Illustration of different people encouraging us to stop and check we are meeting safeguarding standards. Credit: Peter Beatty

How Bond is supporting organisations with safeguarding due diligence for implementing and local partners

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) provides guidance for FCDO implementing partners on safeguarding due diligence.

The Safeguarding against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Sexual Harassment (SEAH) Due Diligence Guidance is an essential process to ensure safe partnerships and supports implementing partners to assess partnerships in local contexts. However, becoming a good implementing partner (i.e. a UK based organisation working with local partners) on a safeguarding assessment and achieving the locally led approach that organisations are striving for in their work comes with a variety of challenges.

Some challenges that Bond member organisations have faced when implementing due diligence include:

  • Building a relationship with local partners, ensuring that their partnerships are not formed by simply completing a due diligence assessment.
  • Hearing and taking on board a local partner’s understanding of the local context.
  • Building an organisation’s safeguarding practice to support them in future partnerships.
  • Supporting local partners to embed a safeguarding culture.

To support organisations in tackling some of these challenges, Bond has teamed up with our Partnerships and Local Leadership (PALL) working group to produce a set of three case studies. The case studies can be used to support UK aid-funded INGOs that work with partners to implement due diligence within the partnerships to safeguard against sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (SEAH), but it can also help any organisation and donor think about their safeguarding practices and procedures too.

What are the aims of the case studies?

The case studies show how organisations are actively applying Safeguarding against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Sexual Harassment (SEAH) Due Diligence Guidance for FCDO implementing partners. Each case study focuses on two of the six areas of SEAH due diligence – they are broken down into:

  • Complaints and whistleblowing / SEAH approach
  • Recruitment and training / Code of conduct
  • Risk management / Governance and accountability

How can the case studies support local partners?

Partnering with a UK-based INGO can be daunting for local organisations. We hope that these case studies give local partners a clear idea that what is being asked from them isn’t uncommon when partnering with an INGO who is completing FCDO’s due diligence. We hope the case studies make it clear that due diligence is completed to support everyone involved in a partnership. The case studies can be seen as a supportive tool for local partners – a way to see how due diligence can be done effectively, ensuring that they are not being asked unreasonable requests and that they are protecting themselves in the partnership.

How can the case studies support implementing partners?

The case studies share examples of how the FCDO due diligence guidance has been applied in other organisations, giving partner INGOs an idea of how they can successfully achieve a positive due diligence assessment. Each case study provides handy ‘top tips’ and ‘to be mindful of’ advice which act as a great reference tool.