Facilitator guide

The purpose of this tool is to improve organisational cultures to protect people from harm, including sexual exploitation, abuse and sexual harassment (SEAH).

The role of the facilitator is to lead the discussion on the behaviours and facilitate decision making on priority actions and who will be accountable for ensuring these are carried out following the discussion.

This tool will work best when it is used to facilitate constructive and honest discussions with all relevant colleagues across your organisation or team (e.g. with different levels of seniority, different job functions, etc.).

The value of the tool lies in the conversations and we recommend you repeatedly come back to the tool (e.g. on an annual basis), rather than using it only once.

Different sections of this tool may be more relevant to different job functions. However all leaders, in any role, need to understand how they are accountable to the people they lead and those with whom their organisation works.

Due to the sensitive nature of safeguarding, the facilitator must ensure participants are comfortable participating in the planned session and are made aware of the support services the organisation can provide if needed (e.g. counselling, employee assistance programmes, HR support).

Before you start

Decide which section of the tool the session will focus on

Larger organisations are encouraged to start with “Accountability”, particularly if the leadership team is completing the tool, as this section is directed at leaders taking responsibility for safeguarding, including the preventing and responding to sexual exploitation, abuse and sexual harassment (SEAH). Smaller organisations, where a wider range of staff and/or volunteers may be involved in safeguarding, may find it easier to start with “Awareness Raising” as this will engage everyone in the process. Ultimately, safeguarding is the responsibility of everyone in an organisation, so it is important to involve a range of colleagues in discussions.

Agree who should be part of the discussion

We recommend involving leadership team members as well as middle and junior staff within all sessions. Depending on the size of your organisation, some sections may be particularly relevant to specific colleagues (e.g.  HR colleagues should be included when discussing the section on “Safe Recruitment and HR processes”). Smaller NGOs may have very small leadership teams and may want to involve everyone in the organisation in these discussions. This can be very beneficial as you are likely to gain different perspectives from staff and volunteers and everyone can be more closely involved in the commitment to making improvements.

Ensure you allow sufficient time to discuss the section in full

We have provided an indication of how long it will take to complete each section of the tool. This ranges between three and four hours, depending on the section and your organisation. This is an estimate and some sections may take longer to complete, depending on your organisation.

Before the session

Ask all participants to look at the workflow on the landing page and to familiarise themselves with the section and behaviours you’ll discuss.

Tips for running the session

  • This is a discussion-based tool, so make sure you get participants involved as much as possible in answering the questions and deciding actions.
  • The tool aims to address power imbalances – be mindful of the impact of existing power imbalances within the organisation when using the tool, and how this may affect how different people engage in the discussion. Try to avoid allowing certain individuals, particularly those in more senior positions or with more power, from dominating the conversation and ensure everyone’s voice has a chance to be heard.
  • Participants may include survivors of sexual abuse or sexual harassment. Be sensitive, and do not sensationalise or minimise the topics. Check in with how people are feeling during the session and ensure support services are available before and after the session.
  • The section of doing no harm is non-negotiable, but the way in which you have conversations, the language you use and the positive behaviours you identify in a healthy safeguarding culture will be specific to different cultural settings.
  • Reinforce that the aim is to ensure that the organisation is in a better position to protect children and adults from any form of harm, including sexual exploitation, abuse, and sexual harassment, to make its working environment and programmes safer, and to respond swiftly and effectively if things do go wrong.
  • There is a possibility that during the session a participant will share something about a previously unknown safeguarding issue that needs to be addressed. This could involve people from the organisation or a partner organisation. Plan how this should be responded to before the session. If the issues raised involve serious and immediate risk of harm, or concern people involved in the session itself, the session should be stopped whilst the issue is responded to.  If the issue can be responded after the session, the organisation you should follow usual reporting processes.
  • Remember that safeguarding is not just about responding well to incidents but is about creating organisations where all individuals feel safe to participate equally.
  • Remember that no organisation (large or small) is immune to abuse, harassment and/or misuse of power.

Want to know more?

Visit our FAQs and learn more about the tool and how it can help you.