The Bond Charter started out in 1993 as “statement of principles”, was formally adopted at the Bond AGM on 23 October 2012 and amended at the AGM on 20 November 2018.
As a foundational document, it brings together a common vision, purpose, values and principles of the Bond network. It is a way for Bond members to demonstrate a shared commitment to good practice, while also acknowledging the diversity in the Bond membership.
At the Bond AGM in 2020 it was agreed that the Charter should be updated and revised, to better reflect the transformation we have seen in the sector over the last 10 years and the new version was approved by members at the AGM in 2022.
The updated Charter is now:
- Phrased around eight core values, rather than a mixture of principles and standards.
- Providing greater clarity on expectations of Bond members around the Charter and suggesting how Bond and members can use the Charter to take action and provide support.
- Giving a better sense of what is unique about the Bond network and wider movement.
- Underpinned by agreed standards in the sector.
Bond members are united in speaking out against injustices. Together, Bond, civil society organisations and allies can bring about a just and sustainable world.
The Bond Charter captures the aspirations that unite the Bond network. It is underpinned by established standards of good practice.
Bond members are expected to lend their support to the Charter and its values and are responsible for applying the values of the Bond Charter in their organisations and their work. In doing so, Bond members demonstrate that they are part of a strong community that is working towards a sustainable future for international development, and humanitarian assistance.
Bond members recognise that confidence in both the work of individual organisations – as well as the collective reputation of the sector – rests on members’ mutual accountability and commitment to the values of the Charter.
The Bond network will drive and support members to transform their organisations and live these values.
1. Civil society solidarity
Civil society acting in solidarity means consciously working as allies and advocates towards a common goal. Bond members act in solidarity with others, recognising the power of shared aims and collective action. They add their voice to unheard voices and provide mutual support and help in amplifying them.
Collaboration means being generous-minded and open to compromise. Bond members are collaborative and share knowledge and expertise for a common cause. They recognise the strengths and contributions of others and that working together has greater impact.
3. Environmental Sustainability
Environmentally sustainable organisations know how their actions affect the planet and future generations. Bond members act to manage and minimise their environmental impact. They challenge others to be sustainable and to take urgent action in relation to climate change and biodiversity loss.
Accountability means being willing to accept responsibility for the impact of words, behaviours and actions. Bond members are transparent, take ownership and lead by example. They hold themselves and others to account in order to do ever better.
5. Anti-racism, inclusion and diversity
Anti-racism, inclusion and diversity means recognising and actively working to eradicate the sources of injustice and inequity, including the legacy of colonialism and anti-Blackness. Bond members look inwards as well as outwards, and interrogate institutional structures and their own privilege and power. They promote equity and equality in all their work.
Locally-led means addressing unequal power dynamics and ensuring that the people we work to support make their own decisions. Bond members make the voices and rights of individuals and communities integral to their approach. They influence others to work in this way.
7. Responsibility and effectiveness
Responsible organisations are effective in achieving their goals and do so in a way that is sustainable, making effective use of resources. Bond members learn continuously and identify opportunities to do better. They are open to adaptation and change.
8. Do no harm
Doing no harm means ensuring that our actions do not cause or perpetuate negative impact. Bond members seek to do no harm and understand inherent power imbalances (including the need for protection from discrimination, sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment). They are aware that harm can be done intentionally or unintentionally.
How this will work in practice
- All Bond members have to sign up to this Charter when joining Bond.
- The standards of good practice underpinning this Charter aim to support Bond members in taking action.
- The Charter values will inform the areas that we invest in to support our members.
Authority to revise
Authority to make material changes to the Bond Charter rests with Bond’s governing board, which will determine matters to be brought before the membership.
Bond is not a regulatory body. It does not monitor or regulate the actions, outputs or views of our members.