Guidance Note and Protocol on Publishing Complaints Metrics

As a sector, we are committed to accountability and transparency.  When an organisation publishes data about the complaints they have received, they firmly demonstrate this commitment. It helps to engender a relationship of trust with our donors, the public who support us and most importantly, the communities we seek to assist. Many of our organisations campaign for transparency from their governments or other institutions – we need to demonstrate that we are willing to lead the way.

Publishing complaints data also benefits the sector, allowing us to analyse the information in order to determine how best to prevent our presence from being harmful. We can use this both internally within our organisations to feed into our prevention strategies, and externally to track trends. For this reason, it is useful to create a standardised way to report data, so that results can be aggregated and compared – and used to identify how we can best work on prevention as sector. This will also help build a body of evidence on key issues such as sexual exploitation and abuse, to demonstrate to the sector that this needs addressing.

Finally, by publicly demonstrating that we take action on complaints, we help create an environment where people feel more confident in coming forward and reporting.

Many NGOs, northern and southern, large and small already report their complaints data[1].   To date there has been no negative response to these publications; in fact, agencies report that the experience has been a positive one.