Improving safeguarding and culture at Oxfam

A group of people from the Gilo community affected by the droughts in Ethiopia.

A group of people from the Gilo community affected by the drought in Ethiopia. Climate extremes in Eastern Africa have caused widespread food shortages and loss of livelihoods. Oxfam is providing life-saving support such as clean water, cash and emergency food packages. Photo: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam

In 2019 Oxfam has developed an “Improving Safeguarding and Culture Plan” to drive its work over the next years. The plan builds upon our ongoing work and is strengthened by the recommendations from both the Independent and Charity Commission reports.

It aims to align our approach to safeguarding across Oxfam’s international confederation in more than 90 countries across seven regions. It links our work on safeguarding, culture change, gender, programs and human resources, within an improved governance framework.

Adapting to a new context

Since 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on plans. It has brought unprecedented changes for individuals, families and communities. The risks related to sexual exploitation and abuse are heightened in the face of stress, fear, economic uncertainty and chaotic environments. At the same time, the barriers to reporting and responding have also increased.

Oxfam acted fast to adapt to this new context. In response, we have created a number of tools for staff and partners and we have been working in collaboration with interagency mechanisms to support and deliver best practice initiatives in these unique circumstances.

Our progress report

As part of our commitment to transparency and accountability, Oxfam reports every six months the progress it makes to improve safeguarding and culture and discloses its global case data for that period.

In our latest report, we’ve started including progress on other areas that are vital to ensure a safe and inclusive workplace for the people we serve, our staff, partners, and all other stakeholders. For the first time, Oxfam publishes its globally consolidated case data on fraud and corruption and introduce its work to prevent any financial misconduct.

Report misconduct

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. 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.

Safeguarding, HR, and fraud/corruption related misconduct can be reported online or by email.