Commitment 3.1: We contribute to systemic change.

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.

3.1.1 Members design initiatives considering the root causes of poverty and inequity.

Design or planning framework, tools, templates which require, or approaches which consistently show, analyses of the causes of poverty and inequity.  

Guidance

Your approaches could include: an investment of time and resources into deep contextual analysis prior to designing an initiative; seeking the perspectives and experiences of primary stakeholders directly impacted by poverty or inequality; creating initiative designs which respond holistically to a range of structural, social, cultural or other causes of poverty or inequality.

Your design or planning framework, tools and templates could include: explicit sub sections or prompts in the design document template relating to causes of poverty and inequality; a design appraisal tool or set of criteria that includes an assessment of the adequacy of contextual analysis and whether the design or theory of change addresses the causes of poverty or inequality.

3.1.2 Members work with local systems, structures and institutions, such as civil society, community structures and authorities (where appropriate) to support and strengthen people and systems.

Development and humanitarian initiatives consistently show evidence of working with and supporting local systems and structures. 

Guidance

Your approaches could include: undertaking good contextual and stakeholder analysis so you can identify the key local organisations and stakeholders and the relationships between them that contribute to or can break down poverty and inequality; vulnerability, risk and capacity for each stakeholder group; identification of key groups marginalised through vulnerability; investing resources in and creating opportunities for local organisations and/or primary stakeholders to discuss and agree on their own priorities for development; create opportunities for local organisations and/or primary stakeholders to fully contribute to the design and planning of initiatives that affect them.

Your design or planning framework, tools and templates could include: explicit sub sections or prompts in the design document template; a design appraisal tool or set of criteria that includes an assessment of the adequacy of contextual analysis, the role of local organisations and/or primary stakeholders in contextual and stakeholder analysis and the degree to which local organisations and/or primary stakeholders have fully contributed to the design and planning of initiatives that affect them.

It could also include: jointly identifying with primary stakeholders their existing strengths, risk/vulnerabilities and capacity gaps and their own priorities for capacity strengthening, and jointly developing actions and providing resources to build their capacity through for example, formal training or academic courses, mentoring, exchange visits, the provision of educational or functional resources.

Where possible and appropriate, work with local systems and structures rather than establishing new or parallel systems and structures which may not be sustainable or undermine existing systems and structures. Working with or mobilising government or other authorities can be an effective strategy towards sustainable and systemic change.

This could include: supporting partners or your own agency to work with government ministries or departments at the national, provincial or local levels, working in alignment with or supporting the development of government policies, strategies or priorities, working with or supporting indigenous NGOs or civil society organisations, supporting established (but perhaps not fully functioning) community structures such as village development committees or farmers’ groups, working through or supporting local church structures (where appropriate to your organisation or the context).

3.1.3 Members that undertake advocacy and/or campaigning support initiatives that are evidence-based, accurate and reflect the perspectives of primary stakeholders.

This indicator and verifiers are relevant only to members which undertake advocacy and/or campaigning. 

Policy, statement or guideline document that covers the following:  

  • Advocacy does not do harm or increase the level of risk facing affected groups. 
  • Advocacy is evidence-based and accurate. 
  • Advocacy messages reflect the perspectives of the affected population. 

Design or planning framework, tools, templates or approaches which show evidence of the analysis of risks associated with advocacy initiatives, with a particular focus on the safety and rights of primary stakeholders. 

Guidance

Having a formal document which outlines your approaches to advocacy helps to establish your organisations commitment to responsible and effective advocacy practices and ensures a shared understanding amongst your staff and other stakeholders.

Your policy, statement or guidance document could include: an outline of the principles underpinning your organisations approaches to responsible and effective advocacy; an outline of the procedures or practices required to ensure the following: analysis of potential risks to primary stakeholders associated with an advocacy campaign; the importance of evidence based advocacy and how this evidence will be sought; and the methods to be used to seek the perspectives of primary stakeholders and (where appropriate and safe) how their voices will be enabled through the campaign.

Your design or planning framework, tools and templates could include: explicit sub sections or prompts in the design document template relating to analysis of the potential risks to primary stakeholders associated with an advocacy campaign, the evidence base informing the advocacy messages and how primary stakeholders perspectives have been sought and (where appropriate and safe) how their voices will be enabled through the campaign.

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.

  • Training on the principles of sustainable development is provided to key personnel and partners. 
  • The extent to which initiatives lead to durable and lasting change is evaluated. 
  • Commitment to durable and lasting improvements is promoted to the public and external stakeholders. 
  • Diverse stakeholder groups are brought together to engage on change management processes. 
  • Collaboration with other organisations on intersecting issues is undertaken at national and international levels. 
  • Periodic reports are provided internally and to relevant primary stakeholders on the outcomes of advocacy work. 
  • Activities are undertaken to strengthen the capacity of marginalised groups to participate in multi-stakeholder processes. 

