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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 9.2:
We protect, value and support our people.

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.

9.2.1 Members provide professional development opportunities for staff and key volunteers.

A record of professional development undertaken by staff and key volunteers.


There are a variety of approaches to professional development and this will vary between organisations and staff positions. It may include formal learning and training opportunities such as conferences and coursework, or it may include less formal opportunities such as coaching, communities of practice, mentoring, and technical assistance.

9.2.2 Members enable staff and volunteers to make complaints and report wrongdoing through fair, transparent and accessible procedures.

Both of the following must be in place for all Members:

  • A policy or guideline which:
    • Must meet complaints handling requirements in 7.3.3.
    • Is clearly accessible to all staff and volunteers.
    • Provides clear processes that are safe and confidential.
  • A whistleblowing policy that has the following components as a minimum:
    • A clear statement that staff, volunteers, contractors and partners who are aware of possible wrongdoing have a responsibility to disclose that information.
    • A guarantee that staff and volunteers who in good faith disclose perceived wrongdoing will be protected from adverse employment consequences.
    • The establishment of a fair and impartial investigative process.
    • Provides protection for whistleblowers.


To assist signatory organisations to develop a whistleblowing policy, an example member policy provided by UNICEF can be found in the Resources Section below. Members will also find links to the whistleblowing policies of other members by looking at their websites.

9.2.3 Members protect the safety, security and well- being of staff and volunteers.

  • Policy, procedure or guidance document outlining the requirements for the safety, security and travel for staff and volunteers.
  • Appropriate travel insurances.
  • Guidelines for staff travel.
  • Anti-bullying and anti-sexual harassment policies.
  • Workplace, Health and Safety policy and training for staff and volunteers..


The work of development and humanitarian assistance organisations often places great demands on staff and volunteers in conditions of complexity and risk.  In the Resources Section below, you will find information to assist your organisation in the development of appropriate policies, guidelines and training, which further the protection, safety, security and wellbeing of your personnel.

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.

  • A focal point for Occupational Health and Safety is in place.
  • Counselling support services are available to staff. 
  • Organisation, staff and volunteers are aware of and have access to a range of professional development opportunities across and outside the sector.
  • An incident register is maintained and periodically reviewed by organisation management and governing body.

Good Practice Guidance

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

Policies and procedures

  • Ensure human resources policies and procedures are in line with the values of your organisation and with employment legislation.
  • Set them out in writing, addressing at a minimum:
    • Recruitment and selection.
    • Remuneration and benefits.
    • Equity and diversity.
    • Staff training and development.
    • Performance management.
    • Conduct in the workplace.
    • Integrity (including confidentiality and conflict of interest).
    • Grievance procedures.
    • Occupational Health and Safety.
    • Unacceptable behaviours (see list below under ‘Conduct in the workplace’).
  • Regularly monitor and review them according to how well they meet legal and regulatory requirements, organisational and programme aims, and reasonable considerations of effectiveness, fairness and transparency.
  • Familiarise staff with policies and practices that affect them.
  • Provide appropriate guidance and training to managers to implement policies effectively.

Occupational Health and Safety

  • The aim of occupational health and safety (OH&S) is to eliminate or reduce the risk of injuries and illness associated with work.
  • Identify the risks that face staff in Australia and overseas, and develop policy and procedures to manage these risks. For the system to work effectively, staff need to be aware of, understand and be trained to follow relevant policies and procedures. OH&S policies typically include:
    • Workplace risk assessment.
    • Leave arrangements.
    • Security arrangements.
    • Insurance arrangements.
    • Staff care arrangements, such as medical and counselling services.
    • Communications protocols.
    • Travel and accommodation protocols.
    • Accident and incident protocols.
    • Emergency protocols.
    • Emergency contacts.

Overseas staff

  • There are additional occupational health and safety considerations for staff and volunteers working overseas. The People in Aid Standard recognises that the work of relief and development agencies often places great demands on staff in conditions of complexity and risk.
  • Use the People in Aid Standard to guide your policy and procedures. It identifies a range of actions to demonstrate an organisation’s commitment to ensuring the physical and emotional well-being of staff. It recommends:
    • Developing program plans that include a written assessment of security, travel and health risks specific to the relevant country or region, and reviewing them at appropriate intervals.
    • Before international assignments, ensure staff receive a health clearance, a verbal and written briefing on all risks relevant to the role and clear advice on agency obligations and individual responsibilities in relation to possible risks.
    • Put measures in place to mitigate those risks, including insurance
    • Provide update briefings when new equipment, procedures or risks are identified.
    • Regularly review security plans including evacuation procedures
    • Offer all staff a debriefing or exit interview at the end of any contract or assignment.
    • Make health checks, personal counselling and careers advice available to overseas staff.

