Annual Report



Open annual report

Audrey Gaughran, Executive Director SOMO

Radical system change is possible 

The global economy is once more going through turbulent times: geopolitical rivalries and trade wars between major economies loom large; authoritarian regimes are on the rise; global aggregate debt levels are hitting new records; and rapidly rising energy and food prices are deepening inequality in countries around the world. Political action to meaningfully address the climate emergency and ongoing loss of biodiversity remains frighteningly weak.

Against this backdrop, the demand for radical change is growing and the voices calling for it are joining forces, pooling resources and becoming stronger. SOMO is part of this growing movement, calling for deep changes in the global economy. We believe an essential element of the change needed is eradicating the dominant corporate logic of ‘maximizing shareholder value’ or extracting as much profit as possible out of a company for shareholders. This is almost always at the expense of workers, communities or the planet. Despite this, in most companies globally it remains the key determinant for measuring a CEO’s success – not whether a corporation delivers high-quality goods and services that are produced in environmentally sustainable ways and under fair labour conditions, but has the company increased value for shareholders. Maximizing shareholder value is much easier to do for multinational companies (MNCs): they have a largely unregulated global arena in which to minimize costs and extract maximum value to create wealth for their owners or patrons.

MNCs have become vehicles to enable the domination and oppression of nature and people for the benefit of a small group of elites. Comparisons with their colonial-era antecedents like the British East India Company and Dutch East Indies Company, where merchants came together to exploit the resources of other regions of the world, may appear far-fetched but they are not. These companies played a key role in the expansion of colonialism, doing what MNCs still do today: leveraging the power of their home states to ensure access to the wealth of other countries. For centuries, this was often done through brutal oppression, sometimes with armies. Today, the approach is usually (though not always) more refined, accomplished via an edifice of deeply inequitable trade and investment laws that institutionalise and legitimise the economic dominance of powerful multinationals and states. Worse still, countries have even been convinced that they need to make themselves attractive to their exploiters. Almost all measures recommended to ‘attract foreign investment’ are measures that multinational companies want – from tax breaks to the removal of environmental and labour protections.

The world’s greatest and most pressing problems will not be solved with any justice and equity if the MNC construct is not radically and fundamentally changed. Efforts of civil society organisations working on corporate accountability have largely focused on trying to make companies behave better. Such efforts – and SOMO is part of some of them – are certainly important, but they do not suffice. Time and again we see that laws to change corporate behaviour are watered down, and regulators are starved of resources or captured by corporate interests. Efforts to get the cost of abusing people and nature factored into the business bottom line make the fatal mistake of agreeing that everything has to have an economic value or it is not worth respecting. The intrinsic worth of people and nature should never be given up to the altar of economics.

If we keep focusing on the symptoms and superficial treatments, we will never deal with the root causes or advance meaningful, and workable, alternatives to the current system. And we should be clear –meaningful alternatives will strike at the heart of neoliberal capitalism. We cannot solve the MNC problem within the current system. We need to dismantle it painstakingly and rebuild simultaneously.

Of course, our goals can appear idealistic and simplistic, and herein lies the challenge for civil society organisations and the academics with whom we work. The neoliberal system in which we live has wrapped its tentacles so completely around us all that any efforts to cut free will hurt millions, possibly billions, of people. Substantial parts of the economies of whole countries, from Ireland to Mauritius, have been built on enabling abuse and exploitation by MNCs. The livelihoods and pensions of people around the world are tied up in the system. Dismantling it will affect many, and the poorest and most vulnerable most of all. Unless there are vast safety nets, and a clear plan, replacing the system will harm a lot of people. We need a revolutionary kind of evolution, one where we first plan for, then deliberately cause, a major disruptive event.

Civil society must seize the agenda, articulate the plan and safety nets needed, and work for what will be laughed at, scorned, and denounced by policy makers, business leaders, and other elites. We have become too comfortable being at the table. We are, at times, part of the system, playing our appointed role. We have made the system too comfortable. We must find a new path: one that is not part of the system, and yet cannot be ignored by it.

This is at the core of SOMO’s mission. In this annual report we describe the work we have done in the last year, including some of our modest but important successes, such as when several European countries pulled out of an investment treaty that protects the fossil fuel industry (see the section on the Energy Charter Treaty) after SOMO, together with others, vigorously campaigned against accepting half-hearted reforms. This pushing back on false ‘solutions’ and demanding more profound change, marks an important milestone in the larger struggle for economic justice, to which we are fully committed.

The big fights for justice always seem crazy and impossible at the start, and sometimes for many years afterwards. But they are always the ones worth fighting. We know our options: radically change our economic system, or acquiesce in the destruction of critical ecosystems, and let millions die in climate chaos so MNCs can continue to make money for shareholders… which option is the more crazy?

There is a growing body of civic activists, NGOs, and academics working for radical change to the economy and the role of MNCs. SOMO is among them.









Highlights of 2022

Our work



Organisational development

Financial statements 2022

Our work

Our strategy in a nutshell

Deep and sustained collaborations for change

SOMO never works alone. Partnerships and alliance building are in our DNA. The multinational corporate problem cannot, by definition, be solved by any single organisation in a particular country. It is a problem that demands cross-jurisdictional cooperation. With our allies we will continue to advance norms and standards and support those seeking remedy and accountability.

International networks and alliances not only confront corporate-driven injustices, but have the power to imagine and build an alternative future, one where the economy serves people and not the other way around. If we continue to join forces and build our collective strength, we can reach a tipping point and reset the global economy together. This hope and belief animates SOMO’s work and underpins our 2021-2025 strategy.

Climate Justice and Corporate Power 

A just energy transition is urgent and imperative. However, the vital changes needed are constrained by economic structures that not only impede urgent action, but which will, left unchecked, lead to deeper inequality, even in a green transition. At the centre of the challenge are multinational companies working to preserve shareholder value and profit maximisation.

When oil and gas extraction assets are stranded, the liability for pollution and damage is also likely to be abandoned. As part of our work on climate justice and corporate power, SOMO is working with partners in key countries to prevent irresponsible disengagement by fossil fuel companies. We are also working to prevent these companies offloading the costs of transition onto other actors, such as communities, state-owned companies and the public.

Challenging the Energy Charter Treaty

Protecting corporate profits over public interest

At the end of 2022 several European countries pulled out of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). This followed concerted campaigning by SOMO and many others, including Climate Action Network Europe. The ECT’s investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clause allows oil, coal and gas companies to sue governments if their profits are harmed by new laws or policies, including those designed to prevent climate chaos.

SOMO’s research has repeatedly exposed how ISDS clauses can have a chilling effect on governments’ efforts to protect human rights and the environment. Under ISDS countries can face stiff financial penalties, imposed by private and opaque tribunals where the financial interests of investors take precedence over the wellbeing of society and the planet.

