We hereby declare our commitment to the creation of a society based on justice and equality, operated through participative and democratic mechanisms and premised upon the belief that freedom and development can only be truly attained in an atmosphere of peace.
In more specific terms, we shall strive to ensure that our undertakings are directed towards the attainment of the following:
- People’s Empowerment
- People’s Participation
- Autonomous People’s Organizations
- Political Pluralism
- Structural Change through Non-Violent Action
- Open and Honest Relations with Partner Agencies
- Harnessing Professional Talent in the Service of the People
Based on our experience in development work and on the principles that bind us together, we commit ourselves to the Social Development Code of Ethics.
In relation to the Communities we serve, we shall:
- Protect and enhance the integrity, autonomy and independence of people’s organizations;
- Respect the culture and traditions of the community and creatively build upon indigenous structures;
- Provide access to all forms of information even when such data may not be consistent with the analysis of the agency;
- Help to create a democratic and participative leadership in the community rather than a select corps of leaders who share the perspectives of the agency;
- Institute the necessary mechanisms such that the agency can share its own perspective without the danger of imposition or manipulation;
- Proceed at the pace and level of consciousness of the people making sure that the agency fully supports people’s initiatives especially in critical situations;
- Enhance community empowerment by facilitating linkages among people’s organizations rather than representing them without the sanction and by turning over full management and control over funds rather than using the community as a means to obtain more resources for the agency.
In relation to our Partner Funding Agencies, we shall:
- Nurture an atmosphere of openness and mutual respect towards a common vision and goal;
- Insist on the autonomy and independence of member NGOs such that projects are not dictated by those agencies that provide the resources;
- Expect partner agencies to clarify and share their development framework, areas of priority, procedures and other relevant information on a non-discriminatory basis;
- Ensure that relations are above-board – under no circumstances should deception be engaged in, i.e. double-funding, diverting resource to non-project related activities, overstatement of achievements or capabilities, distortion of facts;
- Respect differences among partner agencies and take on the responsibility of understanding the realities that impinge on partner agencies;
- Encourage member NGOs to take on the responsibility of informing the constituents of our partner funding agencies, either directly or through our partner, regarding the progress of projects they helped finance;
- Mutually agree upon the parameters of success through evaluations that are participatory in nature;
- Strive to diversify partners in order to avoid perpetual dependence and guarantee that the agency does not become a mere extension of a funding agency.
In relation to Government, we shall:
- Strive to create an atmosphere of openness and mutual respect based on the perspective that people’s organizations and non-governmental organizations are important components of any democratic society;
- Coordinate on a selective and critical basis with the different branches of government with the aim of promoting further the interests of our partner people’s organizations;
- Foster a continuing dialogue especially in areas and programs where both GOs and NGOs are involved;
- Insist on mutually agreed-upon objectives and methodologies for specific projects, while maintaining the independence and autonomy of NGOs;
- Act as fiscalizers of the government especially in relation to the implementation of policies and programs and the performance of government officials in the areas and communities in which we are involved.
Among Non-Government Organizations, we shall:
- Enhance mutual development based upon the premise that NGOs are partners, not competitors, in people’s development and as such, have a stake in each other’s growth;
- Maintain a high standard of professionalism based on honesty and dedication in the service of the people;
- Foster constant dialogue and sharing of resources, information, expertise and experiences;
- Strive towards unity, avoiding all forms of factionalism and divisiveness, especially as a result of personal differences as well as any attempt of any agency to dominate another;
- Ensure that inter-NGO relations are based on mutual respect and independence such that the work of others is acknowledged rather than ideas and achievements being claimed with out basis, the integrity of each agency is enhanced rather than maligned, personnel are developed rather than pirated, the conflict among agencies found in the same communities is avoided, among others;
- Promote the rights, welfare and development of agency personnel.
In relation to our Staff, we shall:
- Provide avenues for individual growth and development;
- Provide just compensation and promote the rights and welfare of all personnel;
- Ensure that management is participatory and democratic;
- Disclose all information deemed important for decision-making that would affect all staff members;
- Ensure the accountability of the leaders and managers to their staff and members;
- Encourage a lifestyle consistent with development principles.