Commitment 2.1 We promote the participation of primary stakeholders.

Compliance Indicators

Compliance with the Commitments will be assessed against the following Compliance Indicators. All of the applicable Compliance Indicators must be met by every ACFID Member to be considered compliant with the Code. Each of the Compliance Indicators has one or more compliance Verifiers. Verifiers are the description of evidence that is required to substantiate compliance with each Compliance Indicator. Guidance is also provided. 

2.1.1 Members demonstrate an organisational commitment to advancing the participation of primary stakeholders.

Verifier

Policy, statement or guidance document that commits the Member to advancing the participation and contribution of primary stakeholders.

Guidance

An example statement on participation from an ACFID Member that would satisfy this indicator can be downloaded in the Resources Section below. 

2.1.2 Members’ planning process includes the participation of primary stakeholders.

Verifier

Design or planning framework, tools, templates that require or approaches which consistently show evidence of the participation of primary stakeholders.

Guidance

To demonstrate evidence in this area, members could include prompts in design or planning tools such as:

  • In what ways have primary stakeholders participated in planning this initiative?
  • Who was consulted in the planning of this initiative?
  • What strategies were used to ensure the participation of primary stakeholders in planning this initiative?
  • What are the views of primary stakeholders?  

Approaches could ensure that adequate time is dedicated to design processes to enable the authentic involvement of primary stakeholders, seeking their views on the context, barriers and enablers, that staff involved have appropriate language skills, and that strategies such as Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), focus groups, community meetings, or individual discussions allow for input by primary stakeholders to the planning process. 

2.1.3 Members monitor and evaluate their progress in the participation of primary stakeholders.

Verifier

Monitoring and evaluation framework, tools, templates that require or approaches which consistently show evidence of the assessment of the participation of primary stakeholders.

Guidance

To demonstrate evidence in this area, members could include prompts in monitoring tools such as:

  • In what ways have primary stakeholders participated in this initiative?
  • What strategies have been used to promote participation of primary stakeholders?

Indicators for participation might also be included in monitoring and evaluation frameworks such as:

  • number of focus group discussions organized with affected girls, women, boys and men that have been used to influence decisions made on design of assessments, programs, standards, selection criteria, etc.
  • percentage of those who participated directly in decision making.

Evaluation TORs could include the consideration of the participation of primary stakeholders as an explicit aspect of analysis and the influence this had on the initiative and its outcomes.  

Good Practice Indicators

The following Good Practice Indicators describe a higher standard of practice than that set out in the Compliance Indicators. While Members do not need to meet the Good Practice Indicators to be considered compliant with the Code, they will self-assess against these indicators once every three years. This provides a clear pathway for Members to strengthen and improve practice over time.

  • Members translate program and organisational information into relevant local languages and in appropriate forms.
  • Members provide training for their staff, volunteers and partners on the importance of primary stakeholder participation in the development process and in the techniques and skills required to authentically enable this participation for e.g. participatory consultation and contextual analysis processes and power analysis.
  • Members periodically evaluate and reflect on their approaches and mechanisms designed to promote the participation of primary stakeholders e.g. in design appraisal tools or in terms of reference in evaluations.
  • Members promote the voice of primary stakeholders in their communications with the public and external stakeholders.

GUIDANCE AND RESOURCES 

Good Practice Guidance

Here are some practical suggestions for your organisation to further deepen and improve practice over time. 

Organisational

  • Reflect your commitment to participation of primary stakeholders and accountability to them through tools used throughout the project cycle such as for design, appraisal and monitoring.
  • Explicitly outline the importance of identifying the needs and expectations of all key primary stakeholders, including potential differences in interests and points of view, in the program’s design guidelines.
  • Use project design tools, such as a stakeholder priority matrix, for in-depth analysis and to prioritise primary stakeholders.
  • Assess the level to which primary stakeholders have been involved in the initial planning of the program and the level of consultation and engagement with various community groups and the local government.
  • Develop appropriate tools to assist staff and partners to carry out the suggestions listed above.
  • Train staff in relevant issues such as participatory processes and increasing the voice and engagement of primary stakeholders.
  • Train staff in how to carry out power analyses as a basic step in the preparation of any development activity.
  • Be aware that an important avenue for authentic participation and sharing of views comes from developing trusting and genuine relationships between project staff and communities.

Partners

  • Seek to work with partners that have a commitment to the participation of local people and communities.
  • Ask partners how local people will be involved in the design of the program.
  • Encourage and support partners to have good relationships with local government and officials where this is possible and appropriate.
  • Train partners in participatory processes, empowerment and democratic ownership.
  • Encourage and support partners to prioritise the recruitment of local people.

Programs

  • Do a comprehensive analysis of the program’s context, including barriers and constraints to social change as expressed by primary stakeholders, on which to base project design
  • Conduct research to identify the enabling factors and barriers for participation of local people
  • Use participatory processes for strategy and program design, implementation, evaluation, and accountability
  • Design mechanisms for ensuring participation of, and accountability to, marginalised people such as women, girls, children, indigenous peoples, workers, people with disabilities, refugees and displaced populations, religious and ethnic minorities, people with different sexual identity and migrants.
  • Ensure in-country staff are able to interact and communicate with in-country stakeholders in local language and are able to prepare key documents in local languages
  • Regularly monitor – using feedback forms, focus groups and surveys – the satisfaction level of local people and partners with the program
  • Create safe opportunities and spaces to hear from a diversity of stakeholders including primary stakeholders
  • Establish local committee structures for the local governance of programs or activities
  • Encourage and create opportunities for women to take leadership roles
  • Recruit, where appropriate, project staff from among stakeholders.
  • Hold public meetings to share project information, and seek feedback when appropriate
  • Document program information and make it easily accessible to stakeholders
  • Communicate program progress regularly to stakeholders
  • Structure feedback mechanisms into programs and activities
  • Undertake project monitoring and evaluation in collaboration with stakeholders.