Free guide urges all aid charity staff to tackle racism

28 Feb 2023 News

Bond has published a free online framework on anti-racism and decolonising at international development charities, which says responsibility must be shared across all staff members.

The framework maps out how systemic racism manifests across all areas of the international development sector and aims to support organisations to make steps to decolonise the sector.  

It is designed to be used by individuals and teams across all functions of an organisation, with starter questions for chief executives to support addressing power imbalances.

Questions include: ‘How diverse is your senior management team?’ ‘Do you feel comfortable talking about race and racism?’ And ‘Is anti-racism embedded in your strategic objectives and do you monitor progress?’.

Anti-racism work ‘must not solely sit with HR teams or with the CEO’

The framework reads: “We identified that for deep-rooted systemic change, the issue of tackling and dismantling racism in our sector and within our organisations must not solely sit with HR teams or with the CEO of an organisation.” 

Indeed, the framework states that a single person's ability to address these issues is limited, so it must be broadened out to include everyone in an organisation with an understanding of how action can be taken in specific areas.

For example, “trustee boards of INGOs share formal responsibility for the charity, this means following the seven pillars of governance as outlined by the Charity Governance Code. As part of this, trustees must implement the principles of EDI and integrity to lead by example”.

“This framework was created by people of colour from across the sector and is designed to be used by all individuals working in development organisations and can be used to start a conversation about how to become actively anti-racist,” said Lena Bheeroo, equity and engagement manager at Bond.

‘Building anti-racist organisations requires us to light many fires’

Anti-racism and decolonising: a framework for organisations has been developed by Bond and the Bond’s People of Colour in Development working group, as well as multiple Black people and people of colour working across the UK charity sector. 

Leila Billing, of the People of Colour in Development working group, said: “Building anti-racist, anti-oppressive organisations requires us to light many fires: it asks us to take action at individual, interpersonal, institutional and structural levels. This framework supports you to do just that. 

“It poses critical questions about how seemingly neutral organisational functions and systems may be perpetuating racial inequality. In opening up new pathways for action, it is a real gift for all individuals working in development organisations.”

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