leader”
- “Press wrangling: how to manage the media”
- “Ethics and how to address conflict interests”
- “How to make robust recommendations and ensure they are implemented”