In 2022, a new version of the ECT was promoted which did little to remove the problems within it. After sustained campaigning, the Netherlands, along with France, Germany, Spain and several others, announced their intentions to withdraw and forced a European Union (EU) re-think. By early 2023, it was clear that the whole of the EU would have to pull out. This would mean a massive step towards ending a treaty that has no place in a climate crisis world.

Securing justice in the energy transition – Colombia

The use of coal had steadily declined in recent years in Europe, but since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, this trend has reversed. Panicked by skyrocketing gas prices, several European governments have allowed their coal-fired power plants to return to full capacity. Figures from energy data company Kpler show that about 40 million tons of coal were imported into the Netherlands in 2022. Until recently, much of that coal came from Russia, but following sanctions on Russian energy sources, European demand for coal from other countries, such as Colombia, soared to 7 million tons (37 percent increase). Of that, 2 million tons were imported from the conflict-ridden northern mining region of Cesar, four times as much as the previous year.

Meanwhile, no one is talking about the human rights implications. Coal producing regions of Colombia like Cesar are steeped in human rights abuses that occurred during the country’s deadly civil war. Largely unmediated, the abuses continue today. Mining and energy companies have benefited (and continue to benefit) from the violent displacement of people from their land. SOMO concluded back in July 2021 that these mining and energy companies are complicit in the continuation of human rights violations.

We are now working with communities who were driven from their land to make way for coal mining in Colombia to vigorously defend their rights. We know that now is the critical moment, to make sure that before the coal companies exit for good, there is accountability and remediation for human rights abuses of the past.


rise in the European demand for coal since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Making better rules for business

During 2022 SOMO worked with allies across Europe to promote strong due diligence standards for business. In November 2022, several Dutch political parties submitted a draft of the Responsible and Sustainable International Business Act to the Dutch House of Representatives. The bill reflects many of the proposals of SOMO and the Dutch corporate accountability network, MVO Platform (which SOMO hosts). The bill would oblige companies to identify and address negative impacts in their own operations and throughout their value chains. SOMO also worked with partners in the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) to promote a robust corporate human rights due diligence law at the EU level.

Additionally, in 2022 advocacy by the international OECD Watch network (which SOMO also hosts) helped to secure agreement to revise provisions in the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises. We expect the revised Guidelines to be finalised in June 2023. The amended Guidelines represent a breakthrough and a major win for civil society on important corporate accountability topics such as climate change, indigenous rights, digital rights, and biodiversity, and will be a strengthened tool for civil society to hold corporations accountable.

Supporting an anti-monopoly movement in Europe

Decades of financial globalisation and neoliberal policies have created a favourable environment for the growth of monopoly power. The market power of the world’s largest corporations has been visibly increasing in terms of revenue, market capitalisation, and ownership of assets. For example, the top four companies in any given sector now hold a larger market share than a decade ago.

A company that has significant monopoly power will naturally reinforce its position in order to increase its advantage. If left unchecked, companies with monopoly power negatively affect labour rights and increase inequality in wage shares.

SOMO expanded its work to confront monopoly power in 2022 forming a strategic partnership with the Balanced Economy Project, a new organisation focused on constraining excessive concentrations of corporate and financial power. Together with the Balanced Economy Project we are building a network of CSOs, activists and academics to advance an anti-monopoly movement in Europe. 

Reining in the power of Big Tech

A handful of tech companies have become global gatekeepers to the modern world. Companies including Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft set the terms of communication for billions of internet users and have a sphere of influence that is rapidly expanding to encompass social and government institutions, other businesses, consumers, and citizens. There is an urgent need to disentangle the benefits of the services they provide from the risks of their dominance over public and private life.

In the short term, Big Tech requires measures such as more control on mergers and acquisitions and stronger protections for workers and smaller companies that become dependent on the platforms. This was the focus of SOMO’s work on the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), which was agreed in March 2022. SOMO played a leading role in advocacy at Dutch and EU level to widen the scope of the mergers about which Big Tech companies have to notify the European Commission. This was a critical win to prevent companies expanding into new areas such as health and food without any scrutiny.

If properly enforced, the DMA and the Digital Services Act (DSA), together with bold antitrust action, will be crucial to rebalance digital markets, increase protection of citizens and consumers and put an end to many of the harmful practices that big tech companies have engaged in over the years.

Labour rights and leather goods

Workers in the global leatherware industry often face harsh working conditions. Low wages, long working hours, and job insecurity are frequently reported in low-income production countries. The chemicals used in the processing of leather can be toxic and, for workers who are not provided with proper protection, exposure can lead to serious health problems.

Despite the well-known labour rights issues in the sector, an analysis of 100 leather goods companies, carried out by SOMO, found that less than one-third even published a supplier list. Supplier lists are a well-established tool in the apparel sector, allowing different groups – workers, investors and consumers – to link facilities along the supply chain to the brands and retailers. Without such lists, it is not possible to have any confidence that leather goods are not tarnished with labour rights abuses. 

Among the 100 companies surveyed, the luxury goods companies in the sample performed below average. SOMO’s research shows that 35 out of the 44 luxury brands in the overall sample, including Armani, Versace, Michael Kors and Coach did not publish supplier lists that show where they source their leather jackets, trousers, shoes, belts, gloves, bags, and other leather goods. Only a handful of luxury brands gave some information on the origin of their leather products. Among these are Bally, Zegna and Fendi. But the information provided by these companies was far from complete.

SOMO’s analysis of supply chain disclosure makes clear that voluntary approaches are not working and raises serious questions about the overall due diligence of these companies. It underscores the need for mandatory supply chain due diligence which must include enhanced supply chain disclosure.

LegalNet: a networked approach to strategic litigation

In 2022 SOMO launched LegalNet – a new approach to leveraging strategic litigation as a tool to challenge corporate power. The project builds on the opportunity offered by strategic litigation to close gaps in the protection of human and labour rights. While individual legal cases can be ground-breaking and precedent-setting, change can also be case-specific, with the same issue having to be repeatedly litigated in slightly different cases, without leading to the much-needed wider systemic change.

LegalNet sees an opportunity to advance a new networked approach to strategic litigation. One that will draw on, and share, the expertise gained in the past decade amongst CSOs and lawyers. The approach established by the project starts with coalition building around a small number of human rights issues, and involves developing multi-jurisdiction, multi-procedure litigation strategies to advance shared, and relatively tightly framed, objectives. These strategies are then implemented by the respective coalitions. In December SOMO hosted a group of lawyers, activists, investigators and academics to look at litigation opportunities to support justice in the energy transition. This group identified several clear opportunities for a coordinated strategic litigation endeavour which will be collectively delivered over the coming years.

