South West International Development Network (SWIDN) statement on safeguarding in the INGO sector
In light of recent reports in the media concerning staff employed by INGOs, the South West International Development Network (SWIDN) would like to make the following statement:
The recent reported conduct of some INGO employees is deplorable and contrary to the core values and high standards the development and humanitarian sector sets for itself and is rightly expected to adhere to. It is right that INGOs are fully transparent and accountable for the actions of their staff members, and that such behaviour is reported, thorough investigations are carried out, and appropriate action is taken, so it is clear that misconduct of this kind is completely unacceptable, and so that lessons can be learnt on a sector-wide basis to help ensure that the best preventative mechanisms are in place and working effectively.
SWIDN is committed to working with its Members, partners, stakeholders and other organisations to help ensure that, on a sector-wide basis, vulnerable people are protected through the implementation of robust policies, practices and procedures, underpinned by high quality, up to date and regular best-practice training. Only this will ensure that misconduct of this kind is prevented and eliminated from the sector, and enable the continuation of the incredible humanitarian and development work that UK international NGOs carry out, with complete accountability and trust.
SWIDN will be doing its utmost to support its Members in this work, both through the provision of relevant, accessible and affordable best practice training, as well as providing signposting to other relevant best practice organisations, consultants and practitioners. SWIDN plans to consult with its Members to ascertain where it can have the greatest impact and will design training schedules around the specific needs that are identified. SWIDN will also work to identify and encourage experts in the field of safeguarding to engage with Members and to be on hand to provide both ongoing and ad hoc advisory services, as required, particularly with regard to smaller NGO Members who may not have the resources or capacity to employ full-time safeguarding staff of their own. SWIDN will also work to support DFID to provide training and other resources to its Members.