Sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector Contents

5Resources for safeguarding

97.Across the sector, resources for safeguarding are in deficit. This is not just a problem when it comes to the implementation of reporting mechanisms, but also affects “skills and capacity”.176 Helen Evans told us that when she attended meetings of the IASC PSEA Task Force, a common point of agreement was that “everyone is massively under-resourced”.177 Bond said that their members had described how the pressure to reduce overheads made it difficult to ensure that enough resource was allocated to safeguarding.178

98.We heard that there is a need for a new approach when it comes to budgeting for safeguarding, whereby it is treated not as an “add on” but a “fundamental aspect of how we treat people as beneficiaries”.179 A recurring theme across the evidence we received from NGOs, was that safeguarding should be integrated into project costs, and donors should expect to see these costs in budgets.180 This was corroborated by contractors,181 and received strong support from the Charity Commission. Helen Stephenson, Chief Executive of the Commission said:

We would expect charities to include the costs of ensuring that their people are safe in any bid or any programme that they put forward. In fact, we have worked with the Association of Charitable Foundations to ensure that it recognises and communicates to members that safeguarding is absolutely something that they should fund as part of the costs when they are funding a grant to an organisation. I can only emphasise that we think it is a hugely important part of any grant giving process, and we do not see it as admin expenditure but something that is core to delivering a safe and proper service.182

99.DFID told us that if smaller organisations were struggling to meet the new due diligence standards set by the Department with regards to safeguarding, then they should communicate to DFID what they would need to achieve that, and DFID would assess those requests on a “case-by-case” basis:

We have said to organisations, “If you feel you need more resource be upfront about it. Don’t try to hide it in budgets or proposals” and we will have a conversation about it and we see what we think is reasonable.183

100.Donors cannot expect aid organisations to integrate safeguarding into their programmes without the resource to do so.

101.DFID should take responsibility for ensuring that safeguarding is a line in every budget for programmes where there are safeguarding risks, and should ensure that grants and contracts awarded to such programmes allow for these costs.

176 British Red Cross (SEA0020)

178 Bond (SEA0015); Q234 [Caroline Nursey]

179 Bond (SEA0015)

180 ICSA: The Governance Institute (SEA0013), Bond (SEA0015), CARE International UK (SEA0017), Oxfam GB (SEA0028)

181 Q258 [Sarah Maguire]

183 Q466 [Peter Taylor]

Published: 31 July 2018