Survivor-centered approach

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3


Leaders prioritise survivors’ best interests over those of the organisation.

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

  • In the event of an incident/report, what steps do you take to understand the best interest of the victims and survivors?

  • How do you know that the best interests of victims and survivors are being prioritised over other organisational interests?

  • How are you ensuring that your organisation is giving victims and survivors opportunities to provide feedback about the handling of their cases and your organisation’s safeguarding processes?

Action section icon

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

Survivor-centered approach

A survivor-centred approach is one for which the survivor’s dignity, experiences, considerations, needs, and resiliencies are placed at the centre of the process, from the initial program design to investigating and responding to potential incidents. Consistent with the UN Protocol on Allegations of SEA Involving Implementing Partners, the survivor should be informed, participate in the decision-making process, and provide consent on the possible use and disclosure of their information. Those interacting with the survivor and/or handling information regarding the allegation must maintain confidentiality, ensure safety of the survivor, and apply survivor-centred principles which are safety, confidentiality, respect, and non-discrimination. When the survivor is a child, the approach must consider the best interests of the child and engage with the family/caregivers as appropriate. Staff and partners should comply with host country and local child welfare and protection legislation and international standards, whichever gives greater protection.


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