Policies and processes

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Leaders display courage in ensuring that their organisation’s policies to prevent and respond to safeguarding-related issues.

Discuss the behaviour

Consider how the behaviour relates to your working environment and your interactions with colleagues and others outside the organisation. Pose your own questions where relevant and make notes on your discussion.

Questions for you to consider

  • How well do you understand how your organisation’s safeguarding policy operates in practice at all levels (community, field, partner, national and international), including for staff and volunteers?

  • What examples do you know of in your organisation where the principle of best interests of children or other at-risk or marginalised groups has been applied?

  • How do you ensure that other organisational priorities, for example, financial or reputational, do not take precedent over children’s and other at-risk individuals’ best interests?

  • Who has been appointed to make decisions on safeguarding and how do you ensure that there is a safeguarding-focused voice in decision-making processes?

  • How do you know that safeguarding policies are accessible to at-risk or marginalised populations?

  • How often has your organisation reviewed the uptake and use of its safeguardingpolicies and procedures?

  • How do you hold conversations to discuss what happens when safeguarding policies/codes of conduct may be in direct opposition to the norms, values and laws in a particular country?

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What actions would you implement to make a change?

Using what you discussed, decide what actions you plan to take as an organisation. Note down who is accountable for ensuring these are implemented and when you aim to achieve them. Note that the "Actions for leaders" are a starting point, not an exhaustive list. You can add specific actions that are relevant to your organisation.

Glossary of terms used


When we speak about “leaders” we mean those people within an organisation that have the authority and power to make decisions and allocate resources. Depending on the organisation, this could be a CEO, directors, senior management teams, country directors, safeguarding leads or other decision-makers.


Safeguarding is about all the preventative and responsive measures we take to ensure we do no harm to anyone in our organisation and anyone we come into contact with as part of our work. This tool was developed with tackling sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment (SEAH) in mind, but is applicable beyond that.You can find a more comprehensive definition on the Bond website

Principles of best of interests

For example, an organisation could decide to stop working with a production company even though they produce high quality videos, because the company repeatedly fails to engage with children in a child-centred way.

Appointed decision-maker

Organisations’ financial and legal considerations can take precedence over the best interests of children and other at-risk groups.

At-risk or marginalised groups

At-risk or marginalised groups is used in this document to include, but is not limited to: children, women, people with disabilities, minority ethnic groups and those who identify as LGBTQI+. Who is at risk or marginalised will be context-specific, as this is strongly linked to power imbalances.