Our Standards and Commitments

We are committed to ensuring accountability to our stakeholders and to delivering quality programmes guided by agreed codes and standards.

This means listening to the needs, concerns and views of our supporters, donors, partners and, above all, the communities that we work with through our international projects and programmes. To this end, we have an Accountability Framework, consisting of eight commitments we strive to uphold and that guide all our international work. This section of the website provides an overview of our accountability commitments and our work to improve against each of our commitments.

Commitment 1 – Vision, Mission and Values (VMV)

We are committed to upholding our VMV through our staff, our relationships with partners and communities we work with through our international programme work. Our core values are: compassion; solidarity; partnership; sustainability; stewardship; hope; and dignity. We are committed to standing alongside poor and disadvantaged communities in solidarity and to increasing awareness and understanding of underlying causes of poverty.

Our strategic framework ‘Just One World’ provides clarity, direction, structure and coherence for our work over the period 2010-2020. It includes a refined Vision-Mission-Values (VMV) statement as well as setting out our ten-year aims with respect to our four-fold mission: power and influence; sustainable development; peace and security; and our Catholic Community in England and Wales.

On an annual basis, teams throughout CAFOD report against their three-year rolling plans which are closely aligned to Just One World.

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Commitment 2 - Partners and the poor communities we work with

We are committed to working in partnership for the delivery of our international development, humanitarian response, advocacy and education project s and programmes. We are committed to quality, transparency, participation, openness and equality in our relationship with partners, and to promote good partnership and accountability within the communities we work with.

As CAFOD has grown in size and complexity, this has been accompanied by a need to balance the commitment to improve standards of accountability and protection with a partnership approach which respects the independence and autonomy of partners. We are working with partners in a non-prescriptive way to support them in improving their accountability to the communities with which they work, within their country contexts.

Individuals and organisations may raise issues and feedback to CAFOD through our Complaints Policy and Procedures for International Programmes. We are committed to responding to and learning from concerns and complaints raised.

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Commitment 3 – Quality programmes

Through long-term partnership with local organisations and communities, we support their work to build a better world for people living in extreme poverty. We maximise our impact on poverty by focusing on areas of work where we, and our partners, have particular expertise – such as creating an environment where people can make a living sustainably, combating HIV and AIDS, and environmental justice. In emergency situations, we provide immediate relief as well as supporting long-term recovery programmes to rebuild lives. Our international work is underpinned and guided by international codes and standards.

We are certified against the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) Standard in Accountability and Quality Management, demonstrating our commitment to strengthening our accountability, as well as strengthening accountability across the international development and humanitarian sectors.

We work to continually improve our practices throughout our international projects and programmes informed by programme evaluations, thematic reviews and real-time evaluations.

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Commitment 4 - Stewardship, governance and finance

We are committed to being good stewards of all resources entrusted to us, openly accountable for our work, and professional in managing our resources.

2010/11 was a record year for CAFOD in terms of the support we contributed to vulnerable communities across 46 countries. More than £24 million was dedicated to our long-term development work around the globe (a 10 per cent increase on last year), while £19 million was spent on disaster relief (most notably in Haiti and Pakistan).

It was also our first year operating from our newly built headquarters, Romero House. The excellent environmental rating of the building has significantly reduced our environmental footprint and its open layout has ensured that the efforts of all staff across CAFOD – from those answering supporter enquiries to those managing the first phases on major humanitarian responses – are fully coordinated. The building has offered an excellent facility for supporters, partners, politicians and church leaders to focus on addressing global poverty.

As we look ahead we are committed to continue to adapt as the global economic crisis unfolds further.

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Commitment 5 - Safeguarding and protection

We are committed to recognising the personal dignity and rights of all people we work with, especially vulnerable groups. We have a particular concern to ensure children and young people are safeguarded and recognise we have a special duty of care and respect towards them. This commitment also extends to safeguarding the vulnerable adults we work with. These commitments are reflected in our Safeguarding Children Policy and Position Statement on Vulnerability and Inequality.

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Commitment 6 - Supporters, communities and donors

We are committed to two-way communications with our supporters and hearing their feedback – both positive and negative. We engage our supporters as partners in building mutually respectful development links with communities in the global south.
We have established a feedback management policy and system for our stakeholders in the UK to ensure that we manage and respond to feedback effectively and promptly. We consider hearing positive and negative feedback an important element to our learning in order that we make on-going improvements to the way we work.

We have launched our ‘Connect2’ scheme that seeks to builds stronger links between our supporters and our international programmes by providing opportunities for parish communities and groups to enter into a relationship with one of our overseas partners to learn more about the impact of their support.

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Commitment 7 – Staff

We are committed to fair recruitment, upholding professional standards and providing management support to all staff. We are committed to recognising good practice and to supporting professional development and learning. We strive to do all we can reasonably do to ensure our staff and volunteers are secure and protected as they go about their work.

Recent developments include our online recruitment system which facilitates line manager involvement in recruitment whilst continuing to ensure fairness, as well as our revised performance appraisal system and competency model which makes it easier to relate staff performance to the aims of the organisation.

We have in place a leadership development programme supported by modular management development provision available to staff in all locations, aimed at helping us deliver our 10-year strategy.

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Commitment 8 – To learn from and share our experiences

We are committed to developing and integrating a strong learning dimension into all our ways of working to improve the quality of our work and its impact.

Our Evaluation Policy requires all external evaluations of our work to be shared through our website (whilst exercising due care for the safety of our staff and partners) in order to build and maintain confidence in our stewardship, value for money and impact. We welcome dialogue and feedback from all our stakeholders in order to enhance our programme quality and effectiveness.

If you would like further information about our commitment to accountability and HAP then please email accountability@cafod.org.uk

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