Shareholder remuneration up by 500% in 20 years

Over the last 20 years, Dutch listed companies have become increasingly financialised – a business model that involves increasing debt, stagnating investments and higher pay-outs to shareholders, both through dividend payment and share buybacks. From 2000 until the start of the COVID pandemic shareholder remuneration grew by a staggering 500%, while wages, expenditure on global suppliers and tax contributions all remained flat indicating a glowing imbalance. These developments have left most listed companies vulnerable when it comes to facing the challenges of the future. These are the main conclusions of the report ‘Shareholders First. How companies became dividend machines’, which SOMO published in June 2022. The developments highlighted in the report underline how the current corporate governance regime, which prioritises shareholders, is unsustainable.


Increase in shareholder renumeration

Our online outreach






Long reads


Our work






Alliances and partnerships are critical to advance an agenda for fundamental change. Playing our role within an international ecosystem of like-minded actors is central to SOMO’s theory of change and our core values.

Much of our work is done as part of long-term partnerships, through joint research projects or with research by SOMO that supports activism and campaigns of partner civil society organisations (CSOs). We play an active role in numerous networks and host several international networks. We are committed to sharing knowledge, learning from others, and contributing to a transformative and justice-focused agenda. In 2022 we worked with partners from Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the MENA region. Many of these partnerships are long-standing, reflecting shared goals and joint work over several years.


Protection des Écoregions de Miombo au Congo


Action Labor Rights




Action Against Impunity for Human Rights






Al Haq


Civil Initiatives for Development and Peace


Conectas Direitos Humanos




Foundation for the Development of Sustainable Policies


African Resources Watch


Bangladesh Labour Foundation




Asociación Interamericana para la Defensa del Ambiente


National Organization for Working Communities


European Coalition for Corporate Justice


Community Empowerment and Social Justice Network


Asociación Montelimar Bendición de Dios


Fédération International des Droits de l’homme


Project on Organizing, Development, Education and Research (PODER)


Center for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD)

Partner Profile

Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD)

CEHRD was founded on August 15, 1999 by a group of conservationists, environmentalists, activists, and health workers in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The organisation was set up to respond to the serious problems plaguing the oil rich region, including widespread pollution, ill health and underdevelopment. CEHRD runs a range of programmes working directly with communities in the oil producing areas.  The organisation also works with international allies, including SOMO, to challenge the negative impact of oil companies on the health and rights of the people of the Niger Delta. This includes investigations into oil pollution, supporting communities to seek justice through judicial remedy processes and advocacy with Nigerian regulators responsible for the oil industry. 

As the European and US oil majors exit onshore oil production, for financial and climate reasons, CEHRD is working to ensure that they do so responsibly.  SOMO and CEHRD have a partner agreement to work together on this issue.

Partner Profile

AL Haq

On 18 August 2022, the Israeli military raided the offices of SOMO-partner and Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq in Ramallah and six other civil society organisations. The raids were the latest escalation in the ongoing repression of Palestinian civil society by Israel. In 2021 Israel designated six of the NGOs – Al-Haq, Addameer, the Bisan Center for Research & Development, Defence for Children International-Palestine, Union of Agricultural Workers Committees (UAWC), and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC) – as terrorist groups.

In July 2022, nine European countries, including the Netherlands, released a joint statement declaring that “no substantial information was received from Israel that would justify reviewing our policy towards the six Palestinian NGOs on the basis of the Israeli decision to designate these NGOs as ‘terrorist organizations’.”

SOMO is determined to continue its corporate accountability work with Al-Haq, and continues to lobby European and other governments to publicly condemn the designations and harassment of the affected organisations, and to increase support to them.





NGO networks

We play a key role in dozens of different Dutch, European and international networks and as a network host. We promote the exchange of information and collaboration among different NGOs towards similar goals.


The GoodElectronics Network includes some 100 trade unions and other organisations, activists, researchers, and academics committed to improving protection of and respect for human rights, labour rights, and environmental sustainability in the electronics sector. The network urges companies and governments to take action to improve the entire electronics production cycle – from the mining of minerals used in electronic products to manufacturing, recycling, and electronics waste disposal. SOMO hosts the network and serves on its steering committee.

OECD Watch

OECD Watch is a global network of CSO organisations with more than 130 members in over 50 countries. Network members share a commitment to ensuring that business activity contributes to sustainable development and poverty eradication. Corporations are held accountable for their impacts, and victims of business-related abuse receive remedy. OECD Watch focuses specifically on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (the Guidelines) and the associated grievance mechanism, the system of National Contact Points. The OECD Watch network aims to improve the implementation and effectiveness of the Guidelines and their link to parallel initiatives on corporate accountability.

MVO Platform

Hosted by SOMO, the MVO Platform is a coalition of diverse Dutch organisations working to ensure that companies are accountable for the social, ecological, and economic consequences of their activities across their supply chains, and that the Dutch government takes a proactive role in fulfilling its responsibility to protect citizens from possible negative impacts of companies. MVO Platform members include Dutch labour unions, human rights groups, and environmental and consumer organisations, among others. The MVO Platform aims to influence policies of the Dutch government and stimulates, facilitates, and coordinates activities involving its members.

Tax Justice Netherlands

Tax Justice Netherlands raises awareness about the negative consequences of tax avoidance worldwide. The network and its members advocate a fair global tax system. The Dutch network is part of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice. 


Lobbywatch NL is a coalition of organisations advocating greater transparency and better regulation of lobbying in the Netherlands. Our aim is to guarantee that Dutch policy-making is based on the public interest, rather than the demands of corporate lobbyists. Hosted by SOMO, the coalition includes Foodwatch, Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands), Open State Foundation, the Transnational Institute, Transparency International Nederland, and Wemos.





Organisational development

During 2022 SOMO largely completed a transition phase in its organisational evolution. The organisation embedded, and made progress on delivery of, its 2021 – 2025 strategy. In addition, during 2022 SOMO developed a five-year operational strategy (2022 – 2026) as a complement to the substantive strategy.

The operational strategy sets out priorities for SOMO’s organisational development in the areas of finance, fundraising, human resources and workplace wellbeing. The two documents form the basis for decision-making by SOMO staff and management. In addition SOMO carried out an organisational restructuring to align teams and staffing to the new strategy plans, and completed an overhaul of its approach to fundraising, leading to greater funding stability.

Governance structure

The governance structure of SOMO is set up as follows:

  • The Supervisory Board
  • The Executive Board (Executive Director)
  • The Management Team
  • The staff

In 2022 SOMO’s Supervisory Board consisted of the following people:

  • Ronald Messelink (chair until July 2022). Ronald stepped down from the Supervisory Board in July 2022.
  • Jasper Teulings is Director of Strategic Litigation at CIFF Climate. Jasper stepped down from the Supervisory Board in November 2022.
  • Angela Wigger (chair since July 2022) is Associate Professor of Global Political Economy at Radboud University in Nijmegen.
  • Claire Fernandez (member) is Executive Director of European Digital Rights (EDRi). Claire joined the SOMO Supervisory Board in April.
  • Radboud van Delft (member) is a senior management consultant for civil society organisations, who previously served as Organisation Director at PAX for Peace and Greenpeace amongst others. Radboud joined the SOMO Supervisory Board in April.

