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Humanity before Ethnicity

Organizational Structure


Motivated by the truth that no one will be free until all are free, we envision an open, free and reconciled society in Ethiopia, a society where humanity comes before ethnicity and where the same rights, opportunities and privileges are available to all. We work to mobilize Ethiopians in the Diaspora and within Ethiopia to unite in a coalition across ethnic, regional, political, cultural and religious lines around principles of truth, justice, freedom, civility, equality and the protection of human rights.


To be a catalyst in bringing about and sustaining a more reconciled Ethiopia where robust freedoms, the rule of law, respect for human rights, equal opportunity and good governance undergird a societal structure conducive to the enhancement of life and well-being for all its citizens.


Humanity before Ethnicity. ©
No one is free until all are free.


SMNE’s Organizational Structure is based on the hybrid of Functional Organization and Projectized Organization with some modification to accommodate the need to synchronize relatively permanent functional units (Departments), and those of specific task-oriented term limited voluntary group formations (Task Forces).

The term functional organization is used specifically for the purpose of describing a hierarchal group or department, in which it is determined that each individual and particular employee should be charged with the task of defining an individual and unique person who will serve as the organizational leader and/or manager of a given department or functional unit (such as: finance, planning, audit, etc., …) Also, the leader (the Director) of  the functional organization should essentially take the entirety of the departments, analyze all of their strengths and weaknesses, group the individual departments (functional units) into programmatic categories based on the aforementioned strengths and weaknesses, and then allocate leaders to tasks that effectively utilize those skills that they may posses. Additionally, an individual who is of particularly advanced qualification in that area should manage each specific functional category. In the long run, and as the technical and financial resources of the organization permit, paid regular staffs would replace all voluntary members of the functional departments.

On the other hand, SMNE is a member-driven organization that mainly and regularly depends on free and voluntary participation of its constituents in the overall organizational movement and strategic programs. The participation and contribution of each member is best organized through formulation and coordination of specialized taskforce units with specific mission and task orientation. The timing and duration of each taskforce is dependant upon the accomplishments of its mission, and the change in the strategic and programmatic need of the organization as whole.

In attempting to determine exactly how a taskforce fits in to the grand scheme of the SMNE organization and to facilitate the ease of conducting a number of tasks, it is deemed to accommodate that of a projectized approach. A projectized organization (in SMNE’s case) refers particularly to specific organization built through the incorporation of an organizational structure set up in a manner in which an elected member of a taskforce leads a voluntary group and in which the taskforce leader has the ultimate responsibility to make any and all decisions involving the unit, including, but no necessarily limited to, delegation of the team in the overall program governing body, assignment of all priorities, the application of any pre-designated resources, and also any and all direct workings of persons that have been assigned to the taskforce already or may be assigned in the future.

Taskforces can be determined on a rolling basis, and as the organization demands, that is, as organizational development necessitated the reformulation of the task groups, and/or as individuals seek to move to another group, or receive additional training, or education, then they may be reassigned to different taskforces to most effectively utilize the strengths of all members of the taskforce team.

It is envisioned that the need for the ultimate reorganizing SMNE’s structure to a higher level of participation is imminent, and that can only be achieved through enhanced decentralized leadership role of various regional and country-based Grassroots Chapters. There are two clearly delineated structural arrangements that would deem necessary in the foreseeable future: 

  • The current Taskforce Leadership is based on participation of voluntary members with no delegation. In the future, however, it should be comprised of and elected from a pool of representatives of various regional chapters. Each chapter will delegate/appoint one representative to the International Taskforce Team. The current Plan and Programming Department Head position will be responsible for the coordination and support of the International Taskforce Team.
  • Once a reasonable number of Chapters formed at various geographical locations, elected chapter leaders will take over the highest role of organizational leadership at international level. The executive Director shall take the responsibility of coordinating this International Leadership Team. To this end, the current SMNE leadership is expected to facilitate and execute detailed review and analysis to come up with more defined organizational structural.


  • To build a healthier, more inclusive society in Ethiopia where all people are valued and where the rights of all Ethiopians are respected and advanced.
  • To bring reconciliation between divided and alienated Ethiopian groups both in and outside of the country.
  • To attempt to prevent genocide should the EPRDF government collapse. The SMNE will challenge hate-mongering speech and other behaviors that could lay the groundwork for violence, bloodshed and chaos.
  • To bring about an end to human rights abuses, the imprisonment of political prisoners, tyranny, injustice, corruption, impunity, cronyism, tribalism and oppression. It will work to open up of political space, with the aim of achieving free and fair elections as well as transparency and accountability within the Ethiopian government and major institutions in Ethiopia.
  • To bring greater awareness to the international community regarding the crisis within Ethiopia, advocating for help in promoting freedom, justice, human rights, the rule of law, and free and fair elections in Ethiopia.
  • To better document human rights crimes perpetrated, instigated or tolerated by the current government to different people in different locations within the country. To raise awareness, calling for urgent action and compiling a legal case showing a pattern of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other human rights violations in violation of international human rights laws and the Ethiopian Constitution.
  • To identify key experts to form think tanks to begin to examine and make plans to address potentially critical forces impacting Ethiopian society, such as those arising from issues related to security, national reconciliation, ethnicity, the food crisis, political prisoners, the economy, corruption and good governance.  
  • To exert pressure on the Ethiopian government, using the influence of democratic donor countries and other resources when necessary and possible, to persuade the government to come to the table for genuine dialogue leading to meaningful change.
  • To establish a national Ethiopian institution for justice, reconciliation and peace that will act as a watchdog to guard and advance the principles set up within the Solidarity Movement.

