Trust and accountability

Trust is the foundation of humanitarian action. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement depends on trust—of the people and communities we serve, of our donors and partners, and between each other—to deliver our lifesaving work.

Trust is essential to all of our relationships at the IFRC. It enables our access to communities and to partnerships, as well as encouraging a productive and healthy volunteer and staff base.

We fully embrace a culture of ethical practice and place personal and institutional accountability at the heart of all of our work, in line with our Fundamental Principles.

Who we are accountable to

The communities we serve

Our first accountability is to the communities we serve. In all our work with communities, we must earn people’s trust by demonstrating integrity, transparency, humility and honesty. All people who come into contact with our services and projects must be safe and protected at all times.

Our donors and supporters

Donors and supporters trust us to use their resources wisely to help people around the world thrive. We earn this trust by committing to use their funds efficiently, being open about how we spend their money, and sharing the lifesaving and life-changing impacts our work achieves.

Our staff and volunteers

We must be accountable to each other: to other members of the Movement, and to our staff and volunteers. We actively work to cultivate a culture of trust, safety and integrity within our organisation and hold each other to account.

Our commitments

Ensuring trust and accountability is one of the seven transformations in Strategy 2030—our Movement’s collective plan of action to tackle the major humanitarian and development challenges of this decade. In it, our network commits to:

  • Expanding our presence in communities all over the world, particularly in those that are isolated or marginalized
  • Being representative of the diverse communities we work within, engaging them fully in decision-making about programmes that affect them
  • Being transparent by regularly publishing information about our work and finances, explaining progress, challenges and learning, and inviting feedback that will strengthen our efforts.

How we will meet these commitments

  • We will continue to invest in systems and approaches that promote privacy, integrity and transparency in community feedback mechanisms. We are improving channels for communities to share concerns or comments in ways that prioritise feedback loops and are safe and confidential
  • We will continue to focus on highly ethical, effective and transparent governance. We support and invest in our leaders to help them build cultures and organisations that enhance the safety, well-being and growth of our staff and volunteers, and the trust of the wider community.
  • We will step up our efforts to prevent, identify and respond to instances and allegations of behaviour that are contrary to our humanitarian principles and values. We are supporting widespread implementation of IFRC policies on Gender and Diversity as well as Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, constantly monitoring and updating these policies and practices as necessary.