The Executive Board consists of one person: the Executive Director, Audrey Gaughran. The Executive Board, under the guidance of the Supervisory Board, bears the ultimate responsibility for identifying and managing the risks associated with the organisational strategy and activities.

The day-to-day management of the organisation is in the hands of the management team. In 2022 the team was chaired by the Executive Director and included the programme manager Irene Keizer and interim transition and operations Manager, Jasja van der Zijde (who served on the management team from June to December 2022).

The staff of SOMO play a critical role in the management and running of the organisation. SOMO’s Statutes recognise the role of staff in making strategic decisions of the organisation. The staff meeting is an important decision-making body and decisions are taken by a qualified majority vote. During 2022 staff voted in favour of the new five-year operational strategy.

Supervisory Board report

The Supervisory Board held four regular meetings in 2022, two of which have included a staff segment with presentations on ongoing research. Throughout 2022, building the resilience of SOMO’s organisational, financial and human resource capacities have been focal points, alongside reviewing the risks. The Supervisory Board also acted as a sounding board for the Board on the completion of the transition process that started in 2020. It provided advice and guidance on the application of SOMO’s statutes to this transition, and on developing an operational strategy and ensuring financial strength. Supervisory Board members also offered specific support on recruitment of interim financial management capacity to enable SOMO’s management team to have the space to review staffing needs in Support Services. The Supervisory Board is very satisfied with the Board and the Management Team who have succeeded to rebuild continuity reserves and to increase the diversity of the funding sources in 2022.

There were several changes in the composition of the Supervisory Board of SOMO. Ronald Messelink (Chair), stepped down in July and Jasper Teulings (Member) in November. Their expert support and thoughtful insights, as well as commitment and passion for SOMO’s mission, have been invaluable for the development and successes of the organisation, and in particular for the transition period from 2020 to 2022. Ronald Messelink was succeeded as Chair of the Supervisory Board by Angela Wigger.  Claire Fernandez and Radboud van Delft joined the Supervisory Board in in April, bringing significant expertise in organizational and financial management.

The Supervisory Board would like to thank the outgoing members, Ronald Messelink and Jasper Teulings, for the many years of dedicated service and for their wisdom, strategic insights and time commitment, and warmly welcomes the new members.

In March 2023 SOMO appointed Fernanda Hopenhaym to the Supervisory Board. Fernanda Hopenhaym is the Co-Executive Director of the Project on Organizing, Development, Education and Research (PODER), an organisation in Latin America dedicated to corporate accountability.


SOMO strengthened its financial position in 2022, with successful fundraising and improvements to financial management processes. The organisation benefited from a BUILD grant from the Ford Foundation of USD 1.3 million, as well as technical support from Ford Foundation to improve financial systems.

SOMO’s long-term funding strategy comprises four interrelated elements:

  • diversifying our sources of income by deepening existing relationships and building new relationships with funders that are aligned with SOMO’s mission
  • securing more general support, flexible and unrestricted funding, to ensure the structure of our funding is supportive of our work
  • increasing multi-year, strategy-aligned funding
  • building the organisation’s resilience, particularly by increasing our financial reserves

SOMO was again successful in its fundraising in 2022 by leveraging its new strategy to good effect. In 2022, SOMO secured funding contracts from several sources including general support from Open Society Foundations of USD 350,000 (EUR 351,303) and the following project funding:

  • Civitates – Challenge the monopoly power of the Big Tech sector (EUR 30,000 for 18 months)
  • CLUA (Climate and Land Use Alliance) – Leverage Brazil’s Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) accession to secure environmental and human rights reforms (USD 200,232/EUR 190,897 for 1 year)
  • European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) – Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence legislation in Europe (EUR 25,000 for 1 year)
  • Freedom Fund – ‘LegalNet’, a networked approach to strategic litigation for human rights (USD 88,110/EUR 85,030 for 1 year)
  • Convening on strategic litigation and international economic and corporate law (USD 10,000/EUR 9,510 for 5 months)
  • Humanity United Action – Mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence legislation and revisions to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines (USD200,000/EUR 200,000 for 1 year)
  • US Department of State Bureau Of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) (EUR 1,336,858 for 3 years).

We have also invested in building strong relationships with donors that share our goals. As a result, in 2021 Ford Foundation invited SOMO to make a proposal for a BUILD grant. A BUILD grant provides five years of general operating support, combined with targeted organisational strengthening support. Ford awarded SOMO a Year 1 BUILD grant for 2022 (USD 1.3 million) and invited SOMO to develop a Year 2-5 proposal. Ford Foundation informed SOMO that they already reserved a budget of USD 1.7 million to support SOMO in 2023-2026.

As a result of successful fundraising SOMO was able to rebuild general reserves in 2022. These rose from EUR 10,870 to EUR 809,441, slightly more than anticipated in the 2022 budget. Additionally, SOMO has been able to create an organisational strengthening reserve of EUR 440,001 to support the organisation as it evolves. The organisation was also able to recruit new staff for priority strategic areas of work, including Big Tech and Strategic Litigation support. All of these developments increase organisational resilience and effectiveness.

SOMO has further diversified its sources of income and reduced the proportion of funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (from 57% in 2021 to 45% in 2022). 

SOMO Budget 2023

Dutch Ministry of Foreign affairs 2,633,191.00
European Commission 133,494.00
Other governments 823,107.10
Private foundations 1,601,316.00
Other contributors 262,000.00
Professional services 100,000.00
To be raised 400,000.00
Total income 5,953,108.10
Personnel Costs 3,804,400.00
Direct Project Costs 1,600,000.00
General expenses 537,700.00
Total Expenditure 5,942,100.00
Financial Income and expenses
Interest income -
Financial expenses -10,000.00
Total -10,000.00
Result after taxation 1,008.10

Risk Management

SOMO has a risk management policy and maintains a risk register. Risks are discussed with the Supervisory Board at regular meetings. In 2022 SOMO’s risks were lower than preceding years. This was due to efforts in 2021 to resolve financial challenges, and successful fundraising which returned the organisation to a sustainable financial position, in particular the rebuilding of our general reserves.

