We are a confederation
In 1995 a group of independent non-governmental organizations came together to share knowledge and resources and combine their efforts in the fight against poverty and injustice. They formed a foundation (“Stichting” in Dutch): Stichting Oxfam International knowing that by joining forces as a global confederation they could maximize efficiency, impact, and reach.
Our affiliate family
There are currently 21 member organizations, our affiliates, who coordinate and lead this fight via the Oxfam International Secretariat. Each affiliate is an independent organization with its own areas of activity and work contributing its own strengths and expertise to the confederation to achieve our shared goals. The foundation provides a medium to agree on which priorities and aims they hold in common, and how to achieve them. It also supports and makes possible affiliate collaboration on shared projects.
“Whereas conflicts, injustice and the denial of people’s basic rights are major causes of poverty, it is necessary to achieve reform, particularly by the empowerment of the poor. To this end, the objectives of the Foundation are:
a. to relieve poverty, combat distress and alleviate suffering in any part of the world regardless of race, gender, creed or political convictions;
b. to research the causes and effects of poverty, injustice and suffering;
c. to inform the general public and decision-makers about the causes and possible solutions; and
d. to work as an international partnership of goodwill.”
Article 3 Stichting Oxfam International Constitution
Current Oxfam affiliates: Oxfam America (USA),Oxfam Australia, Oxfam in Belgium, Oxfam Brasil, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam Colombia, Oxfam IBIS (Denmark), Oxfam France, Oxfam Germany, Oxfam Great Britain, Oxfam Hong Kong, Oxfam India, Oxfam Intermón (Spain), Oxfam Ireland, Oxfam Italy, Oxfam Mexico, Oxfam New Zealand, Oxfam Novib (Netherlands), Oxfam Québec, Oxfam South Africa and Kadın Emeğini Değerlendirme Vakfı (KEDV- Foundation for the Support of Women's Work, Turkey).
The Confederation also has three public engagement offices - in South Korea, Sweden and Argentina - which concentrate on raising awareness and funds for our work.
From time to time Oxfam International also welcomes outside organizations into our network with a view to becoming full affiliate members of the Confederation. By working closely together we can test our cooperation, consider our shared values, and whether we are a good fit for each other. These observers don’t pay fees and have no voting rights, but benefit from full rights to information and participation in work meetings.
There are currently no observer members.
The Oxfam International Secretariat leads, facilitates and supports collaboration between Oxfam’s affiliates to increase their impact on poverty and injustice. It works to provide advocacy, campaigns, development programs and to respond swiftly to emergencies. It also provides line-management for regional teams and country program operations.
The Secretariat has offices in strategic locations around the world to focus on advocacy in countries key to their regions. They work to influence high-level decision-makers to ensure their policies affecting poor countries have a far-reaching, positive impact on those most in need.
We are registered as Stichting Oxfam International in The Hague, Netherlands, and as a foreign company limited by guarantee in the United Kingdom. We are also registered in Kenya under a Host Country Agreement with the Government of Kenya. The Host Country Agreement allows us to establish our global Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.
Our people, our team
Oxfam International Secretariat has less than 300 staff globally, while the Oxfam affiliates have around 10,000 staff and nearly 50,000 interns and volunteers located around the world, working in 90 countries, to end poverty and injustice and to save lives. We share office space, aims and values, working together over six continents, to build and benefit from each other’s strengths, bolster our efforts, and avoid duplication of work.
We are as diverse as we are inclusive, people from all backgrounds and walks of life who share aims and values and work together to make a better world.
Two boards govern Oxfam International. Each is made up of representatives from every affiliate. Their roles are different, but they work hand in hand toward achieving the affiliates’ shared objective: an end to poverty.
The Board of Supervisors has an independent Chair, a Treasurer, and a representative from each affiliate's board (usually their Chairperson). It is entrusted with the oversight of the foundation’s activities and the work of the Executive Board: approving their reports, policies, programs, and financial accounts. They appoint the Executive Director.
Following Dr. Henrietta Campbell’s resignation as Chair of Oxfam International in March 2020, the Oxfam International Board of Supervisors Deputy Chair, Ricardo Acuna has taken on the Chair duties on an interim basis while the Board proceeds to appoint a new Board Chair. Ricardo has spent more than 25 years as a staff member, consultant, volunteer and board member for numerous community, non-profit, labour and political organizations. He has served on Oxfam Canada’s Board of Directors since 2013 and as a member of the Oxfam International Board of Supervisors since 2016.
