Statement of Legitimacy
Charities are sometimes challenged about their legitimacy to speak out on issues such as world poverty. Islamic Aid is working continuously to develop and improve its accountability (a vital part of legitimacy) so that it fully supports our vision and mission, and ensures that our work has the greatest impact.
Islamic Aid’s experience is wide-ranging and in-depth. We have worked with poor people in developing countries for more than 10 years and have supported projects in more than 12 countries. We employ local people who understand the issues that keep local communities trapped in poverty. Our development and humanitarian work is respected by the local governments, our partner organisations, allies, and other agencies.
Islamic Aid also carries out important advocacy and policy work, to make sure that governments and international organisations understand the needs of poor people, and work towards improving their lives. Members of the public who campaign for Islamic Aid help us to convey these messages and to increase awareness of our work. More than 75,000 people in the UK support Islamic Aid’s work through their generous donations.
Islamic Aid is an independent charity, and as such does not align itself to any governments.
Islamic Aid mission statement
Statement of Accountability
Islamic Aid believes that in order to achieve our organisational mission and to ensure that our work has the greatest impact, we need to be accountable to our key stakeholders. We are working towards improved transparency and information-sharing; more stakeholder participation in decision-making; and better evaluation and complaint mechanisms. Key stakeholders include the individuals and communities with whom we work; partners and allies; donors and supporters; staff and the wider public; and regulatory bodies in the UK and in countries where we operate.
How we are planning to improve our accountability
Described below are the ways we make ourselves accountable, or plan to do so, with each of our different stakeholder groups.
1. People living in poverty and suffering
One of Islamic Aid’s core principles is to ensure our work is effective by involving poor people and partners. We want to involve them in monitoring what is delivered and in assessing impact. If there are problems, we want people to be able to make a complaint and to know that it will be acted upon. We also publish information about our work on our website. We have a plan to improve our accountability to the people living in poverty with whom we work. This includes: working to ensure that Islamic Aid meets all HAPI (Humanitarian Accountability Programme International) standards; working towards delivering the Sphere Standards for humanitarian action.
2. Donors and Supporters
Islamic Aid aims to be open and transparent with donors and supporters. We produce a variety of reports, including The Annual Report and Accounts and The Annual Review, as well as other materials such as newsletters and email messages. Our Supporter Charter, which is publicly displayed in every Islamic Aid office, clearly defines our commitment of care to the supporter, and provides a unified approach to the quality of customer care across the organisation. We also run a series of nationwide roadshows, known as Islamic Aid Live, in the spring of each year, which are open to anyone interested in Islamic Aid’s work. The most comprehensive and current source of information is our website. We have specific processes to deliver accountability to our major donors. This involves delivering regular reports to a timetable prescribed by, or negotiated with, the donor. We strive to keep fundraising and administrative costs low. For each £1 invested in attracting and maintaining financial support, we work to secure at least £13 in income.
3. Partners and Allies
In Islamic Aid’s long-term development and humanitarian work, we some time work through local partner organisations. Beyond these partnerships, Islamic Aid also works with many other groups who may be affected by what we say and do. These include: Other agencies in the humanitarian and development sector, especially in the United Kingdom; Other allies and partners in developing countries which may be particularly affected by our work;; The other members of the Islamic Aid international family. These Islamic Aids may be more strongly affected by what we say and do as they carry the same brand name. Apart from maintaining our own behavior and actions at a high standard, we also seek to be sensitive about our public and private advocacy and campaigning work. In developing countries in particular, we try to agree messages early in campaigns and to be respectful of partners’ roles and relationships – for example, we make sure we do not take their place in lobbying their governments.
4. The Wider Public and those we challenge
Islamic Aid often makes public statements that call for support from the wider public. In these circumstances, we ensure that what we say is based on our mandate to overcome poverty and suffering and that it is based on our experience and research. In order to make more informed judgements about Islamic Aid and about what we say, the public is entitled to know whether or not what we suggested did happen or may happen, and to know the reasons. If concerns are raised that our claims are inaccurate or unfounded, we will investigate and respond appropriately.
5. Staff and volunteers
We are committed to an open and accountable management system in which staff are properly line-managed. We also have human resources policies, to which staff with grievances, or those wishing to disclose information about malpractice have recourse.
6. Legal Status
Finally, and importantly, we are accountable to the Charity Commission and its regulations as is necessary for us to operate as a charity in the United Kingdom. We are also accountable to the host governments in countries where we operate.