The current structure of IPS – Inter Press Service is the result of a long process of institutional evolution, driven by the need to strike a balance between global direction and coordination, on the one hand, and decentralized execution and initiative, on the other.
The task of providing global direction and coordination to the organization’s diverse activities is entrusted to the IPS-Inter Press Service International Association, a non-profit, international non-governmental organisation (INGO), registered in Rome (Italy), where IPS’ headquarters are based. The associative structure has its roots in the history of IPS as a co-operative of journalists. The Association:
has legal responsibility for the organisation’s work in the field of information and communication
enjoys General NGO consultative status with the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
is an ODA-eligible international organization with the OECD
Decentralized execution and initiative is achieved through the IPS International News Agency, a co-operative consortium comprised of IPS Columnist Service soc. coop., IPS International Organization South Africa,IPS Asia Pacific Foundation Inc., IPS-Inter Press Service Latin America, IPS Europa/IPS Europe and IPS-Inter Press Service North America Inc. (see chart below). In every region autonomous non-profit IPS entities have been incorporated according to local norms and laws. This decentralised structure respects our diversity and:
ensures timely and accurate locally-sourced news coverage of important events written with a global perspective for local, regional and international audiences
allows capacity-building and dissemination and networking activities to be carried out in such a way as to respond to local conditions and needs
facilitates the creation of partnerships and other forms of cooperation with local media, civil society organizations and institutions
The chart below illustrates the global governance and organisational structure of IPS. Please click on each item of the chart for a brief description. For a full description of IPS’s governance structure and processes, please refer to the Statutes of the IPS International Association (.pdf).
The main governing body of the IPS International Association is the General Assembly of its ordinary members, both individuals and organisations committed to the IPS communication mission. The General Assembly is convened at least once a year to approve the Annual Report and the annual balance sheet of the organization. Once every three years, it elects:
the Board of Directors
the International Board of Trustees
the Audit and Appeals Committees
The IPS Board of Directors has full authority for the ordinary and extraordinary management of the IPS International Association. Under the supervision of the General Assembly, it develops the organization’s strategy. The Board is currently comprised of 16 members, with a strong geographic and gender balance. The Board elects the Director General and may elect an Executive Committee. The current President of the Board (2009-2012) is Federico Mayor, former Director General of UNESCO.
The IPS Director General is responsible for the implementation of the decisions of the Board of Directors. In this capacity, he or she is granted full powers for the ordinary management of the organization. IPS’s current Director General is Mario Lubetkin, a well-renowned Italian-Uruguayan journalist, unanimously appointed by the Board in 2002 and re-elected for a further term (2009-2012).
The IPS Executive Committee, currently comprised of four members, exercises the powers of the Board of Directors in between Board meetings and supports the Director General in the execution of his duties. The current President of the Executive Committee (2009-2012) is Fifi Benaboud.
The International Board of Trustees is the policy and advisory body of the IPS International Association and supports the organization in the achievement of its goals. It is comprised of distinguished international personalities representing the ideals and professional interest of IPS. Seven members currently serve as IPS’s trustees. The President of the Board of Trustees (2006-2012) is Roberto Savio, co-founder of IPS.
The Internal Audit Committee carries out a periodic inspection of the accounts of the IPS International Association and examines the accuracy and transparency of its balance sheet. The balance sheet is audited annually by an independent international firm. The Appeals Committee settles disputes between members, between members and the Association and/or between members and other IPS entities.
The IPS Core Group is made up of members of the donor community that have a sustained relationship with the organisation. It was established in the 1980s to provide IPS with guidance and orientation regarding its global mission in the field of communication, and to promote financial sustainability.
In recent years southern governments like Brazil and India have joined Finland, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway in the Group. Other participants come from the United Nations and its agencies, foundations, and NGOs like Oxfam-Novib. A Core Group Chair is elected on a rotating basis; the current Chair (2009-2012) is the Brazilian General Secretariat of the Presidency.
The IPS Global Management Team supports the Director General in the ordinary management of the organization. Directors of each of the IPS regional centres, the Editor in Chief and functional Directors of the major global divisions of IPS (finance, technical, projects and marketing) comprise the team, which presents a strong geographic and gender balance. Coordination is ensured by means of regular «virtual meetings», and physical meetings at least once each year.
IPS’ main implementation agency in the media market is the IPS International News Agency, a non-profit co-operative consortium registered in Rome (Italy) as a “daily news agency” (Court of Rome, Section Media under No. 209/06). The consortium is comprised of IPS Columnist Service soc. coop., IPS International Organization South Africa, IPS Asia Pacific Foundation Inc., IPS Europa Gmbh, IPS-Inter Press Service Latin America and IPS-Inter Press Service North America Inc. and offers a daily, independent news service and a columnist service. To ensure a common purpose and direction, the IPS Director General acts as the news agency’s CEO.
The trademark “IPS-INTER PRESS SERVICE International News Agency” is internationally registered at the WIPO (No. 882 743 dated 25/11/2005).
IPS Flanders, IPS Finland, IPS Germany, IPS Sweden and IPS Japan are local organisations that translate and market the IPS news service in their respective countries and / or language communities. They support IPS by expanding the readership of the news, making financial contributions, raising the profile of IPS, and through their staff and volunteers contributing time and expertise to our international network.