Good Practice Guidance

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

Context Analysis

  • Develop a full understanding of the program’s context including the impact of national and community-level political, social, economic, cultural and environmental factors, as well as the enablers and the barriers to social change
  • Seek the perspectives and experiences of primary stakeholders directly impacted by poverty or inequality
  • Carry out an analysis of the key relationships that will impact the project, how that impact will occur, and how those groups or people can be positively engaged
  • Train staff in how to carry out power analyses as a basic step in the preparation of any development activity
  • Periodically review the context as it changes over time as part of regular monitoring activities and reflect any changes by adapting project plans and approaches.

Stakeholder Analysis

  • Ensure program guidelines explicitly outline the importance of identifying the needs and expectations of all key stakeholders, including potential differences in interests and points of view.
  • Use stakeholder analysis tools in project design so that you can identify: the key local organisations and stakeholders and the relationships between them that contribute to or can break down poverty and inequality; vulnerability, risk and capacity for each stakeholder group.
  • Identify key groups marginalised through vulnerability.
  • Conduct research to identify the enabling factors and barriers for participation of local people.
  • Invest resources in and create opportunities for local organisations and/or primary stakeholders to discuss and agree on their own priorities for development and to fully contribute to the design and planning of initiatives that affect them.
  • 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.

Capacity Building Approaches

  • Invest time and resources in your partners’ broader mandate and strategy and capacity beyond specific projects considering for example non-project grants for training, systems development, etc.
  • Host staff secondments from and between partner organisations.
  • Jointly identify with local partners their own priorities for development, their existing strengths and capacity gaps, and jointly develop actions and provide resources to build capacity through, for example, formal training or academic courses, mentoring, exchange visits, the provision of educational or organisational resources.

Strengths Based Approach

  • Utilise tools and methodologies that identifies the existing strengths, abilities and assets of primary stakeholders. This is sometimes referred to as Asset Based Community Development or taking a ‘strengths-based approach’.
  • Use a wide range of community engagement tools to draw on as broad as representation of community members as possible to build a community vision and plan.
  • Support primary stakeholders to monitor their own progress in achieving their vision and plan.
  • Provide training to staff and partners on the difference between a needs based approach and a strengths based approach to development.

Systems Approach

  • Recognise that most development challenges involve multiple stakeholders and processes that interact together in a system, and also impact on multiple systems.
  • Recognise that solutions to development challenges are usually multi disciplinary
  • Dedicate reasonable resources and expertise to understanding the systems that interact with a development challenge in order to identify the most appropriate and effective development intervention
  • Bring together stakeholders from a diverse range of environments to better understand development challenges
  • Collaborate with many different actors, across sectors and across all parts of the system.
  • Experiment with interventions on a small scale, and continue to adapt them in response to continuous learning and analysis. 

Organisational Advocacy

  • Create and document a policy that defines advocacy, sets out your organisation’s advocacy objectives, and outlines the principles that your organization will be bound by when undertaking advocacy.
  • Set performance targets at a strategic or organisational level related to advocacy and ensure progress against these targets is tracked overtime. This could be through the development of an Advocacy Plan that is reviewed on an annual basis.
  • Appoint a person within your organisation with expertise in advocacy.
  • Include an overview of the organisation’s approach to advocacy in the induction of all new staff.
  • Document a toolkit and guidelines to support staff in undertaking advocacy.
  • Provide formal training for relevant staff on how to undertake advocacy effectively
  • Promote your advocacy activities on your website and in newsletters or similar.
  • Monitor, review and report internally and externally on your advocacy achievements; this includes reporting of performance against key advocacy indicators.

Advocacy Initiatives

  • Collaborate with organisations that focus on and have expertise in advocacy
  • Use rigorous research methodologies and processes to inform advocacy activities.
  • Consider confidential representation and diplomacy as a mechanism to persuading decision makers and opinion leaders to act in the interests of vulnerable people
  • Consider public forms of advocacy such as information and education campaigns.
  • Assess the potential for advocacy to bring your organisation into conflict with authorities, organisations or individuals and the consequences of this potential conflict on your organisation, your partners and primary stakeholders.
  • Undertake risk assessments to ensure they advocacy initiatives do not create undue risk to partners and other stakeholders
  • Where there is any risk of harm to primary stakeholders, ensure that those stakeholders are fully informed and consent to the advocacy activities and create mitigation strategies to protect primary stakeholders.
  • Support the active participation of partners and community members in planning, decision-making and undertaking advocacy activities where appropriate to do so
  • Assist partners to develop their own advocacy policies and plans.

