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Annual Report 2022-23

Reporting on ACFID’s activities to ensure transparency and accountability


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


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


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


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Conference 2023

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.


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


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

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.

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


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.

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


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.

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


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.

  • Program and organisational information is translated into relevant local languages and in appropriate forms.
  • Training for staff, volunteers and partners on primary stakeholder participation in the development process and techniques to enable this participation in relevant ways is provided.
  • Evaluation and reflection on approaches and mechanisms to promote the participation of primary stakeholders is undertaken e.g. in design appraisal tools or in terms of reference in evaluations.
  • Members promote the voice of primary stakeholders in its communications with the public and external stakeholders.

Good Practice Guidance

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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

ACFID Resources

Promoting Voice and Choice

This research paper represents the latest chapter in a body of work, led by ACFID’s Development Practice ...

Spotlight on the Code – Participation, Empowerment and Local Ownership

Other Resources

Example statement on participation from an ACFID Member

These guidelines are intended to give a broad outline of the types of work and working arrangements that TEAR is ...

Listen First – Practical ways of improving accountability for NGOS

The aim of the project was to research practical ways of managing downward accountability, on a systematic basis, ...

Making community participation meaningful: A handbook for development and assessment

A resource for the development and assessment of community participation.

Mango’s ‘Accountability to Beneficiaries Checklist’

This tool is a self-assessment checklist, to help NGO staff gauge how accountable they are to their beneficiaries.

Principles of Accountability

The Global Accountability Project Framework provides an overview of what is important if organisations are to ...

The Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability 2014

The HAP Standard helps organisations design, implement, assess, improve and recognise accountable programmes. It ...

Using human-centred design methodologies with communities – a case study

This small movie by Farzad Yazdanparast of The Fred Hollows Foundation walks us through a wonderful case study and ...