Financial Risks

SOMO continued to face a shortage of human resources capacity in its Finance team in 2022. In 2021, the organisation took the decision to increase senior level capacity in the team to improve overall financial management. However, in common with other civil society organisations, we faced challenges in recruiting suitable senior expertise. During 2022 we were able to benefit from senior capacity on an interim basis. This allowed SOMO the breathing space to reform some systems and processes and strengthen overall financial controls. SOMO will continue to seek a permanent Finance and Operations Manager to join the Management Team in 2023, pursuing new strategies for recruitment. In the intervening period SOMO continues to retain high calibre temporary senior financial expertise.

IT and digital security

Digital security is constantly on our radar, including when working with partners. Ensuring that communications, personal data and sensitive information are secure is a priority for SOMO.

The main focus of the IT team in 2022 was on supporting a transition to a more flexible way of working and using the office and IT facilities. This includes increased development and use of our private cloud services to facilitate online, hybrid and offline working and collaborating.

Besides the ongoing switch of our back-end systems to more modern, open source systems, we also continued to assess how we can make the user-facing side of our IT less dependent on Big Tech firms and other multinationals.

Staff wellbeing

In 2022 SOMO decided to expand its Human Resources (HR) capacity from one to two staff members. SOMO also benefited from hiring senior specialist HR advisers on an interim basis to support the organisation in delivering on strategic HR projects including implementing the new SOMO structure and the use of deep democracy tools and processes in SOMO.


At SOMO we endeavour to align our internal organisation with our core values. We are proud to be a non-hierarchical organisation where staff members jointly take decisions on strategic matters. In 2022, as noted above, SOMO developed a five-year operational strategy for the first time. This was done to ensure organisational development was fully aligned with the substantive strategy and to enable all staff to have a voice in operational matters. The strategy set out priorities including:

  1. Ensuring SOMO is a mission-oriented organisation where people work together towards agreed strategic objectives as formulated in the substantive strategy
  2. Providing a safe, healthy, and dynamic work environment
  3. Ensuring SOMO is financially healthy and resilient for the future
  4. Reinforcing strong and clear governance and oversight

The document was adopted by a vote of the full staff in July 2022.

In the second half of 2022 SOMO carried out a revision of structure and mandates. This resulted in the establishment of several new roles and some revision of team composition, to better align with SOMO’s substantive strategy. The structure revision clarified mandates of staff and teams, and continued to support SOMO’s non-hierarchical work culture, emphasising mandates based on job responsibilities rather than hierarchy.

SOMO aims to be a good employer and a reliable partner in cooperation. As a research organisation it is our first responsibility to be accountable for our research and network-related activities. As a watchdog organisation, we take responsibility to avoid causing harm in our work. Our Code of Conduct and Complaints Procedure are based on this principle. In 2022 we updated our Code of Conduct, and in 2023 all staff will be asked to sign the Code as part of ongoing efforts to ensure SOMO’s values are well embedded in work culture and practices, particularly as the organisation grows.

As part of our integrity system, as implemented through our integrity policy, we received a report from our external confidential advisor. This report showed that, in 2022, two reports were made to the confidential advisor by staff. SOMO’s Management Team discussed areas for improvement with the confidential advisor, and continues to implement action to increase workplace wellbeing and safeguarding. This included, in 2022, training on non-violent communication and the use of deep democracy approaches in the workplace. SOMO also commenced a process to improve annual appraisals and the feedback processes, which will continue into 2023.

SOMO is committed to addressing workplace stress, staff safety and wellbeing. In 2022, SOMO implemented its new project planning procedures, which aim at ensuring work is more strategic and that workloads of each person are manageable. Led by the new Project Management Unit, SOMO’s management team evaluates the likely workload of staff and, in dialogue with staff members, works to agree manageable commitments at the start of each year. This is also evaluated regularly and in 2022 SOMO engaged temporary staff in some project areas to ensure effective delivery and prevent stress-related illness that can be related to over-work.

SOMO strives to ensure that our suppliers and service providers are of the most sustainable nature possible. Wherever possible, SOMO chooses fair trade, green, organic, recycled or second-hand items.

SOMO’s travel policy takes climate change and sustainability into account. SOMO employees are reimbursed for commuting costs by public transport. For work-related travel, people are strongly discouraged to fly within a 700-kilometre radius from Amsterdam.

SOMO will  be recertified in 2023 for two quality certificates: the international NEN-EN-ISO 9001:2015 certification and the Dutch Partos 9001:2015 certificate, which is a specific application of the ISO 9001:2015 standard for the development sector.

Financial statements 2022

Balance sheet as of 31st of December 2022

Amounts in euros31/12/202231/12/2021
Fixed assets
Intangible fixed assets 24,386 50,295
Tangible fixed assets 219,211 237,915
243,597 288,210
Current assets
Receivables, prepayments and accrued income
    Trade debtors 104,256 21,402
    Subsidy receivable627,330 107,770
    Taxation and social securities Receivables 2,390 9,705
    Prepayments and accrued income 45,504 132,677
779,480 271,554
Securities 1,422 1,403
Cash and bank balances 3,478,212 2,219,026
Total assets4,502,711 2,780,193
Continuity reserve809.441 10,870
Designated reserve organisational strenghtening 440,001 -
1,249,442 10,870
Current liabilities, accurals and deferred income
Creditors 655,174 534,321
Avanced payments/ advances received on subsidies1,212,520 711,122
Taxation and social securities payable 588,413 1,128,726
Accruals and deferred income797,162 395,154
3,253.269 2,769,323
Total liabilities4,502,711 2,780,193










Statement of Income and Expenditure 2022

Amounts in Euros 2022 Realization 2022 Budget 2021 Realization
Government grants/contributions
Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs3,139.1313,081,3073,073,060
European Commission382,449403,750165,141
Other Government grants534,087619,776531,416
Private foundations2,128,2301,712,451904,331
Other contributions661,840529,043509,960
Professional services114,835100,000165,289
Other income4,476 -2,006
Total income6,965,0486,446,3275,351,203
Direct project costs2,523,6902,057,8531,380,908
Personnel costs2,754,3063,162,4003,225,184
General expenses384,065546,574576,946
Total expenditure5,662,0615,766,8275,183,038
Operation result1,302,987679,500168,165
Financial income and expenses
Interest income-11,951 --7,137
Financial expenses-45,369-16,000-14,403
Result on ordinary activities before taxation1,245.667663,500146,625
Correction previous years VAT --850,000
Taxation on ordinary activities-7,095 --594
Result after taxation1,238,572663,500-703,969

The board of SOMO has decided to allocate the result after taxation 2022 as follows: EUR 798,571 to continuity reserves and EUR 440,001 to a designated reserve for organisational strengthening in 2023.

Accounting Principles for Financial Reporting

General accounting principles for the preparation of the financial statements

The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with Title 9, Book 2 of the Dutch Civil Code. For the preparation and presentation of the financial statements, SOMO uses the Guidelines for annual reporting of the Dutch Accounting Standards Board as well, especially Guideline 640 “Organisations not for profit”.

