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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 2.2:
We promote the empowerment 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.

2.2.1 Members have formal mechanisms for primary stakeholders to contribute their ideas, feedback and complaints so that they have a voice in and ownership of their own development and humanitarian initiatives.

Development and humanitarian initiatives consistently show evidence of the contribution and influence of primary stakeholders.


Mechanisms that organisations might have in place include:

  • participatory workshops that include primary stakeholders
  • survey tools such as household questionnaires
  • community meetings
  • local management committee structures
  • suggestion boxes
  • SMS messaging

There is some excellent guidance on effective feedback in humanitarian contexts in Closing the Loop which can be found in the Resources Section below.

2.2.2 Members promote opportunities for primary stakeholders to participate in decision-making about the initiatives that affect them.

Development and humanitarian initiatives consistently show evidence of strategies for primary stakeholders to participate in decision-making about the initiatives that affect them.          


Strategies that enable primary stakeholders to participate in decision making include:

  • Capacity building activities for primary stakeholders that build confidence and foster leadership skills.
  • Creation of opportunities for active inclusion during context analysis and project design stages
  • Creation of accessible and culturally appropriate project decision making or management structures
  • Supported representation at community meetings
  • Supported representation in management committees

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.

  • Resources (time, funds and people) are allocated to building the capacities of  primary stakeholders to enable implement and lead their own development initiatives.
  • The representation of primary stakeholders in local leadership roles is promoted and supported.
  • Evaluation and reflection on approaches and mechanisms to empower primary stakeholders is undertaken periodically e.g. in design appraisal tools or in terms of reference in evaluations.
  • Members promote the value of empowerment of primary stakeholders to the public and external stakeholders.

Good Practice Guidance

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


  • 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
  • Train staff in relevant issues such as participatory processes, accountability and empowerment 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


  • Seek to work with partners that have a commitment to the empowerment of local people and communities, and to accountability
  • 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 and empowerment 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 languages 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
  • Clearly establish and publicise a complaints process to be used by stakeholders
  • 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 ...

Other Resources

Closing the Loop

This guidance is intended for people designing /or implementing feedback mechanisms in a humanitarian programme.

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 ...

Spotlight on the Code –Hagar Australia

We interview Sara Webster, previous program & Policy Manager at Hagar Australia, to understand how this dynamic ...

The Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability 2014

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