Our safeguarding project ends, but the work goes on

Our safeguarding project ends, but the work goes on

Our 18-month Safeguarding project, which aimed to transform the capacity and standards of safeguarding across the international development and humanitarian sector, ends later this month. We look back on what its delivered and forward to what's next.

Developed as part of our shared commitment with the Scottish Government to transform safeguarding standards in the international assistance and humanitarian sector in Scotland, it has built upon work carried out when safeguarding came under intense scrutiny in 2018. 

Work has focused under three strategic objectives: 

  1. To strengthen capacity in safeguarding, particularly in leadership of organisations 
  2. To develop the capacity of safeguarding training and expertise in Scotland 
  3. To ensure that resources and tools are available and appropriate for Scotland based organisations working in international development. 

Looking back 

The project had been underway for less than 6 months when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. This meant adapting a range of planned activities. The sensitive topic of safeguarding does benefit from face-to-face modalities so considerable thought was necessary to ensure that we continued to foster an environment that supported organisations to develop. 

Over the past 18 months, the project has delivered a range of activities including: 

  • 5 full day Trainings (including Trustee Training and Training for Safeguarding Leads) 
  • 3 online information sessions/webinars (Essentials for Trustees and Reviewing Safeguarding Policies) 
  • Development of tools and resources to support the above trainings and webinars 
  • Refresh of Safer for All pages on the Alliance’s website (due to be completed end May) 
  • Session on Safeguarding in COVID-19 times at the Alliance’s Digital Summit in September 2020 
  • Regular meetings of the Safeguarding Working Group  
  • Development of a small pool of specialists in safeguarding in Scotland 
  • 2 blended 2-week online courses (Safeguarding Leads/Focal Points and Leadership and Safeguarding Culture) 
  • Ongoing collaboration with Malawi Scotland Partnership through the Scotland Malawi Partnership which has seen MaSP deliver a programme of safeguarding training, develop their suite of safeguarding policies in three languages and provide a very well received insight on safeguarding in the context of COVID-19   

In addition to Alliance resources, the safeguarding project has liaised with and remained active in the broader UK arena on safeguarding 

  • Ongoing liaison with Bond in the broader sector initiatives to improve safeguarding standards 
  • Regular liaison with FCDO Safeguarding Unit  
  • Consultation and liaison with UK and global initiatives (such as the Disclosure of Misconduct Scheme, Aid Workers Passport, Employment Cycle…) 
  • The Alliance contributed significantly to the small organisation adaptation of Bond’s Leadership and Culture tool 
  • Liaison with the new Safeguarding Resource and Support Hub 
  • Collaboration with the Funder Safeguarding Collaborative (FSC) 
  • Training for CADA NI (Coalition for Aid and Development Agencies in Northern Ireland) 

Looking ahead 

The Alliance continues to prioritise safeguarding. We will embed progress outlined above into our portfolio of services to ensure we continue moving forward on this journey towards the highest standards.  

Our strategic approach to safeguarding going forward will include setting a new objective: the ongoing provision of high quality, comprehensive information and services around safeguarding, widely affordable and available to everyone involved in meeting the needs of people and communities in countries across the majority world. 

Our ongoing work will include training, support through our mentoring programme and access to information, updates and resources through the Safer for All website pages. The refreshed safeguarding support package will be online for the start of June. 


Upcoming event: An Introduction to Managing Safeguarding Investigations 

Our next safeguarding training is on Tuesday 18 May – with a session which will provide an introduction to managing safeguarding investigations with a focus on smaller organisations which are Scotland-based. There is still space to register, details here.