Valuation of assets and liabilities and determination of the result takes place under the historical cost convention. Unless presented otherwise, the relevant principle for the specific balance sheet item, assets and liabilities are presented at amortised cost price. Income and expenses are accounted for on accrual basis. Expenses are determined taking the mentioned valuation principle into account. Profit is only included when realised on balance sheet date.

Losses originating before the end of the financial year are taken into account when ascertained before preparation of the financial statements. The general accounting principles for the valuation of assets and liabilities and determination of the result are unchanged compared to last year. Comparative figures are, where appropriate, adjusted in terms of classification only for comparison purposes.

Principles of valuation of assets and liabilities

Fixed assets: Intangible and tangible fixed assets are presented at cost less accumulated depreciation and, if applicable, less impairments in value. Depreciation is based on the estimated useful life and calculated as a fixed percentage of cost. Depreciation is provided from the date an asset comes into use.

The following fixed percentages of cost are used for depreciation:

Intangible assets

  • Software: 20% a year

Tangible fixed assets

  • Rebuilding: 10% a year
  • Computers and software: 20% a year
  • Office equipment: 20% a year

Receivables: Receivables are included at face value, less any provision for doubtful accounts. These provisions are determined by individual assessment of the receivables.

Securities: The listed shares are valued at the market value as at balance sheet date, with which both realised and unrealised changes in value are directly accounted for in the profit and loss account.

Principles for the determination of the result

Government grants / contributions (allowances): Allowances are included in the statement of income and expenses in the year in which the subsidised expenses are realised.

Professional services: Revenues from professional services are recognised in proportion to the services rendered. The direct costs of these services are allocated to the same period.

Taxation: Corporate income tax is calculated at the applicable rate on the result for the financial year, taking into account permanent differences between profit calculated according to the financial statements and profit calculated for taxation purposes.

Notes to the balance sheet 31st December 2022

Amounts in Euros20222022 Total
Intangible fixed assets
Purchase value at historical cost223,693223,693
Accumulated depreciation173,398- 173,398-
Balance as of 1 January50,29550,295
Investments - -
Desinvestments - -
Depreciations 25,909- 25,909-
Depreciation desinvestments - -
Total movement bookyear 25,909- 25,909-
Purchase value at historical cost223,693223,693
Accumulated depreciation 199,307- 199,307-
Balance as of 31 December24,38624,386
Amounts in Euros2022 Renovations2022 Inventory2022 Total
Tangible fixed assets
Purchase value at historical cost271,753207,539479,292
Accumulated depreciation 70,480- 170,897- 241,377-
Balance as of 1 January201,27336,642237,915
Investments 4,50014,50019,000
Desinvestments - -
Depreciations 22,101- 15,603- 37,704-
Depreciation desinvestments - - -
Total movement bookyear 17,601- 1,103- 18,704-
Purchase value at historical cost276,253222,039498,292
Accumulated depreciation 92,581- 186,500- 279,081-
Balance as of 31 December183,67235,539219,211
Amounts in Euros 31-12-2022 31-12-2021
Trade debtors
Trade debtors107,25621,402
Provision for irrecoverable debts 3,000- -
Total trade debtors104,25621,402
Subsidy receivable
MoFA Human Rights Fund - Mind the Gap89,158 -
EuropeAid - Decent Leather50,112 -
Both ENDS - Fair, Green and Global Alliance46,232 -
Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland - Going public - 40,687
Business and Human Rights Resource Centre – Justice in the just transition (MFA Finland)27,516 -
National Endownment for Democracy41,79615,688
Brot für die Welt - GoodElectronics1,0001,000
Brot für die Welt - Promoting human rights and accountability - 4,000
Oxfam Novib - Fair Finance Asia (SIDA) 21,3386,574
DRL - Promoting Labour rights in China 193,740 -
Brot für die Welt - Climate Change, ESG and Sustainable Finance in the G203,979 -
Ford - general support - 3,641
Civitates - A healthy public sphere3,000
Rijksdienst voor Ondernemen - Decent Leather cofinancing149,45931,180
Mondiaal OECD Watch - 5,000
Total subsidy receivable627,330107,770
Taxation and social securities
Taxation (corporate tax)2,3909,705
Value added tax (VAT) - -
Total taxation and social securities2,3909,705
Prepayments and accrued income
Professional services to invoice21,93939,568
Partners Decent Leather - 57,886
Other prepayments and accrued income23,56535,223
Total prepayments and accrued income45,504132,677
Total securities1,4221,403
Cash and bank balances
Current accounts2,711,6471,446,624
Interest accounts767,854770,247
Money in transit 1,289-2,155
Total cash and bank balances3,478,2122,219,026
Amounts in EurosBegin financial year 2022Movements 2022End financial year 2022
Continuity reserve10,870798,571809,441
Designated reserve organisational strenghtening -440,001440,001
Total equity 10,8701,238,5721,249,442
Amounts in Euros31/12/202231/12/2021
Contract obligations project partners525,014451,462
Total creditors655,174534,321
Advanced payments/ advances received on subsidies
Oxfam Novib - Fair for All541.63013,210
Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland - Going public198,130 -
Humanity United Action - Due Diligence advocacy193,125 -
Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA)132,08273,348
Freedom Fund - Strategic Litigation55,400 -
MVO Platform 48,37442,162
University of Austria – RE-SOURCING25,83932,955
Swedwatch -OECD Watch14,412 -
Stichting Media en Democratie3,5283,528
MoFA Human Rights Fund - Mind the Gap - 219,613
Both ENDS - Fair, Green and Global Alliance - 63,458
EuropeAid - Decent Leather - 181,778
Mondiaal FNV - Decent Leather cofinancing - 3,770
Adessium Foundation - From big tech to tech for all - 50,000
Other - 13,903
Total advanced payments1,212,520711,122
Taxation and social securities
Payroll tax and social securities68,97398,054
Total taxation and social securities588,4131,128,726
Other accruals and deffered income
Holiday pay97,50189,868
Holiday days138,074106,955
Prepayments profesional services-31,537
Audit fee62,97530,500
Thirteenth month161,319 -
Other accruals114,42269,965
Total other accruals and deffered income797,155395,154

Prepayments and accrued income

For the development of project management software

SOMO joined the user platform of Matthat. Together with nine other organisations SOMO invests in the development of tailor made project management software. The user platform agreed with Matthat on a Return on Investment (ROI) in case Matthat is able to sell the software also to other clients.

Cash and bank balances

Except for one bank guarantee for the lease of our building (with the sum of EUR 19,147), all cash and bank balances are available for expenditure by SOMO.

