Safeguarding: our progress

As part of our commitment to change in safeguarding, we have been working across the sector to drive forward better practice and standards. Working groups and sector experts have collaborated on a series of projects to improve safeguarding practice across these themes. 

You can get more information and details on the progress of the projects and their outputs, as well as wider sector progress, below.

Organisational culture change

We have developed resources to help leaders and organisations understand what a positive safeguarding culture looks like and what they need to do to strengthen their own cultures at work: 

  • discussion-based digital tool developed to support leaders of organisations to understand what a positive safeguarding culture looks like, assess their organisational culture in relation to safeguarding and develop clear actions to help prevent all types of harm, including sexual exploitation, abuse and sexual harassment (SEAH).  

  • A shorter tool on “Understanding effective safeguarding culture” to help facilitate conversations within organisations, at all levels, to improve the collective understanding of what constitutes a positive safeguarding culture. 

Reporting and complaints 

We have developed the following guidance for NGOs aimed at helping to overcome under-reporting and remove barriers to accessing complaints and whistle-blowing mechanisms: 

  • A set of definitions, mapping key definitions and terminology in relation to “sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment” and “safeguarding”.
  • A toolkit of elements essential to a reporting mechanism to include flowcharts that will  enable organisations to receive, process and respond to safeguarding complaints quickly and effectively.
  • Case studies to illustrate how elements and principles of robust reporting mechanisms would apply to real-life scenarios. 

Good governance practice for trustees 

The Charity Commission for England and Wales states that the duties of trustees include taking reasonable steps to protect those connected with the charity from harm. 

We have developed a good practice guide for trustees on safeguarding. This guidance is intended for the boards of international NGOs registered as charities in the UK. 

Employment cycle

We continue to support initiatives to improve background checks globally and within the UK:  

  • An INTERPOL pilot project, which focuses on the criminal aspects of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (SEAH) prevention and response management through more and better criminal records checks on staff internationally;
  • A project focussed on creating an aid worker ID system; and
  • The inter-agency misconduct disclousre scheme, administered by the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response (SCHR). 

The key tools for those interested in signing up to the Misconduct Disclosure Scheme, such as “How to implement guide”, legal frameworks, information on data protection, implementation data and further details on the scheme, including how to sign up, can be found on the SCHR website.

Please write to [email protected] if your organisation wants to confirm its participation in the Scheme and/or you have any question related to the Scheme and its implementation.