NGOs increase investment towards safeguarding in light of aid and development sexual abuse and exploitation

Recent survey findings from Bond, the UK’s network of International Development NGOs have found that nearly all organisations surveyed have increased budgets, staff time, CEO time and/or reviewed safeguarding policies and practices since February 2018.

Of those NGOs who increased resources, 92% have increased staff time and 73% have increased training. NGOs also reported that board trustees are taking leadership on safeguarding and have increasingly done so since February 2018. 85% of organisations reported that their board had asked for greater oversight and review of safeguarding policies. Some organisations stated that while they have not increased monetary investment since February 2018, they had reviewed existing policies, or are part of Keeping Children Safe, or are confident they have robust safeguarding policies and practices in place already because they specifically work with children.

The results of this recent survey show that the sector is going back and reviewing their policies and practices on safeguarding and addressing any perceived gaps promptly. Organisations are at different levels in terms of safeguarding depending on their size, the nature of their work and the countries they work in. Bond is working to drive improvements across the sector so everyone meets the same high standards and has in place consistent systems for reporting to ensure the way staff are DBS and reference checked, the way incidents are reported and the how they are then dealt with is standardised. The development and humanitarian charities are working together on this agenda to ensure safeguarding is not a tick box exercise but is instead built into every level of organisations – from whistleblowing lines to recruitment to public reporting.

The sector is working to make two things clear, anyone who thinks they can come to the aid and development sector to exploit or abuse the very people we are here to help or our staff and volunteers is hugely mistaken and will be found out and reported. And to those who have suffered or witnessed any form of abuse or exploitation – please come forward with confidence that the sector is learning from past failings and will listen, support and act immediately.


  1. Read the about the survey results:
  2. Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of over 450 civil society organisations and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice.
  3. For further information please contact Maryam Mohsin, [email protected] or 07555 336029