SOMO only buys shares when this is necessary in the context of a project, for instance in order to be able to attend a general shareholders’ meeting. All dividend and currency profits are reserved as gifts for third parties. SOMO does not buy shares as an investing policy.

Subsidy receivables

For the subsidies of Oxfam Novib (MoFA Strategic Partnership 2021-2026) / Both ENDS (FGG – MoFA Strategic Partnership 2021-2026) / Oxfam Novib (SIDA) an auditors’ report is issued.


Continuity Reserve: In 2022 a grant has been awarded to SOMO which enabled the organisation to replenish the reserves to the level of 2021.

SOMO builds its continuity reserves in line with the Erkenningsregeling Goede Doelen, which recommends that continuity reserves are based on a risk assessment. SOMO prepared a risk assessment in order to determine the necessary level of continuity reserve. Most important risks are related to high donor dependency and litigation because of our projects. For this reason SOMO needs a continuity reserve of EUR 1,750,000.

SOMO has determined that it should have in place a continuity reserve of EUR 1,750,000.

Appropriated reserves:

SOMO has gone through substantial transition in 2022 as the organisation rebuilt financial stability and restructured the organisation to better deliver its five-year strategy. This is the crucial mid-strategy point where we need to lock in the gains we have made and build on the momentum we have gained in terms of funding and new and effective approaches to research and impact.

Because 2023 is such a crucial year and there remain several areas that need attention, SOMO is putting an organisational strenghtening reserve in place to ensure we have the resilience and flexibility we need at this inflection point.  There are three key areas where the MT will use the organisational strenghtening reserve: increasing capacity of key support services; developing innovations in research and communications; and completing transition processes.

Contingent assets and liabilities

At the end of 2022, there is one bank guarantee for the sum of EUR 19.147. This relates to the lease for the building of SOMO at KNSM-laan 17 in Amsterdam.

SOMO has a defined benefit pension plan for its employees on retirement with the pension fund Zorg en Welzijn. SOMO pays two-third of the premium and one-third is paid by the employee. SOMO has no obligation to pay additional contributions to the pension fund other than higher future premiums. Therefore the premiums due until the end of the period are reported in the financial statements.

The contracts with project partners refer to short term debts generally one year, in a small number of cases, two years) for cooperation in joint projects or subcontracting in services delivery.

The financial commitment for the programmes SOMO conducts with consortium partners is on annual basis. For the period of the programme, SOMO signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the consortium partners. In the case of the programme commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, SOMO also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the project partners. Financial commitments have only been agreed on an annual basis. The cooperation for the whole program period is conditional on timely delivery of results and reporting.

Liabilities not shown in the balance sheet

A rent agreement was signed April 15th 2021 for the location KNSM-laan 17 in Amsterdam. The rent agreement is for a period of 5 year as from August 1, 2021. The annual rent for 2022 amounts to EUR 90,697.

Notes to Statement of Income and Expenditure 2022

Amounts in Euros 2022 Actuals 2022 Budget 2021 Actuals
Government grants
Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    MoFA Netherlands Human Rights Fund – Mind the Gap450,738450,211
    MoFA Netherlands – OECD Watch/ Gender7,539
    Both Ends - Fair Green and Global Alliance (Power of Voices Partnership)1,795,0141,621,868
    Oxfam Novib (Strategic Partnership Dialogue and Dissent)33,786
    Oxfam Novib - Fair4All893,379934,656
    Oxfam Novib (Facility support CSOs international CSR convenants)25,000
Total Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs3,139,1313,081,3073,073,060
European Commission
    EuropeAid - Together for Decent Leather 332,862102,459
    University of Austria – RE-SOURCING49,58762,682
Total European Commision382,449403,750165,141
Other Government grants
    Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland - Going public161,183440,687
    DRL - Promoting Labour rights in China (USA)193,740
    Business and Human Rights Resource Centre – Justice in the just transition (MFA Finland)132,286
    Oxfam Novib - Fair Finance Asia (SIDA) 46,87884,481
Total other Government grants 534,087619,776531,416
Total Government grants4,055,6674,104,8333,769,617
Private foundations
Ford Foundation - General, project support & institutional strengthening1,323,316 -
Adessium Foundation - From big tech to tech for all100,000 -
Civitates - A healthy digital public sphere30,000 -
Open Society Initiative for Europe - Core funding351,303425,242
Open Society Institute - IFF & Private debt restructuring7,22561,268
Open Society Policy Centre – Pharma
Wemos - Pharma (Open Society Foundation)6,02612,733
Brot für die Welt - GoodElectronics82,736
Brot für die Welt - Reform global finance to serve people and planet20,000
Brot für die Welt - Promoting human rights & accountability124,000
Brot für die Welt - Climate Change, ESG and Sustainable Finance23,979
Wellspring Philanthropic Fund23,388
Ford Foundation - Ending Tax avoidance practices for multinationals82,302
National Endowment for Democracy26,10893,652
Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA)132,16386,516
Freedom Fund - Strategic Litigation4,11016,494
Total private foundations2,128,2301,712,451904,331
Other contributions
Contributions of partners EuropeAid - Decent Leather102,90917,456
Membership contributions OECD Watch42,07931,504
Membership, and other contributions MVO Platform289,274272,731
Membership contributions Tax Justice Nederland88,600101,565
Mondiaal FNV contribution Decent Leather29,401 3,771-
Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland92,64867,515
Other contributions11,07817,830
Total other contributions661,840529,043509,960
Professional services
Corporate research52,849100,636
Sector research8,25111,387
Country and policy research - -
Quick Scans - -
Supply chain research43,88529,183
Expert contribution - -
Other services -7,508
Total professional services114,835100,000165,289
Direct project costs
Contracted work1,144,9741,142,104
Travel costs119,58115,557
Office expenditure246,665129,910
Telephone and postage204443
Printed matter 36,02674,681
Freelancers projecten785,102313,020
Other direct project costs191,13818,213
Total direct project costs2,523,6902,057,8531,693,928
Personnel costs
    Gross wages1,712,2731,959,0002,082,394
    Social securities296,204365,000308,023
    Pension contributions244,247270,000252,761
    Change in debt holiday pay136,301 - 14,066
    Change in debt holiday days31,119 - 18,148-
Total salaries2,420,1442,594,0002,639,096
Remaining personnel expenditure
    Travel costs staff16,3125,0002,904
    Thirtheenth month161,319148,000 5,055-
    Freelance costs support staff82,573185,000217,445
    Uitzendkrachten - - 5,000
    Recruiting costs36,144 - -
Other personnel costs48,12767,50053,030
Total remaining personnel expenditure440,442550,500372,480
Subtotal personnel costs 2,860,5863,144,5003,011,576
minus: received payments for illness 106,280- 22,000- 99,412-
Total personnel costs2,754,3063,122,5002,912,164
General expenses
Software and hardware
    Software and development41,54285,91086,453
    Systeem management ICT8,74338,72050,243
    Depreciation software and hardware13,19114,00015,423
    Depreciation development25,90926,00042,487
Subtotal software and hardware90,398174,310203,453
Housing expenses
    Rent and energy105,44793,89084,240
    Insurance and taxes2,6531,7503,253
    Maintenance and cleaning14,79314,82015,360
    Depreciation rebuilding22,10119,55010,378
    Other housing expenditure5,78712,10535,924
Subtotal housing expenses150,781142,115149,155
Office expenses
    Telephone and internet3,7994,8504,357
    Postage and dispatch - 650 -
    Printed matter - 1,820 -
    Office supplies - 3,030 -
    Literature - 500 -
    PR and publicity expenditure2,28244,4508,917
    Translation/ interpreter expenditure - 300 -
    Depreciation equipment2,4124,5002,107
    Other offices expenses12,7355,489
Subtotal office expenses53,43885,20095,769
Organisation and administration expenses
    Audit fee69,57160,50054,892
    Administration costs59,15021,00017,170
    Fundraising - -
    Other general expenses4,913 7,090-
    minus charged for
        Project costs organisational and administration expenses 129,298- -
Subtotal organisation and administration expenses89,448144,949128,569
Total general expenses384,065546,574576,946


