Bond is the UK membership body for organisations working in international development or supporting those that do through funding, research, training and other services.
Established in 1993 on the initiative of 61 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in international development, we now have around 400 members ranging from large agencies with a world-wide presence to smaller, specialist organisations working in certain regions or with specific groups of people. For a full list of current Bond members visit our directory of members.
Find out what membership offers and how to apply in our guide to membership.
What we do
We promote, support, represent and on occasion lead the work and interests of UK international development organisations, united by a common goal to eradicate global poverty.
We work to influence governments and policy-makers, develop the skills of people in the sector, build organisational capacity and effectiveness and provide opportunities to exchange information, knowledge and expertise.
Policy and advocacy
We facilitate and coordinate collective action by our members and wider UK civil society to influence the policies and practice of governments and institutions at UK, European and international levels.
We represent our membership in various national and international networks in the UK and the rest of Europe.
We also advocate on behalf of Bond members on the funding environment in which they operate.
One of the main ways that Bond engages with members and provides a platform for collective advocacy is through member-led working groups, which focus on a range of issues from conflict and environment to funding, policy and lobbying.
As part of a Bond group, member organisations can work together on specific issues with more efficiency and effectiveness to achieve greater impact, and their work benefits other members through the development of expertise within the sector.
Learning and training
To help build the capacity and professionalism of the sector, Bond provides a comprehensive learning and training programme both for members and non-members. This includes one- and two-day courses, which can also be delivered in-house and tailored to an organisation’s particular needs.
Effectiveness and transparency
Accountability, transparency and quality are key to effective international development. Bond’s transparency and effectiveness programmes work closely together to ensure that disclosure of NGO projects, governance and performance information improves in both quantity and quality.
While the effectiveness programme is developing a sector-wide approach to strengthening the management and reporting of NGO performance, the transparency programme supports UK NGOs to comply with the International Aid Transparency Initiative Standard and to improve transparency and the disclosure of project, governance and performance information.
Networking and communications
Bond offers networking opportunities for members to meet and exchange views and experience with peers, and to help promote the sharing of best practice across a broad range of areas.
One of the key ways in which we support member networking is through our new online members’ area, My Bond. We have designed this as a hub for learning, sharing and collaboration; a space where people across the international development sector can share thoughts, ideas, best practice, successes and failures.
These networking opportunities are complemented by a range of other communications, including a variety of print, online and e-communications, all designed to keep members up to date with news and issues that are relevant to the development sector.
Bond's work is funded by member subscriptions, income generated through advertising and training services, and grants, including strategic funding from the Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
When voices join together they get heard... Bond is the embodiment of that spirit.
Minouche Shafik, Permanent Secretary, DFID, 2008–2011
Vision, purpose, values
Our vision is a world of justice and equality, free from poverty, where human rights and the environment are respected.
Bond is the uniting force for the strength, influence and effectiveness of UK international development organisations.
Our values are:
- Justice and solidarity
- Diversity and mutual respect
- Collaboration and participation
- Sustainability and shared responsibility
- Transparency and accountability
On applying for Bond membership, all organisations must sign up to the Bond Charter, which outlines the uniting principles of the network.
With over 400 members, ranging from the largest household names to the smallest community-based organisations, the Bond network is a dynamic community representing the diversity of the UK’s international development sector.
In 2011–12, 48 per cent of our members were in the smallest size categories (A and B), while 38 per cent were medium-sized (C and D) and 14 per cent were in the largest categories (E, F and G). For more detail on these categories see the join us page.
Bond members together have a global presence and work across the many areas of international development. They are mainly NGOs, but also include trusts and foundations, research and academic institutes, and training providers with a focus on international development. For more, have a look at our directory of members.
Bond represents its members by itself being a member of the following networks and organisations:
The World Alliance for Citizen Participation is a network of over 650 organisations and networks worldwide, promoting civil society and citizen engagement.
The European NGO confederation for relief and development is an EU-wide network of over 1,000 international development NGOs working together to keep development cooperation high on the political agenda of the EU Institutions and ensure the EU delivers on its development commitments.
Development Studies Association
Bond is a member of the Development Studies Association (DSA), which works to connect and promote the development research community in the UK and Ireland.
A growing community of civil society professionals who want to connect across borders for a stronger, more innovative and more sustainable European civil society.
Gender and Development Network
The GAD Network is a membership network of leading practitioners, academics and consultants working on gender and development issues in the UK.
Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP)
Bond is linking the UK into the Global Call to Action against Poverty at both global and European levels. GCAP is a worldwide alliance committed to making world leaders live up to their promises, and to making a breakthrough on poverty and inequality. It is an alliance between a range of actors around the common cause of ending poverty: existing coalitions, community groups, trade unions, individuals, religious and faith groups, campaigners and more. Its global symbol is the white band.
Global Economic Justice Networks
Born out of Make Poverty History, a number of networks and coalitions at the heart of campaigning on economic justice. Representatives from each of these meet regularly in a 'network of networks' to coordinate as necessary.
Working to improve the accountability, clarity and transparency (ImpACT) in the third sector.
National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)
An umbrella of English and UK organisations, lobbying and training on generic issues for the voluntary sector.
The Corporate Responsibility Coalition (CORE)
An alliance of UK development, human rights and environmental organisations promoting legal frameworks for global corporate responsibility.
The Reality of Aid
The Reality of Aid is an international network of NGOs campaigning to reduce North–South inequalities. The network is divided into regions, and Bond is the coordinator for the European region. The members collaborate on various initiatives, e.g. conferences and joint advocacy, and the publication of the bi-annual 'Reality of Aid' report.
The UK Alliance of National Networks for International Development
Bond and the national networks of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland work together, through an alliance agreement, to maximise the collective potential of all their member organisations to eradicate poverty and injustice, based on the principles of collaboration and partnership.
For more on the UK international development sector's wide range of specialist networks, see our networks directory.