Transparency can be transformational: How ActionAid UK Stay Accountable

Post by Heather H Picture of Heather H
Ixis Service
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ActionAid UK, one of our new clients, is a fantastic example of a charity providing transparency through everything that they do.

ActionAid is an international charity that works with women and girls living in poverty. Their mission is to achieve social justice, gender equality, and poverty eradication by working with people living in poverty and exclusion, their communities, people’s organisations, activists, social movements and supporters.

We have been learning more about who ActionAid are and what they stand for in order to provide them with the best solution to improve their website’s security and efficiency. It became clear that making sure transparency ran through all aspects of their business was important. 
 

Information is power… If the weakest communities are bereft of information, their suffering is twice as much.

Atul Tiwari
of the Samvad Samajik Sansthan (SSS)

What we found really interesting was that ActionAid takes their transparency value beyond publishing their financial information. They are also open about the projects they are undertaking.

ActionAid uses transparency display boards to share information about their projects in the communities that they work in. These are regularly updated to show the objectives of the project, who is funding it and how much money will be spent.

Transparency Boards

Transparency board in a village in Alappuzha district in Kerala, after devastating floods in 2018. Photo: ActionAid India

Kerala Floods, 2018. ActionAid distributed mattresses, cleaning materials and dry rations to 220 household in four wards in a village in Alappuzha district in Kerala, after devastating floods in 2018. Photo: ActionAid India.

Transparency boards are often used during an emergency response to a humanitarian disaster. It enables the local community to see where the money is being spent. They are led by women from the local community. ActionAid works to promote women’s leadership before, during and after a humanitarian crisis, ensuring women are empowered to make decisions about the needs of their community.

These boards are displayed in an accessible, public place so that ActionAid stay accountable to the communities they are in. They’re usually found in temples, at road junctions or bus stands.

By being transparent to all in this way, it can promote wider involvement from the communities they’re working in and build a platform for the poor and excluded to question helping ActionAid to achieve their mission one community at a time.

Women are often responsible for the care and emotional rebuilding of communities in the aftermath of a crisis, and they often have strong local knowledge and links with others in the area where they live: they understand the needs of families in the area, and where the money is best spent.

We are excited to be working with ActionAid, playing a part in helping them to achieve their mission and allowing their team to focus on what they do best in a transparent and accountable way.

Steve and the team were a pleasure to work with: they showed a real understanding of our needs and worked in a very open and respectful way. They were reassuring and supportive throughout the process, and delivered the project smoothly, on time and to budget. 

Deputy Director -  Digital, ActionAid UK
Sally O’Connell
Deputy Director - Digital, ActionAid UK

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