A woman in a brightly coloured scarf peers through coffee bean bushes on either side of her.

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

Four men paint a colourful mural

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 2.3:
We promote gender equality and equity.

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.

2.3.1 Members demonstrate an organisational commitment to gender equality and equity.

Policy, statement or guidance document that commits the Member to promoting gender equality and equity and to non-discrimination in regard to gender identity. This policy should address how these are prioritised and advanced within organisational programming as well as within the organisation’s internal operations.


All people have the right to equality and to live a life free from discrimination on the basis of their gender. A commitment to gender equality and equity is grounded in globally agreed human rights principles, including non-discrimination. It is based on international instruments, in particular the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Attention to gender equality is also reflected in the SDGs, including Goal 5 which calls on the world to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; and Goal 10 which seeks to reduce inequality within and among countries. Gender inequality is a root cause of many barriers to sustainable development. It intersects with and exacerbates other factors contributing to marginalization, including race, religion, ethnicity, indigeneity, disability, age, displacement, caste, sexuality, sexual orientation, poverty, class and socio-economic status.

A formal policy provides an important statement of the organisation’s commitment to gender equality and equity and can be used to communicate this commitment to internal and external stakeholders. Internally it ensures the leadership and staff are committed and accountable and dedicate the appropriate resources to fulfil the organisation’s commitment to gender equality and equity. It also provides a clear message to external stakeholders of the organisation’s commitment.

For an example of a gender policy refer to the Resources Section below. If you use this policy to inform your own, remember to adapt it to your organisation’s circumstances.

2.3.2 Members’ planning process includes consultation with those marginalised due to their gender, in particular women and girls, contextual analysis of barriers to their inclusion and identification of opportunities for their participation.

Design or planning framework, tools, templates which require, or approaches which consistently show evidence of, consultation with those marginalised due to gender identity, in particular women and girls, contextual analysis of barriers to their inclusion and identification of opportunities for their participation.


Design or planning framework, tools or templates could include: activity design template; activity appraisal/assessment template; gender analysis checklist: gender equality marker tool. Each of these should require gender and power analyses with prompts to ensure the analysis includes the perspectives of those marginalised due to gender identity, and consideration of barriers to their inclusion. The planning process should also include explicit strategies to actively promote gender equality and address power inequalities. 

2.3.3 Members promote opportunities for those marginalised due to their gender, in particular women and girls, to participate in decision-making.

Development and humanitarian initiatives consistently show evidence of strategies for those marginalised due to gender identity, in particular women and girls, to participate in decision-making.


There are persisting obstacles to female participation in decision-making due to power imbalances, stereotypes, traditions or discrimination. All programs and initiatives should identify the obstacles women and girls face, and integrate strategies that seek to overcome these obstacles. Strategies that seek to overcome these obstacles might include:

  • capacity building activities for women and girls that foster leadership skills and build confidence
  • training activities for young people, women, and men on women’s right to participation and roles in decision-making
  • engaging men as champions for women’s participation
  • revising the rules and procedures of committee structures so that they require female representation
  • supporting women’s leadership in the workplace through greater inclusion in senior positions
  • ensuring that meetings are scheduled at times that suit the other responsibilities of women
  • ensuring that there is safe transport for women to attend decision making forums

2.3.4 Members monitor and evaluate their progress in promoting gender equality and equity.

Monitoring and evaluation framework, tools, or templates which require, or approaches which consistently show evidence of, the assessment of progress in promoting gender equality and equity.  


Examples of the way an organisation might demonstrate this commitment include:

  • reporting data is disaggregated by gender
  • progress reporting templates include a sub section on gender ensuring dedicated reflection and analysis
  • a gender checklist is used for monitoring visits
  • output or outcome indicators and targets explicitly relate to progress in promoting gender equality and equity
  • gender equality and equity is included as a dedicated inquiry area in evaluation terms of reference.

Refer to the resource kit on selecting and using gender indicators in the Resources Section below.  

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.

  • Gender focal person in place.
  • Initiatives with a primary or explicit focus on the promotion of women’s rights and/or gender equality and equity are supported.
  • Gender training for governing body, staff, volunteers and partners is provided, covering topics such as gender analysis, gender programming, gender equality and equity, gender identity and gender rights.
  • Initiatives that seek to build the capacities of those marginalised due to gender identity, in particular women and girls to determine their own priorities and advocate for their own equality and equity are supported.
  • Women’s rights, gender equality and equity, and other relevant gender issues are promoted in communications with the public and external stakeholders.
  • Members work with staff, partners and communities to challenge attitudes which permit or excuse sexual misconduct both internally and within organisational program activities.

