Commitment 5.3:
We invest in the effectiveness of our collaborations and partnerships.

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.

5.3.1 Members support mutually identified capacity- strengthening strategies with their partners.

Development and humanitarian initiatives consistently show evidence of mutual learning and supporting and building capacity of partners.


There will be many variations on how Members show evidence of building the capacity of their partners. It is important that strategies are identified mutually, so that they respond to the priorities of partners.  Examples might include providing training, mentoring, engagement in communities of practice, support to develop policies or systems, support for new innovations, or financial support.

Download and read ACFID’s Collaboration guidance note from the resources section below for some guidance on the different forms that collaboration may take. You may also wish to download and read ACFID’s guide to developing and managing partnerships for some practical tools and guidance to use in identifying and working with partners, and the different lifecycle stages of a partnership.

5.3.2 Members assess their collaborations and partnerships.

Documented evidence of the periodic and joint review of key collaborations and partnerships.


Partnerships need to constantly review their purpose, goals, and effectiveness. There are many variations on how members might work with their partners to undertake these reviews. For example, they might be facilitated by an external consultant, assessed through a survey, undertaken in an annual roundtable, or simply undertaken informally through discussion. There are some helpful questions for evaluating and monitoring partnerships in the ‘ Partnerships: Frameworks for Working Together’ tool which can be found in the Resources Section below.

You may also wish to download and read ACFID’s guide to developing and managing partnerships for some practical tools and guidance to use in identifying and working with partners, and the different lifecycle stages of a partnership.

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.

  • Capacity strengthening plans are developed in collaboration with partners.
  • The effectiveness of capacity strengthening initiatives are periodically reviewed.
  • A formal process is used to enable partner feedback on the members performance and the partnership itself.

Good Practice Guidance

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

Capacity Strengthening

  • Build and maintain robust relationships throughout the development process with partner organisations, local people and other stakeholders, and invest the required time to do so.
  • Ensure relationships and partnerships reflect the principles of equality, mutual respect and transparency.
  • Invest time to learn about your partner’s philosophies, objectives and approaches and share yours with them to build mutual understanding and respect.
  • Ensure a clear shared understanding of the roles and responsibilities of your organisation and your partner.
  • Establish agreement on the essential elements of an effective partnership and how this can be jointly monitored with performance indicators and targets.
  • Develop plans and budgets with corresponding reporting processes to enable transparency and accountability.
  • Jointly define desired successful outcomes and indicators of progress and how they will be assessed and measured. This could involve clearly defined indicators and targets or could be done in a more open-ended manner.
  • Hold events or create opportunities with communities, partners and other stakeholders to share results and progress.

Assessing Effectiveness

  • Jointly with partners, define what partnership effectiveness will look like and develop processes to assess this periodically. Allow partners to lead this process.
  • Ensure such an assessment process is undertaken periodically and this is well communicated with partners so they know they will have regular opportunities to provide feedback.
  • Invest time and resources into periodic meetings or workshops with partners, and other external stakeholders to assess the effectiveness of partnerships.
  • Invite partners to reflect on the effectiveness of your organisation and share the findings of this with staff and other stakeholders.

ACFID Resources

ACFID Collaboration and Partnership Guidance

A suite of resources developed to help ACFID members understand, meet and implement Quality Principle 5 ...

Partnering for development: How Australian NGOs partner with private sector organisations in international development

ACFID's private sector survey provides a snapshot of how Australia’s aid and development NGOs engage with private ...

Partnerships for Effective Development

This report provides ACFID members, and the wider international development sector, with a deeper understanding of ...

Promoting Voice and Choice

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

Other Resources

Guidelines on Partnerships with Southern CSOs

These guidelines are intended to support Dochas members in developing and implementing high quality partnerships ...

How to Partner for Development Research

Recognising that effective partnerships require intentional management, this practical guide offers tools, tips ...

OXFAM Partnership Principles

A summary of OXFAM's partnership principles.

Partnerships: Frameworks for working together

This toolkit provides information regarding working within partnerships

The Partnering Cycle and Principles

Introduction to partnerships: the partnering cycle, and partnering principles

The Partnering Toolbook – An Essential Guide to Cross Sectoral Partnering (4th Ed)

Now in its 4th edition (republished in 2011), this basic manual is in use all over the world and many of its tools ...


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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