For ACT Alliance, accountability is the acknowledgment, communication and assumption of responsibility for actions, decisions and policies, including administration, governance, implementation and consequences of the implementation of all activities ACT members are involved in.
We believe that is important to uphold a high standard in protecting the rights and dignity of the communities we serve. We see it as part of our duty-of-care.
As a global alliance of over 140 church and church-related organisations working in over 120 countries, ACT has a complex accountability chain within a diverse and independent membership. Some member organisations work primarily through partners and some implement programmes themselves. Within the alliance, ACT members work individually and as part of national and regional ACT forums; some work together through an ACT appeal mechanism in response to a disaster, others plan and implement joint development projects together, while others participate in formal ACT advisory groups or communities of practice.
All ACT members are accountable to their own governance structures and are responsible to the ACT Alliance for meeting the obligations of their ACT membership. ACT members who fund or access funds through the ACT emergency appeal mechanism have additional accountability responsibilities.
All ACT members share the same ethos and values. As an alliance, ACT seek to ensure that the processes for accountability and varying roles and responsibility coexist seamlessly and all accountability systems work as a coherent whole. ACT works to ensure that an effective system for accountability instils a culture of accountability at all levels.
These processes have significantly improved our relationships with the communities we work with.
ACT Alliance is committed to demonstrating accountability in every aspect of its work.
The ACT Quality and Accountability Framework summarises standards of quality towards which the ACT governing bodies, ACT members and the ACT secretariat can be held to account by our stakeholders, and by each other. It states ACT’s primary commitments and sets out an implementation plan and actions for improvement. It seeks to ensure that members have mechanisms of accountability to beneficiaries.
The ACT Alliance Complaints Policy is managed by the ACT Secretariat. Its purpose is to:
Read the full Complaint policy here
(CHS) sets out Nine Commitments that organisations and individuals involved in humanitarian response can use to improve the quality and effectiveness of the assistance they provide. The CHS places communities and people affected by crisis at the centre of humanitarian action. As a core standard, the CHS describes the essential elements of principled, accountable and high-quality humanitarian aid. It is a voluntary and measurable standard. The CHS is the result of a global consultation process. It draws together key elements of existing humanitarian standards and commitments. (ref : https://corehumanitarianstandard.org/the-standard)
The ACT Alliance Secretariat is certified against the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability, and a copy of the re-certification audit 2021 is available here.
The Sphere movement was started in 1997 by a group of humanitarian professionals aiming to improve the quality of humanitarian work during disaster response. With this goal in mind, they framed a Humanitarian Charter and identified a set of humanitarian standards to be applied in humanitarian response.
Initially developed by non-governmental organisations, along with the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the Sphere standards have become a primary reference tool for national and international NGOs, volunteers, UN agencies, governments, donors, the private sector, and many others. Today, Sphere is a worldwide community which brings together and empowers practitioners to improve the quality and accountability of humanitarian assistance.
Sphere’s flagship publication, the Sphere Handbook, is one of the most widely known and internationally recognised sets of common principles and universal minimum standards in humanitarian response. (ref: https://spherestandards.org/about/)
In its efforts to contribute to effective prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment, the ACT Secretariat has endorsed the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response’s Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. Through this endorsement, the ACT Secretariat is committed to systematically check with previous employers about any misconduct issues relating to sexual exploitation and abuse by potential new hires and to systematically respond to such checks from others.
12 May 2023
27 April 2023
Global Accountability and Safeguarding Coordinator