Culture and leadership, good governance and accountability for safeguarding have at its core the need to reflect on power and privilege within organisations, and the aid and development sector at large. Evidence shows that more diverse and inclusive organisations, with leadership approaches which create safe working environments, not only are able to better prevent Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Sexual Harassment (SEAH) but they are more effective at achieving organisational aims and objectives.
What is organisational culture?
A recent BOND publication describes organisational culture as “a system of shared assumptions, values and beliefs, which govern how people behave in organisations… In groups of people who work together, organisational culture is an invisible but powerful force that influences and reinforces the behaviour of the members of that particular group.”
Establishing and maintaining an organisational culture that understands, respects and integrates safeguarding is critical for the safety and wellbeing of staff and others who interact with your organisation. The Safeguarding Journey includes resources which help organisations reflect on their organisational culture.
Want to learn more about Creating a safeguarding culture?
We have selected a few resources which will help you create a safer working environment in your organisation.
Our Q&A on abusing power, and the webinar that prompted it, is a good introduction to the core issues for organisational culture and safeguarding.
Watch the recording and presentation slides of Q&A Abusing power: exploring root causes and issues for safeguarding and read the Q&A write-up and summary on our page. To watch the video summary of the webinar, click here.
What are some approaches for creating organisational culture for safeguarding? Listen to our podcast Is Feminist Leadership for you? with Leila Billing on how feminist leadership can support organisations to create a culture for safeguarding.
If you want to learn more from one organisation who has adopted feminist leadership principles, read Case study: How feminist leadership can enhance safeguarding.
Written for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the United Kingdom, but generally a good guidance for Boards of Trustees. The areas to cover includes how to set a culture that makes staff comfortable to raise concerns. Read the Good governance for safeguarding: A guide for NGOs.
Want to understand more about how power plays out, where it comes from and how it is expressed? Read the report All about power.
If you want to reflect on your own power and privilege and how that might impact on conscious and unconscious biases you could work through some of the Unconscious bias series.