The Executive Board is chaired by the Oxfam International Executive Director. Each affiliate has one member, usually their Executive Director). It manages the foundation and organizes the shared undertakings of the affiliates. It consults, agrees on strategy and joint activities, and prepares and implements the Oxfam Strategic Plan. They report regularly to The Board of Supervisors on their work and any matters relevant to the well-being of the foundation.
Gabriela Bucher is Executive Director of Oxfam International. She is an experienced global social justice leader and deeply committed to gender equality and human rights, and to tackling economic inequality.
Ms Bucher, who grew up in Cali, Colombia, is a champion for feminist leadership and believes in the power of collaboration. Prior to Oxfam, Ms. Bucher was the Chief Operating Officer at Plan International, and led Fundación Plan Colombia where she worked alongside children and communities affected by Colombia’s decades-long armed conflict and contributed to peace building and youth active citizenship, influencing the country’s approach on restorative justice for children.
OI Global Governance Reform
Following an extensive global governance reform process, Oxfam International will have a new global governance architecture effective from July 2021, reflecting the organisation’s commitment to strengthening global balance and diversity of voice, including at leadership level.
Our new global governance structure will be composed of a new International Board, comprised of four independent members (with no concurrent affiliation with Oxfam) and five members coming from the boards of national Oxfam affiliates; a multi-stakeholder global Assembly composed of Affiliates and Stakeholder Representatives from the countries and regions in which Oxfam works; and an Affiliate Business Meeting.
This changes Oxfam’s current two-tier board structure to a more effective, diverse and inclusive model that invites independent perspectives to help us be relevant, resilient and impactful into the future.
The members of the new Board of Oxfam International will be:
- Jemilah Mahmood, Malaysia (Chair)
- Michael Jongeneel, Netherlands (Treasurer)
- Chioma Agwuegbo, Nigeria (Member)
- Nisreen Alami, Jordan (Member)
- Ricardo Acuna, Canada (Member)
- Maria Abramo Caldeira Brant, Brazil (Member)
- Judith Slocombe, Australia (Member)
- Gagan Sethi, India (Member)
- Latanya Mapp Frett, United States (Member)
As an organization, we are committed to holding ourselves accountable and being transparent in all areas of our work. Accountability is essential to good governance, and it helps us improve. We have a responsibility to our donors, partners, allies, supporters, staff and volunteers, regulatory bodies and, in particular, the communities with whom we work. Not just in principle but in practice as we constantly evaluate our work learn how to do things better next time. We share our findings and support our partners in building their own robust systems to monitor, evaluate, and learn.
We are a member of Accountable Now, a global platform that supports civil society organizations (CSOs) to be transparent, responsive to stakeholders and focused on delivering impact. Every two years we report publicly on our economic, environmental and social performance in line with Accountable Now’s Reporting Guidelines to an Independent Review Panel.
To find out more about accountability, and safeguarding and transparency at Oxfam you can find our accountability reports in the key documents section below.
Dealing with fraud and corruption at Oxfam
With global income of circa 1bn Euros and a reach of nearly 90 countries, we are fully aware that our challenges will be both operational and strategic. The extensive cultural and environmental disparities challenge conventional ways of delivery; it necessitates more contextualised approaches to tackling the risk of fraud and corruption.
Our strategic focus is geared to steer better fraud resilience of the confederation, while embracing the joint Oxfam values of inclusivity, empowerment and accountability.
Oxfam does not tolerate fraud and corruption and is committed to ensure that its systems, procedures and practices reduce the risk of occurrences to an absolute minimum.
‘Reducing the risk of fraud and corruption occurring to an absolute minimum’ conveys more accurately our intent to proactively and tirelessly squeeze the problem.
We recognise that success in tackling fraud and corruption is contingent on more than one activity, at more than one level of the organisation. Subsequently, we commit to the use of a holistic antifraud and corruption framework. This will be supported and embedded at every level, from projects, divisions, countries, regions and affiliates. This is also in line with our Code of conduct and our values.
If an employee, volunteer, partner, consultant or contractor suspects misconduct has, or is about to occur, we encourage them to communicate their suspicions without fear of reprisals and in the knowledge that they will be protected from victimization and dismissal. Safeguarding concerns and fraud/corruption related misconduct can be reported online.
All reports are confidential and we will only share the details with the appropriate team members to progress your complaint. Reporters/survivors/complainants can choose to stay anonymous. Please see the data protection notice for information on how your information will be processed.