Good Practice Guidance

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


  • Integrate gender equality objectives into all country strategic plans, globally and domestically
  • Ensure diverse and equitable representation in decision making
  • Dedicate appropriate funding to fulfil gender equality commitments, and ensure technical expertise to support gender equality work
  • Give priority to fostering a safe, gender sensitive work environment, with clear accountability mechanisms to prevent and protect against sexual and gender-based discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
  • Establish clear reporting and investigation procedures for sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse to report suspected or known instances of abuse to relevant authorities.

Recruitment and employment

  • Ensure that the governing body of your organisation has a balanced representation of men and women
  • Prioritize gender equality in staff recruitment, orientation, promotion, and retention, and strive for equitable numbers of women and men at all levels of the organization, including senior leadership.
  • Ensure that job advertisements, interview styles and the composition of interview panels are gender-sensitive
  • Require a minimum of two verbal reference checks for all preferred candidates and include targeted questions about the applicant’s attitudes and behaviour towards women and PSEAH.
  • Ask targeted questions of applicants during interviews that explore their attitudes towards PSEAH.
  • Provide training for staff and volunteers on PSEA and to enable them to identify risks, potential or actual abuse of power and SEAH.
  • Establish appropriate and safe systems and mechanisms for staff and volunteers to report concerns or misconduct confidentially.
  • Integrate gender equality within core competencies for performance management.
  • Invest in staff training on gender equality at all levels to strengthen capacity to do gender sensitive and transformative work
  • Actively improve gender balance by seeking and recognising the skills and potential in women candidates
  • Provide additional and tailored support for women to facilitate their career advancement
  • Create enabling work environments for women and men, including family-friendly working hours, the opportunity to work from home or the provision of child care
  • Recognise the equal value and importance of both women and men in parenting children, and provide reasonable and fair parental leave that supports both parents
  • Establish and support mechanisms to address harassment and discrimination that occurs on the basis of gender
  • Pay women and men an equal salary for equal work.
  • Establish standardised salary bands and classify roles against them to ensure staff are paid equally and fairly according to their roles. Undertake an annual audit to determine the proportion of people on different salary bands by gender, and track progress
  • Prohibit the practice of negotiating salaries, or publish the percentage and gender breakdown of staff who negotiate salaries

Gender mainstreaming

Gender mainstreaming is a strategy to ensure that the issue of gender is not treated in isolation or as a separate issue, but is recognised as a consideration in all policies, programs and projects, whether in design, analysis, implementation, monitoring or evaluation. Gender mainstreaming promotes gender equality and the empowerment of women in all aid and development activities. Some practical examples include:

  • Develop an organisation-wide policy on gender equity
  • Provide staff with relevant training and other capacity-building to build gender awareness and gender analysis skills
  • Support staff to recognise that traditional gender roles in program countries are often different from those in Australia and work with staff and partners to sensitively and respectfully challenge culture norms where appropriate 
  • Ensure gender analysis is part of all aid and development activities, at each stage of the program or project cycle
  • Develop gender guidelines and gender-sensitive checklists for use in the project cycle
  • Analyse the expected impact of projects by gender, and incorporate analysis into project design guidelines
  • Identify gender indicators and targets within monitoring and evaluation plans.
  • Collect and analyse gender-disaggregated data in monitoring and evaluation activities and use it to inform learning and future project design
  • Specifically address gender equality in human resources materials
  • Ensure that specific gender-related projects have staff that are appropriate and who will be able to build positive and constructive relationships with both men and women

Gender-specific initiatives

A gender-specific initiative addresses gender as its prime focus. Examples include programs to increase women’s literacy or increase women’s income. These initiatives can be used to reduce identified gender disparities that may have been revealed in the gender analysis that is recommended to precede program design and development. Here are some practical suggestions to improve the effectiveness of gender-specific initiatives:

  • Involve local women in program-related decision-making, ensure that women choose their own priorities and ensure women are not excluded when final program decisions are made
  • Engage with or support the establishment of women’s organisations in the field
  • Support initiatives owned by women’s groups
  • Recognise the needs and challenges of women involved in your program. For example, for meetings, agree on arrangements that are acceptable to women relating to appropriate facilitators, scheduling, duration, timing, location, safety and transportation needs.
  • Implement gender-responsive budgeting, where funds are specifically allocated to gender-related activities and women are involved in decision-making to allocate financial resources
  • Ensure that staff involved in programs have a firm grounding in understanding gender, through activities such as training, workshops, independent study or formal gender studies courses
  • Plan the involvement of local women in programs respecting their desires and challenges, such as a traditional work load or schedule, and ensure programs do not require more work or involvement than they are able to provide
  • Appoint a focal person within your organisation with accountability for monitoring the gendered impact of your aid and development activities
  • Work with men, including those in leadership, to help them understand the importance of women’s activities and women’s rights and the benefit that this will bring to the whole community.