Organizational Chart

Organizational Chart

Board of Directors

Powers and Responsibilities:

  • Oversee SNME’s overall performance.
  • Provide policy guidance.
  • Assume Legal representation and protection.
  • Resolve internal conflicts between/among taskforces and/or chapters.


Executive Director

  • Lead the day to day activities of the organization
  • Provide vision and direction to overall organization
  • Represent the organization on all business matters
  • Coordinate activities of each unit in the organization
  • Ensure effective/efficient use of resources
  • Regularly monitor the smooth implementation of organizational plans and objectives
  • Maintain positive networking and partnership
  • Call and oversee regular organizational meetings
  • Elects and appoints members of the Advisory Council
  • Lead the Chapters

Advisory Council

  • Counsel the Executive Director on organizational maters
  • Maintain representation of diversified groups within the team
  • Consult the organization on diversified issues

Audit, Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Plan and oversee the implementation of auditing and M&E policies and procedures
  • Plan and implement auditing duties on regular basis
  • Design auditing tools, and familiarize members on financial policies and procedures
  • Design and familiarize monitoring and evaluation tools at all levels
  • Plan and implement monitoring and evaluation activities on regular basis
  • Create and implement Accountability Review sessions at all levels on regular basis
  • Produce reports, communicate audit, monitoring and evaluation outcomes to members to promote transparency and accountability

Plan and Programming

  • Responsible for coordination and ensure synergy among various units in the organization
  • Design and oversee the utilization of planning tools at all level
  • Reconcile and resolve conflicts during planning and implementation process of various units of the organization
  • Coordinate and help units in developing implementation strategy
  • Ensure utilization of effective Action Planning Sessions
  • Give technical support to all units
  • Design, follow up, and seek funding of long-term projects
  • Plan and implement capacity building initiatives
  • Work in the capacity of Deputy Director

Budget and Finance

  • Prepare budgeting tools (formats, templates, earmarks, etc) to be used by all parties in the organization
  • Support and oversee regular and participatory budgeting activities at all levels
  • Develop and implement efficient financial policies, rules and procedures
  • Conduct budgeting and financial management training to concerned parties
  • Bookkeeping, Documentation of all financial records according to the organizational and government regulations
  • Ensure adherence to the government’s regulation and requirement with regards to Non Profit Organizations


  • Prepare IT policies, strategies, and organizational tools that help enhance effective and sustainable communication
  • Organize centralized database system and monitor security of organizational data and members’ privacy activities
  • Manage SMNE website, regularly update and review IT tools and equipments
  • Conduct online research and assessment activities; for e.g., opinion polls, etc.
  • Provide IT support to other units/taskforces or chapters in the organization

Task Forces


  • Prepare short, medium and long-term fundraising plans, and strategies
  • Implement fundraising plans
  • Conduct assessment on the effectiveness of fundraising strategies as an ongoing process
  • Follow creative and efficient fundraising approach
  • Prepare documentation and ensure effective communication and networking
  • Create awareness among all parties on the fundraising initiatives
  • May add unit/s to accomplish these tasks


  • Conduct regular awareness creation activities
  • Identify and coordinate media outlets for effective communication and dissemination
  • Prepare  (radio, video clips, newsletters, articles . . . ) on organizational mission, thematic issues, and targeted agendas on regular basis
  • Organize press releases as deemed necessary
  • May add unit/s to accomplish these tasks


  • Prepare and implement advocacy strategies and oversee planned activities
  • Prepare a database of advocacy and civic organizations and establish networking
  • Maintain strong relationship with same-minded national, regional and international organizations and individuals
  • Conduct thorough assessment for potential advocacy themes and be aggressive in sending messages to all concerned parties on regular basis
  • Play active role in establishing strong communication with the diplomatic community
  • Systematically organize global  advocacy events, sessions and campaigns at all level and document progress
  • May add unit/s to accomplish these tasks

Membership and Chapter Advancement

  • Prepare membership rules and procedures
  • Strategize membership organization (chapters)
  • Design membership recruitment tools
  • Prepare and maintain secured membership database
  • Ensure regular communication and networking among members and units
  • Conduct aggressive and regular recruitment activities
  • Help other units in communicating members and execute activities
  • Familiarize members on Code of Conduct and operational standards
  • Involve actively in chapters establishment and development
  • Maintain enthusiastic environment through occasional and regular celebrative communication: greeting cards, birthdays, thank yous, anniversaries, etc.
  • May add unit/s to accomplish these tasks


  • Plan and implement reconciliation policies and procedures
  • Prepare short, medium and long-term reconciliation action plans
  • Strategize implementation modalities
  • Conduct and maintain strategic profile assessment of Ethiopian organizations involved in national political, social and development endeavors
  • Conduct planned or on-demand reconciliation initiatives
  • Ensure proper documentation and communication on the progress  of planned activities
  • Conduct research document and communicate on best practices of reconciliation as learnt from traditional, national and international initiatives
  • May add unit/s to accomplish these tasks

Human Rights and Governance

  • Design objective, mission, strategy and plan of action of the task force.
  • Investigate, collect, document and analyze information and evidences on human rights abuses, corruption and economic crimes.
  • Prepare educational materials and conduct training, seminars, workshops on human right abuses and anti-corruption and follow up the results.
  • Organize and prepare legal documents on matters of human rights abuses, corruption and economic crimes.
  • Educate the public via different media outlets how to fight corruption and stand up against human rights abuses.
  • May add unit/s to accomplish these tasks

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