Walk the Talk on Inclusive Development, Locally Led Development, and Racial Justice
For the past eight years, Haseena has lived with constant pain and irritation in her eyes from trachoma, the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness.
Due to her condition, the 53-year-old mother of two in Pakistan’s Chitral District was left unable to work, relying on her husband’s modest wage as a labourer to support her family.
One day a Lady Health Worker visited Haseena’s village and identified her as an eligible patient for trachoma trichiasis surgery. She advised Haseena and her family to visit a nearby eye camp organised by The Fred Hollows Foundation in Chitral.
Haseena went to the camp and underwent surgery on both of her eyes, saving her sight.
After the surgery, Haseena and her family were overjoyed and expressed thanks to The Fred Hollows Foundation and its donors for providing her relief from the pain she had suffered for eight years. She was overcome with joy that she could now cook for her family again and have sound sleep, free of pain. Photo: The Fred Hollows Foundations Australia.
As a result of COVID-19, the World Bank predicts that for the first time since 1998, global poverty will increase. We are at serious risk of losing the development gains of the last 50 years. The pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities as the impacts of the pandemic fall heavily on women and girls, and further disadvantage people with disabilities, children, and other marginalised groups.
As part of our commitment to advancing effective and inclusive development, ACFID has:
- Developed resources and materials to support our members to work in ways that support equality and inclusion, including through learning events, training, and good practice guidance.
- Included clear commitments and quality principles to support rights, protection & inclusion, and participation, empowerment & local ownership in the ACFID Code of Conduct.
- Delivered training to ACFID secretariat staff to support equality and inclusion, including Accessibility Training to ensure our work is accessible to people with disabilities
- Developed policy briefs on the rights and wellbeing of children, disability-inclusive development and gender equality as part of our Policy Platform for the 2022 Federal Election.
- Engaged in policy dialogues with members, government and other stakeholders to advance gender equality, disability-inclusive development and rights-based approaches to development.
- Undertaken advocacy to highlight the importance of a genuinely inclusive aid program, including by calling for increased investment in Gender Equality, Disability, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) programming.
Locally Led Development
ACFID firmly believes that development and humanitarian responses are most effective when they are based on genuine, longstanding partnerships, and designed and led by local actors and organisations. The movement towards localisation – reflected in commitments such as the Grand Bargain and the Charter for Change – is important to redress historic and ongoing imbalances in power and resources between local and international actors, including both donors and international aid organisations. Working in a locally led way means giving ownership of development activities and outcomes to local actors who are best placed to understand and respond to the needs of their communities. By its nature, this will look different in each country context, and even within countries or programs. Successful locally led action relies on strong and equal partnerships, quality direct funding, transparency and accountability on the utilisation of aid, and diversity and empowerment in staffing and leadership.
You can also read about ACFID Council’s resolution to more equitable and just ways of working, which prioritises local knowledge, expertise, leadership and autonomy.
Anti-Racism and Racial Justice
ACFID recognises that racism is harmful and has real life impacts – including excluding people of colour from power and decision making – and that meaningfully addressing diversity and inclusion often requires engaging in questions of racism.
ACFID wish to initiate a vital dialogue amongst members about representation, participation, and access to decision-making. We are open to where members may go in the future with dialogue and options to address these critical issues,
but we believe it is not an option to not to discuss these matters.
As part of our commitment to racial justice, ACFID has:
- Resolved to build greater representation, participation and access to decision making with peoples of varied cultural and racial origins and intersections in the sector
- Supported the formation and development of the Racial Justice Community of Practice (RJCOP). Members are encouraged to join
- Delivered training to ACFID secretariat staff and Members to support inclusion and racial justice, including anti-racist training with the organisation Hue
- Amplified anti-racist practices within the Code of Conduct, including developing guidelines on good-practice for locally-led development
- In partnership with the RJCOP, developed a racial justice framework and resource hub for organisations. See below for the Racial Justice Resource Library Guide. An interactive format will be coming to Learn with ACFID soon.
Developed in October 2022, this guide is was a collaboration between ACFID and the Racial Justice Community of Practice (RJCOP).
ACFID Council acknowledges the inherent power imbalances and colonial legacy of our sector.
Support and guidance for ACFID members and their staff to get started on their decolonisation journeys.
Sets out practical options for individuals and organisations to further the decolonisation and locally-led agendas.
ACFID Council recognises that racism is harmful and has real life impacts.
Steps out recommendations for the 2022 incoming Government to renew our commitment to disability inclusive development.
Steps out recommendations for the 2022 incoming Government to strengthen Australia’s efforts to increase gender equality.