Organisations should engage in active dialogue with partner organisations on the importance of gender equality and provide support for them to build gender awareness. Here are some practical examples:

  • Include a commitment to gender equality and equity in partnership agreements
  • Assess partners’ understanding of and commitment to gender equality
  • Assist partners to develop a Code of Conduct that addresses PSEAH
  • Support partners’ workplace practices that promote the equal employment of women and men
  • Work with partners to ensure that both women and men are represented at a governance level
  • Promote dialogue and reflection to understand how projects affect the situation and roles of women, men, girls and boys
  • Assist partners to mainstream gender analysis and strategies into their policies and strategies
  • Support partners to develop appropriate and safe systems and mechanisms for staff and volunteers to report concerns or misconduct confidentially. Where possible, refer to international conventions the country has signed, or national policies and legislation that reinforce gender equity. This can build local ownership and reinforce the commitment of the country to these principles.
  • Conduct gender training 
  • Implement gender-responsive budgeting
  • Share gender checklists and guidelines
  • Work in partnership on initiatives related to gender
  • Consider how to support government agencies to become more gender sensitive
  • Jointly advocate for gender equality and equity

Responding to discrimination and abuse

In all Australian states and territories, sex discrimination is a crime (as per the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act (1984) that addresses discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status, pregnancy, potential pregnancy or family responsibilities or involving sexual harassment). To respond to discrimination and abuse on the basis of gender:

  • Report violence or gender discrimination incidents to the CEO or another nominated person in an organisation
  • In Australia, report allegations of sex discrimination by a staff member or volunteer in the organisation to the state police
  • Treat all concerns raised seriously
  • Ensure that all parties will be treated fairly with prime consideration of the principles of natural justice
  • Handle all reports professionally, confidentially and expediently

ACFID Resources

Closing the Gender Gap: Gender and Australian NGOs

This research report seeks to fill a gap in the publicly available evidence regarding factors influencing gender ...

Gender Audit Toolkit

Is your agency walking the talk on gender equality? Ever thought about conducting a gender audit? The Code's ...

Gender Equality: The building blocks for an effective, just aid program

The organisations of the ACFID Gender Equity Working Group consist of gender experts in Australia’s aid and ...

Women in partnership: Making justice work for women

This research paper identifying women’s priorities in transitional justice in northern Uganda, Kenya and the DRC ...

Other Resources

Beyond Consultations: A tool to promote more meaningful engagement of women in fragile and conflict-affected states

The Beyond Consultations tool is designed to support actors to move towards more meaningful engagement with women ...

CARE International Gender Policy 2018

This Gender Policy defines CARE’s explicit commitments to support gender equality and the principles expressed in ...

Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), adopted in 1979 by the UN ...

Declaration on the Elimination of violence against women (1993)

This UN Declaration recognises the urgent need for the universal application to women of the rights and principles ...

Example Gender Equality policy (International Nepal Fellowship Australia)

This policy outlines INF Australia’s commitment to gender equality both in its operations in Australia and through ...

How can Humanitarian Organisations Encourage More Women in Surge?

This paper looks at some of the barriers and challenges that organisations face in increasing the number of women ...

Implementing Gender Standards Toolkit and Learning Paper

This paper provides an overview of the tools and approaches used to develop and implement the SINPA Gender ...

IWDA – ‘Do No Harm’ toolkits

The 'Do No Harm' research project found that some women in women’s economic empowerment programs experience an ...

IWDA – Gender and Economy in Melanesian Communities Manual

This manual of indicators and tools is part of a resource kit of materials for tracking the impacts of economic ...

PLAN International Global Policy – Gender Equality and Inclusion

Plan International's Global Policy on Gender Equality and Inclusion.

Promoting Opportunities for All: Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

This thematic strategy outlines Australia’s strategic approach to gender equality and women’s empowerment which ...

Sex Discrimination Act 1984

Australian Federal Governments Sexual Discrimination Act 1984.

Toolkit on Gender Equality Results and Indicators

Toolkit on Gender Equity, Results and Indicators.

United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security

The resolution reaffirms the important role of women in peace and security, urges for peace and security efforts ...

Universal Declaration on Human Rights

This Universal Declaration of Human Right as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, ...