ACFID Resources

ACFID Locally-led Development Resource Hub

This resource is an ACFID-developed curation of locally-led approaches, tools, and case studies of ACFID members. This is suitable for all organisations as the resources are categoried by its relation to locally-led action across all 9 Quality Principles. This is relevant to the Code by consistently showing evidence of working with and supporting local systems and structures.

Gender Inclusive Pathways Out of Poverty project

This resource is about highlighting World Vision's Gender Inclusive Pathways Out of Poverty project (GPOP) and its transformative impact on ultra-poor households in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh. It delves into approaches for poverty reduction and gender empowerment. This is suitable for development organisations, humanitarian agencies, and NGOs seeking insights into effective poverty alleviation and gender-inclusive programming in challenging contexts. This is relevant to the Code because it ...

Religion and Development: Australian Faith based development organisations

This resource is about examining the pivotal role of faith in development efforts, particularly through the lens of faith-based organisations (FBOs). It delves into the challenges and opportunities faced by FBOs in navigating their ties to local community, religiosity and its impact on development work. This is suitable for organisations who partner with FBOs and require insights into the complexities of FBOs' contributions and their unique advantages over secular organisations. This is ...

Spotlight on the Code – unpacking what QP3 means and how the Code speaks to sustainable change

This resource is a blog spotlighting Quality Principle (QP) 3 of ACFID’s Code of Conduct, which focuses on Sustainable Change. In this blog, we delve into QP3, preview how ACFID’s members are incorporating sustainable development into their work, and highlight what readers can expect from this spotlight series. This is suitable for organisations and individuals interested in understanding how sustainable development principles are integrated into the work of ACFID’s members and how they ...

Spotlight on the Code –how NTA East Indonesia Aid approaches Quality Principle 3

This resource is about gaining insights from an interview with Dr. Colin Barlow, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nusa Tenggara Association (NTA), also known as, East Indonesia Aid. Learn how NTA, as ACFID's our smaller members addresses the causes of poverty and inequity. This is suitable for all organisations, NGOs, and community development agencies seeking to understand and implement sustainable development practices in their work. It is relevant to the Code because it ...

Ultra-Poor Graduation Handbook

This resource is an example of World Vision's valuable insights into positively impacting the well-being of vulnerable families and children worldwide (ultra-poor). This is relevant to organisations working in poverty alleviation and community development, particularly those interested in implementing the Graduation approach to uplift vulnerable households. It is relevant to the Code in achieving positive development outcomes and contributing to the well-being of children worldwide.

Other Resources

Developing local capacity and effective partnerships

As part of CARE’s community-based adaptation (CBA) learning agenda, this paper provides an analysis of different approaches used to develop local capacity and work effectively with partners in four of its CBA projects (in Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, Vanuatu and Vietnam).

GIZ Poverty Analysis Tool

This resource is the Poverty Analysis Tool (PAT), which offers a structured framework for analysing poverty situations in various world-wide contexts. It aims to support country programs and project leaders across all sectors in developing balanced portfolios that deliver measurable impacts on poverty, both directly and indirectly. It is suitable for emerging and small organisations looking for a framework to which consistently shows analysis of the causes of poverty and inequity.

Handbook on poverty and social analysis: A working document.

This resource is a valuable resource for addressing the poverty and social dimensions of development operations. It addresses updated perspectives on poverty and social analysis. It also reflects changes that support more effective policies and staff guidelines related to gender, participation, social safeguards, and other social risks, It is suitable for all organisations reviewing and updating their policies and organisational approaches. It is relevant to the Code by underscoring the ...

Localisation at a project level: localisation learning brief

This resource is about exploring the adoption of localised humanitarian practices across various crisis contexts, with a particular focus on the Asia and Pacific regions. It delves into patterns supporting local leadership, specifically examining collaboration in networks, consortia, and collectives. This is suitable for organisations working crisis-affected areas. This is relevant to the Code because it supports and encourages the the significance of local leadership in humanitarian responses.

Monitoring and evaluating advocacy: Companion to the advocacy toolkit

This resource provides guidance on developing evaluation planning for advocacy, including unpredictable time frames, shifting strategies, emphasis on contribution over attribution, focus on progress assessment, and consideration of contextual factors. This is suitable for all organisations doing advocacy issues. This is relevant to the Code it ensures transparency, learning, and informed decision-making around advocacy work.

The value iceberg: weighing the benefits of advocacy and campaigning

This resource provides guidance on effectively evaluating the impact and value of advocacy efforts. It offers strategies for measuring both tangible and intangible outcomes. This is suitable for all organisations engaged in advocacy and want to consider the complexity and long-term nature of advocacy work. This is relevant to the Code because it is a responsibility evaluate and demonstrate the impact of their advocacy activities to stakeholders and donors. This resource is also available ...
Loading...