SECTION A

Introduction

If you’re creating a standalone Ethical Decision-Making Framework for Communications, it’s useful to include an introduction. This could:

  • explain what an EDMF is and why you need one
  • outline the scope of the EDMF and who will be using it
  • provide an overview of your organisation’s values
  • provide links to other relevant policies

An example is provided below. This should be adapted to reflect the expectations and approaches taken by your organisation.

Example

At [organisation name], we aim to empower the communities we work with through our storytelling and communications content. We strive to empower and protect the people who share their stories with us. We are committed to depicting people and contexts authentically and truthfully. We value the importance of self-determination and are committed to working with all stakeholders in a way that upholds their dignity and respects their values, history, religion, language and culture.

Read More

Our vision is [vision]. We bring this vision to life by carefully protecting those who share their stories with us, and amplifying the benefits of sharing stories with our supporters and the general public.

[Organisation name] is a not-for-profit entity that [description of programming activities]. As part of our work, we share some important – yet difficult – stories. Sometimes our stories will show injustice and harsh realities. We, and the people we work with, know these are important stories for the world to hear. However, inherent in undertaking these activities is a level of risk in relation to sharing these stories.

We acknowledge it can be difficult to put our values into practice when sharing stories – especially stories dealing with trauma and injustice. We can face conflicting demands when collecting and sharing stories, and we acknowledge it’s sometimes challenging to know exactly what ‘dignity’ and ‘empowerment’ mean in different cultural contexts. We also acknowledge that unconscious bias plays a huge part in decision making – however, by its very nature, it is difficult to address and mitigate the risks that it causes.

Misunderstanding cultural norms and mismanaging storytelling content can harm both the people we strive to support, as well as our organisation. For example, asylum seekers may be targeted for sharing stories about human rights abuses. Children may be targeted by people seeking to abuse them. The personal reputation and confidence of people who’ve shared their stories may be damaged if their stories are misused and they may face retribution from their community. Our organisation may suffer damage to our brand and reputation if we publish insensitive materials. These are just a few possible risks.

This EDMF is one element in a suite of tools to reduce these risks, as far as possible. We seek to prevent harm from occurring and this EDMF is a proactive means of mitigating those risks and supporting ethical decisions about our communications.

Purpose

This EDMF aims to ensure our communications content is of the highest ethical standard. This means all stakeholders are respected and protected, and trust in our organisational is maintained. The EDMF aims to ensure our organisation is using best-practice communications methods that minimise the risks related to storytelling and publishing.

Scope

This EDMF must be followed by everyone who collects and publishes stories at [organisation name], including all staff, volunteers, partner staff and governing body members. It includes our offices in Australia and in other countries managed by [organisation name]. The EDMF applies to visitors to our programs, and contractors and consultants such as freelance writers, designers, multimedia producers, fundraising consultants, partner organisations and other external parties using our stories, images, name or logo.

Our values

Everything our organisation does is built on our values. For our foundations to remain strong and for our actions to be ethical, we must continue to look to our values in our everyday work.

Ethical principles relating to the treatment of human beings are codified in a number of widely-accepted documents, such as the Nuremberg Code (1947), the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the Declaration of Helsinki (1964), the Belmont Report (1979), and the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979), Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2007) and Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People (2007).

At their core, these policies include the fundamental rights of human dignity, autonomy, protection, safety, maximisation of benefits and minimisation of harms. While originally stemming from biomedical and human rights contexts, these principles have been adapted beyond these early contexts and rise above disciplines and methodologies. We accept them as basic to any endeavour relating to storytelling ethics and they are explored in our EDMF.

[Organisation name’s] values underpin our approach to storytelling:

[List your organisation’s values and explain how they related to storytelling.]

Our values are aligned with the Australian Council for International Development’s Code of Conduct and our EDMF is connected to other [organisation name] policies, including:

  • Communications Policy
  • Image Policy
  • Child Safeguarding Policy
  • Privacy Policy
  • Risk Policy
  • Disability Policy
  • Gender Equality Policy
  • Staff Code of Conduct
  • Staff Selection and Recruitment Policy
  • Reconciliation Action Plan

About

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Annual Report 2022-23

Reporting on ACFID’s activities to ensure transparency and accountability

ACFID

ACFID is the peak body for Australian NGOs involved in international development and humanitarian action.

Our PARTNERSHIPS

ACFID works and engages with a range of strategic partners in addition to our members.

GOVERNANCE

ACFID is governed by its Board, ACFID Council, and various expert and governance committees.

Members

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Conference 2023

GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT 2.0
disruptive dynamics, inspired ideas

18-19 October 2023

Meet our Members

The ACFID membership is comprised of Australian NGOs that actively work in the international aid and development sector.

Become a member

Joining ACFID means joining an experienced and powerful mix of like-minded organisations committed to good international development practice.

Membership types & fees

ACFID has two types of organisational membership: Full Membership and Affiliate Membership.

State of the Sector

The State of the Sector Report provides a comprehensive and robust analysis of the state of the Australian aid and development sector.

NGO Aid Map

ACFID’s NGO Aid Map allows the Australian public and stakeholders to explore the work of ACFID Members around the world.

Development Practice Committee

The DPC is an expert advisory group of development practitioners leading good practice within the sector.

Our Focus

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Federal Budget 23-24 Analysis

Facts and figures on how aid is presented in this year’s annual budget

Strategic Plan

ACFID prioritises a robust response to climate change and pressure on civil society in developing countries, as well as other key priorities.

Emergency Aid

ACFID Members provide vital life-saving assistance in the immediate aftermath of an emergency.

Climate Change

Action on climate change is one of ACFID’s highest priorities, as it is an existential threat to humanity and our development.

Civil Society

Civil societies are a cornerstone of regional stability and ensure that the voices of the marginalised are heard.

Supporting NGOS

Supporting NGOs as Valuable Partners.

Inclusive & locally led development

Walking the talk on inclusive development.

Humanitarian Action

Taking humanitarian action for those in greatest need.

Elevating Development

Elevating Development to the Heart of Australia’s International Engagement.

PSEAH

Improving standards, practice and culture to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.

Code of Conduct

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2022-23 ACFID Code of Conduct Review

The ACFID Code of Conduct is periodically reviewed to ensure it continues to reflect good practice and the needs of ACFID and its members.

Code of Conduct

The Code is a voluntary, self-regulatory industry code of good practice.

About the Code

Find out more about the Code of Conduct and how it operates.

Good Practice Toolkit

Overview and practical resources, and examples to support the implementation of the Code.

Spotlight on the Code

Provides a thematic ‘deep dive’ into each of the nine Quality Principles in the Code

Compliance

This section outlines the responsibility to be taken by each Member to ensure compliance with the Code.

Complaints Handling

How to make a complaint and information on the Code’s independent mechanism to address concerns relating to an ACFID Members’ conduct.

Other Standards

Mapping the Code with other professional standards and principles in the humanitarian and aid sector in Australia and internationally

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