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Refreshed Bond Charter adopted, as we welcome new trustees at our annual general meeting

Last week, Bond hosted its annual general meeting.

We welcomed new and returning trustees and celebrated Bond and the sector’s achievements from the last financial year. The revised Bond Charter, which brings together a common vision, purpose, values and principles of the Bond network, was introduced and adopted by a majority vote, and two of Bond’s working groups shared their reflections and achievements from the last year; the Practice for Locally Led Development Group and the Communications Group.

Here are some of the highlights.

Meet Bond’s new trustees

Charlotte Timson, CEO of Transform Trade (formerly Traidcraft Exchange), will be joining our Board. Charlotte has been at Transform Trade since 2014 and was appointed CEO in 2019. Before that, she spent time with Restless Development, the Fairtrade Foundation and six years with Christian Aid.

Charlotte said “I am committed to supporting the Bond leadership in visioning for the future, leading change both internally and within the wider membership
and to work with others to reframe the aid and development narrative to centre on justice and equity
so it is fit for the future.”

Gregge Madan, Senior Consultant, Strategy & Planning, Cultural Engagement, for British Council will also be joining the Board. Gregge has been working with British Council for 21 years.

Gregge said “I am keen to support the Bond drive towards diversity and inclusion and using the decolonisation narrative to help drive sustainable development outcomes.”

We would also like to welcome back all the returning Bond trustees, and say farewell and thank you to Laura Jump, Bournemouth Churches Housing Association’s (BCHA) Director of Change, Transformation and Growth, who has stepped down.

Bond charter

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, and globally, over the last 10 years.

Two years on, Bond’s board trustees voted to adopt the new Charter unanimously at this year’s AGM.

The updated Charter now:

  • Focuses on eight core values, rather than a mixture of principles and standards.
  • Gives a better sense of what is unique about the Bond network and wider movement.
  • Reflects agreed on standards in the sector.

The eight core values of the newly adopted charter are:

  1. Civil society solidarity – Civil society acting in solidarity means consciously working as allies and advocates towards a common goal.
  2. Collaboration – Collaboration means being generous-minded and open to compromise.
  3. Environmental Sustainability – Environmentally sustainable organisations know how their actions affect the planet and future generations.
  4. Accountability – Accountability means being willing to accept responsibility for the impact of words, behaviours and actions.
  5. Anti-racism, inclusion and diversity – Anti-racism, inclusion and diversity mean recognising and actively working to eradicate the sources of injustice and inequity, including the legacy of colonialism and anti-Blackness.
  6. Locally led – Locally led means addressing unequal power dynamics and ensuring that the people we work to support make their own decisions.
  7. Responsibility and effectiveness – Responsible organisations are effective in achieving their goals and do so in a sustainable way, making effective use of resources.
  8. Do no harm – Doing no harm means ensuring that our actions do not cause or perpetuate negative impacts.

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A look back at some of Bond’s successes during another challenging year

Bond’s CEO, Stephanie Draper took us through some of our work from the last financial year.

Bond influenced and informed the International Development Strategy (IDS) by producing a sector-wide paper, Setting a New Course, and lobbied the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) to allow formal inputs from the sector and beyond to help inform the IDS. Bond also proposed and led four ‘deep dive’ conversations with technical experts from FCDO and the sector on conflict, sustainable development, locally led approaches and climate change.

Bond pushed back against the cuts to UK aid and made the impact of the cuts on programmes widely known through 100+ MP briefings, extensive media coverage and by using our role as G7 C7 hosts to apply pressure on the UK government.

Bond created the new Building Inclusive Cultures training programme, which is helping organisations reflect on the role they play in upholding systems and structures that perpetuate inequity, discrimination and exclusion and reform their practices and policies.

We equipped leaders to help them create a safeguarding culture, including Bond’s Safeguarding Leadership Tool, launched by 130 CEOs and practitioners, to support leadership teams and boards to build a culture that provides safety for communities, staff and volunteers.

Future Dialogues was launched, bringing together thinkers and influential voices to share the ideas they think will reshape both the sector and the nature of “humanitarian assistance and development.”

Bond’s working groups are at the heart of our work to learn, advocate and transform the sector. At this year’s AGM, the co-chairs of the Practice for Locally Led Development Group reflected on the work they have done to date including the creation and launch of Becoming Locally Led as an Anti-racist Practice: A Guide. so far and plans for the future. The Communications Group shared how they have reinvigorated the group and insights from their first workshop that explored the challenges facing development communications.

Without our amazing members, our achievements wouldn’t be possible. We’d like to thank you all for your ongoing input and support. And we would like to extend a warm welcome to our new board members. We look forward to working with you.