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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

Home 5 News 5 ACFID Blog 5 Spotlight on the Code – governing accountably, transparently and responsibly

Spotlight on the Code – governing accountably, transparently and responsibly

Nov 21, 2019 | ACFID Blog

Beth Wanjero talks to an adviser from the sustainable development initiative, Kenya. Photo: Kate Holt / DFAT / Flickr.

QP 7 not only wraps up all aspects of good governance, it recognises the importance of building trust with all stakeholders. It has four Commitments which ensure ACFID members govern responsibly, accountably and transparently.”
Mark Carpenter, Director Business & Corporate Partnerships

This month we are pleased to continue our Spotlight on the Code series, shining the light on Quality Principle 7: Development and humanitarian organisations are governed in an accountable, transparent and responsible way. This is particularly relevant to my role at ACFID, as I have oversight of our governance committees and my team works closely with the sector’s regulators such as the ACNC and DFAT. A strong and applied approach to governance provides us all with the confidence that our organisations are working effectively and according to the requirements of regulators. In this Spotlight, we will explore what governance covers, offer up case studies and examples, hear from some of our high-performing members, and link you to information and expertise.

To foster public trust and ensure good conduct in aid and development work, ACFID members have the responsibility to promote legal and ethical behaviour, and to monitor the actions of staff and partners to ensure no wrongdoing or impropriety. In some contexts there is a heightened risk of corruption, fraud or bribery and members should act, and be seen to act, in a way that is honest and transparent. Voluntary governing bodies of member organisations are expected to be ‘responsible persons’ of integrity and able to make independent and objective decisions focused on achieving aid and development outcomes. Member organisations have a duty to carefully manage any real or perceived conflicts of interest because reputational damage can affect the whole sector.

Quality Principle 7 recognises the importance of building trust with all stakeholders through compliance with standards and through ethical and sound decision-making. It covers all aspects of good governance, extending beyond the establishment of a formal governing body and associated mechanisms, and including core organisational commitments to governing responsibly, accountably and transparently. Quality Principle 7 incorporates obligations covering governing instruments, governing body policies, transparency, annual general meetings, legal requirements, complaints handling, as well as the need for separation of development from non-development activities.
Recently, Quality Principle 7 has been strengthened to improve members’ practice and response in the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse. Specifically, a new compliance indicator requires a member’s governing body to be informed of, and respond to, serious incidents in accordance with their mandate and responsibilities. Furthermore, members’ complaints handling policies need ‘boosting’ to ensure they take a survivor-centred approach, and in the interest of transparency, members also need to ensure they have key policies as well as their Code of Conduct available on their website.

Quality Principle 7 is implemented by ACFID members through four commitments:

Here’s what we have in store for you:

  1. We interview Steven Meredith, Chair of The Leprosy Mission Australia to understand how this dynamic organisation has engaged its members in their constitutional review, how they report within a complex regulatory environment, and how they manage good governance overall, including the flow-on effects to their partners in-country.
  2. We deliver a refreshed “ACFID Guidance for the development of a Complaints Handling Policy” that not only looks different from its predecessor, but now addresses the new Code requirements for a survivor-centred approach to complaints handling.
  3. We profile how ACFID member Australian Lutheran World Service values the need for transparency in their development initiatives particularly in terms of the separation of development and non-development activities. Their blog brings in the voice of their PNG partner, illustrating how the Principle plays out in the field.
  4. We hear from ACFID member Friends of Femili PNG about their approaches to attracting and maintaining the governing body that is best placed to lead their organisation. They explore aspects such as the induction of governing bodies, terms, succession planning and serious incident reporting.
  5. And finally, we test your decision making in terms of conflict of interest with a fun 2 minute interactive game. The Code ensures members manage conflicts of interest, real and perceived. If they are not managed well, they have the ability to completely derail the reputation of the agency and the wider sector, eroding public trust.

We hope you enjoy the journey as we spotlight Quality Principle 7. We look forward to exploring this Quality Principle, and more, with you throughout 2020.

Samuela’s Story

Samuela is a student at the Hilton Special School in Fiji and received his first wheelchair through our partnership with the Frank Hilton Organisation. Prior to this, Samuela would crawl, or wait for help to move about.

Samuela helped test our child friendly feedback toolkit using the ‘drawing’ method. He was asked to draw a picture of himself and his mobility device. Samuela chose to draw a picture of himself and his wheelchair in the yard at school. Responding to open ended questions about his drawing, Samuela then shared that he is happy with his wheelchair, and an important benefit for him is the ability to go into the school yard and play with his friends.

Mark Carpenter

Mark Carpenter

Mark is the Director Business & Corporate Partnerships and has responsibility for Governance, Regulatory & Legal Reporting, Information Technology, Human Resources and Financial Management. Prior to Joining ACFID in 2014 Mark was an Assistant Secretary in the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department.