Survivor-centred approach

Survivor-centred Approach


A survivor-centered approach is one which seeks to empower the survivor by putting their rights, needs and wishes first before all actions. Although this may sound obvious, these needs of an individual can easily be forgotten once aspects such as the potential for further conflict and / or reputational damage arise in the light of safeguarding allegations. Survivor centred policies, procedures, and the development of a survivor centred culture are therefore imperative.

Our Top Three Recommendations


  • Engaging Survivors of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Sexual Harassment (SEAH): From the Safeguarding Resource & Support Hub, this tip sheet is a quick reference for understanding good practice when engaging survivors of SEAH in policy making. Available in different languages for Ethiopia.
  • Bond’s resource Understanding Safeguarding Culture  is a tool to help organisations understand the indicators and behaviours associated with safeguarding culture. Section 3 provides indicators on Survivor-centred Approaches. 
  • To Complain or Not to Complain: Still the Question (pdf): by the Human Accountability Partnership. This report follows a consultation with people in receipt of humanitarian aid, into efforts to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse. See especially pages 9-10 on how to support survivors.
  • Caring for Survivors: A Principled Approach: this training resource from UNICEF is designed to be used in group sessions to help instigate discussions and explain the concept of a Survivor centred approach, but can be equally useful if read alone as a simple introductory guide to the principles.

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