Humanitarian workers

  • In recognition that humanitarian work is often stressful, the Antares Foundation has developed Guidelines for Good Practice which provide practical suggestions for organisations to provide good psychosocial care for its staff. Utilise the Guidelines for Good Practice to guide your policy and procedures. Its recommends you:
    • Develop a written and active policy to prevent or mitigate the effects of stress.
    • Systematically screen and/or assess the capacity of staff to respond to, and cope with, the anticipated stresses of a position or contract.
    • Ensure that all staff have appropriate pre-assignment preparation and training in managing stress.
    • Monitor staff response on an ongoing basis.
    • Provide training and support on an ongoing basis to help staff manage daily stress.
    • Provide staff with specific and culturally appropriate support in the wake of critical or traumatic incidents, and other unusual and unexpected sources of severe stress.
    • Provide practical, emotional and culturally appropriate support for staff at the end of an assignment or contract.
    • Have clear written policies with respect to the ongoing support it offers staff who have been adversely impacted by exposure to stress and trauma during assignments.

Professional Development

  • Supporting the growth and development of your individual employees and volunteers can be done within both large and small signatory organisations. You are obliged to provide adequate resources and an environment for this to take place.
  • Instil a culture of learning through your recruitment, planning, monitoring and review processes, by:
    • Including in personnel policies the availability of training, development and learning opportunities, and making staff and volunteers aware of them.
    • Developing and establishing robust recruitment, selection and induction processes that emphasise learning.
    • Including learning opportunities and discussion in a range of areas such as:
      • Team planning.
      • Performance management.
      • Program monitoring.
      • Evaluation frameworks and activities.
    • Including explicit provision for training in plans and budgets.
    • Offering internal and external formal training opportunities.
    • Providing mentoring, coaching and peer support of staff, volunteers or governing body members.
    • Granting opportunities for staff and volunteers to build skills ‘on the job’ by working in different areas and roles.
    • Using formal organisational reflection processes such as organisational strategic planning and review.
  • It is well established that a learning approach that blends different methods, and targets individual learning styles will lead to the best outcomes. Specific training and development activities should be offered to your employees and volunteers at all points of their engagement.
  • Develop clear job descriptions that are the foundation upon which training and development activities are built.
  • Implement a structured orientation and induction process for all employees, volunteers and governing body members.
  • Provide training, so that staff and volunteers can meet the basic competencies for the role.
  • Provide mentoring, coaching, and peer support.
  • Identify the knowledge, skills and abilities that your organisation will need in the future.
  • Conduct regular performance reviews.
  • Align individual development plans to work outcomes and career development.

ACFID Resources

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Other Resources

Antares Foundation Guidelines

The Guidelines for Good Practice are intended to help organizations define their own needs in relation to stress ...

Australian Human Rights Commission Guidance – Sexual harassment in the workplace

CHS Alliance

People In Aid improves organisational effectiveness within the humanitarian and development sector worldwide by ...

CPA Australia – Good Practice guide to whistleblowing policies

A Practical guide for developing a whistleblowing policy.  While it is aimed at the Corporate Sector, it provides ...

Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Commonwealth)

This is a compilation of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 as in force on 1 January 2014. It includes any ...

Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999 (Commonwealth)

An Act to require certain employers to promote equal opportunity for women in employment, to establish the Equal ...

Example policy on Discrimination, Harassment, Bullying and Complaints Resolution (Plan International Australia)

Plan International Australia shares its policy which can act as a good example for other members, particularly ...

Fair Work Act 2009

Commonwealth Law on the Fair Work Act.

Heilala – Anti-sexual Harassment Policy

Heilala shares its Anti-sexual Harassment Policy as an example of their commitment to protect the safety, security ...

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 (Commonwealth)

An Act to establish the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, to make provision in relation to human ...

Nurturing & supporting staff – innovative approaches by CBM Australia

This short case study illustrates how one of our members supports their staff and volunteers, particularly with ...

Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991 (Commonwealth)

Commonwealth Law on Occupational Health & Safety.

People in Aid Code of Good Practice

The People In Aid Code of Good Practice has become the recognised standard for human resources management in the ...

Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth)

An Act to make provision to protect the privacy of individuals, and for related purposes.

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Commonwealth)

An Act relating to the Elimination of Racial and other Discrimination.

Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Commonwealth)

An Act relating to discrimination on the ground of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, ...

So They Can – Sexual Harassment and Workplace Bullying Policy

So They Can shares its Sexual Harassment and Workplace Bullying Policy as an example of their commitment to ...

So They Can – Whistleblowing Policy

So They Can shares its Whistleblowing Policy as an example of their commitment to enable staff and volunteers to ...

UNICEF whistleblowing policy

Volunteering Australia

Volunteering Australia is the National peak body for volunteering working to advance volunteering in the ...