Explanation donations

In 2022 SOMO received EUR 5.851 in donations (2021: EUR 5.130).

For the use of this income the following parameters apply:

1. Where a donation is received with a clear preference expressed as to how it is used, SOMO will use this income in the programme that best fits this preference.

2. In case SOMO receives general donations this income will be used to cover the general costs of programme delivery.

Personnel costs

On average in 2022, SOMO was employing 37 people (2021: 37) with an average FTE of 28,2 (2021: 32,2 FTE).

The freelance costs of personnel refer to people working for SOMO on a non-permanent basis for either projects and / or support.

SOMO has an insurance for long term sick leave. As such, amounts have been received for EUR 106.280 (2021: EUR 99.412).

Taxation on ordinary activities

SOMO is liable for corporate income taxes on the commercial activities only. These activities generate a small positive result, therefor CIT has been accrued.

Concerning the Wet normering bezoldiging topfunctionarissen publieke en semipublieke sector (WNT) below we set out in an overview the amounts paid (including long-term remunerations) to our executives. The Executive Director and Director of Programmes together are our management team and lead the organisation. In accordance with the regulations of the WNT therefore we set out the income of the employees who are involved in the management team. *Esther de Haan is designated as a top official because she previously held the position of Programme Manager and was part of the Management team until April 14th 2019. After that date she fulfilled the function of Senior Researcher.

Based on the WNT, the income of top officials in the (semi) public sector may not exceed the maximum of 100% of the minister’s salary. For 2022 the maximum amount is EUR 216,000 including taxable allowances and employer pension contributions.

Our Supervisory Board members are unpaid; they receive an attendance allowance of EUR 150 per year.

Overview WNT 2022
NORM WNT - general - per year€ 216,000
Title Executive Director Programme Director Senior researcher
Name Audrey Gaughran Irene Keizer Esther de Haan
Contract Employment ContractEmployment ContractEmployment Contract
Start and end date performance January 1st 2022 - December 31st 2022January 1st 2022 - December 31st 2022January 1st 2022 - December 31st 2022
No. of months performed 2022121212
Gross salary paid € 94,884 € 71,326 € 66,831
Correction 2021 Gross salary € 6,660 € - € -
Total amount invoices excl. VAT
Pension premium paid € 14,410 € 10,380 € 9,386
Total amount remuneration € 115,954 € 81,706 € 76,217
Individual remuneration maximum WNT € 216,000 € 194,400 € 194,400
Overview WNT 2021
NORM WNT - general - per year€ 209,000
Title Executive Director Programme Manager Senior researcher
Name Audrey Gaughran Irene Keizer Esther de Haan
Contract Employment ContractEmployment ContractEmployment Contract
Start and end date performance February 15th 2021 - December 31st 2021January 1st 2021 - December 31st 2021January 1st 2021 - December 31st 2021
No. of months performed 202210.51212
Gross salary including thirteen month € 77,622 € 69,444 € 69,491
Total amount invoices excl. VAT
Pension premium paid € 10,511 € 9,780 € 9,780
Total amount remuneration € 88,133 € 79,224 € 79,271
Individual remuneration maximum WNT € 164,588 € 188,100 € 188,100

Explanation of differences between realisation and budget 2022
The main difference between realization and budget 2022 is the higher result of almost EUR 600.000. SOMO received from two private foundations subsidies to strengthen the organisation and its financial position so that SOMO is able to further grow its impact on society.

Further the direct costs increased compared to budget because of the increase in activities performed by partners. Costs for personnel were lower than budgeted because fewer external staff were hired for support activities.

Organisation costs were lower than budgeted because IT-projects were postponed to 2023.

Overall this led to an increase of our reserves of EUR 1.238.572

Other information

Subsequent events

There are no subsequent events, which have a material effect on the situation as per December 31st, 2022.

Appropriation of result 2022

The result after taxation 2022 is EUR 1,238,572 positive (2021: EUR 703,376 negative). The Board of SOMO has decided to add EUR 798,571 to the continuity reserve and EUR 440,001 to the designated reserve ‘Organisational Strenghtening’.

Independent auditor’s report

About SOMO

The Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) is a critical, independent, not-for-profit knowledge centre on multinationals. Since 1973 we have investigated multinational corporations and the impact of their activities on people and the environment. We also provide custom-made services (research, consulting, and training) to non-profit organisations and the public sector. We strengthen collaboration between civil society organisations through our worldwide network. In these three ways, we contribute to social, environmental, and economic sustainability.

SOMO’s Vision and Mission

We envision a global economic, political, and legal system that is equitable, democratic, transparent, and environmentally sustainable.


The outsized and harmful power of multinational companies and the structures that enable them stand in the way. A shift in power balance is urgently needed. To address this, SOMO investigates multinationals: we expose their impact, their structures, and the systems they operate in. We develop alternatives and carry out advocacy work.

We do that as part of a civil society movement in deep collaborations and alliances with partners all over the world, always seeing our role as part of an ecosystem of stakeholders. We deliver the knowledge that fuels far-reaching change.


SOMO provides research, training, and advice to public interest groups and institutions, giving them the information and tools they need to achieve their goals. We design new corporate research methodologies and use diverse sources to shed light on corporate structures and strategies, global supply chains, financial flows, markets, and much more. SOMO’s corporate research specialists also provide research support to partners and colleagues, assisting them in answering questions, and mining and analysing data through financial terminals including Refinitiv Eikon, Orbis and LexisNexis.

Statutory bodies