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Bond launches framework to support organisations build anti-racist practices and decolonise the international development sector 

Bond, the UK network of international development organisations, has launched the free online resource, Anti-racism and decolonising: a framework for organisations

The framework maps out how systemic racism manifests across all areas of the international development sector and supports organisations to build anti-racist practices and to make steps to decolonise the sector.  

The framework shows the necessity of an anti-racist and holistic approach to decolonising our organisations to create a fairer, more equitable and racially just sector. It demonstrates how and why an anti-racist approach must be embedded into any attempt to decolonise international development organisations. 

Anti-racism and decolonising: a framework for organisations has been developed by Bond and the Bond’s People of Colour in Development working group, as well as multiple Black people and people of colour working across the UK charity sector. It is designed to be used by individuals and teams across all functions of an organisation, with starter questions for CEOs to support addressing power imbalances. 

The anti-racism and decolonising framework follows the release of the resource, Becoming locally led as an anti-racist practice which aims to support organisations to become locally led and decolonise the development system. An anti-racist and locally led approach to international development is seen as vital to help create a more sustainable, just and equitable world for all. 

Lena Bheeroo, Equity and Engagement Manager at Bond, said:  

“The issue of tackling and dismantling racism is a priority in our sector and within our organisations. This work must not solely sit with HR teams or with the CEO of an organisation. This framework was created by people of colour from across the sector and is designed to be used by all individuals working in development organisations and can be used to start a conversation about how to become actively anti-racist.”  

Dharmacharini Saravantu, Associate member and former Trustee of Karuna, said:  

“The framework provides a bigger picture of all the areas that we need to address in organisations, and it’s a great starting point for trustees and others to start having conversations about anti-racism, power and EDI. It highlights why everyone is responsible for taking action in their areas of work. For trustees it’s important to remember we have a responsibility to lead by example and take seriously the risk in not doing this work.” 

Leila Billing, of the People of Colour in Development working group, said: 

“Building anti-racist, anti-oppressive organisations requires us to light many fires: it asks us to take action at individual, interpersonal, institutional and structural levels. This framework supports you to do just that. It poses critical questions about how seemingly neutral organisational functions and systems may be perpetuating racial inequality. In opening up new pathways for action, it is a real gift for all individuals working in development organisations.” 

Anti-racism and decolonising: a framework for organisations is available on Bond’s website. 


Notes to editor 

  1. Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of over 400 civil society organisations from across the UK, and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice.   
  2. Anti-racism and decolonisation: a framework for organisations can be found on Bond’s website. 
  3. Lena Bheeroo leads anti-racism work at Bond and the wider decolonising sector work, working with members and global partners, initiatives and movements. Lena is a trustee of EachOther, a working group member of the Racial Equity Index, a group of BIPOC volunteers based around the world, working to build a racial equity index to hold the global development sector to account. Lena is also a Committee Member and Organiser at Charity So White, the award-winning campaign which aims to root out racism from the UK charity sector. 
  4. Saravantu was a trustee of Karuna between 2010 and 2022 and is now an associate member. She has previously worked with the UK’s Department for International Development, the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit, Save the Children and Amnesty International. She’s an ordained member of the Triratna Buddhist Order. 
  5. Leila Billing is the co-founder of We Are Feminist Leaders and has had a varied career. She has held leadership roles in a range of international NGOs, including War Child UK and Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage and continues to work as a consultant for the international development and UK charity sector. She is also passionate about championing anti-racism initiatives. She has a Masters Degree in Gender and Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies. 
  6. The Bond POC in development working group is a closed space for people of colour working across the development and humanitarian sector where members share experiences and learnings, both individually and from their organisations, and come together to influence the sector to address racism and inequality.  
  7. The Bond Locally Led Development working group is a space for INGOs to discuss, learn and share approaches and best practice to enable locally led development.  
  8. Bond released Becoming locally led as an anti-racist practice: a guide in October 2022, this draft guide was developed in response to the growing demand from the international development sector, in particular the UK, to ensure that organisations change how they work, make decisions, and are structured and governed to become more locally led.  
  9. IDC report, Racism in the Aid Sector, available online.   
  10. The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities – March 2021 report by Dr Tony Sewell. 
  11. For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Jessica Salter at [email protected]