Oxfam Canada’s commitments include its adherence to a number of external standards, codes and charters, as well as key internal policies that frame our commitment to good governance, financial management, program delivery, fundraising, communications, volunteer engagement and human resources.
One of our most important pillars of safeguarding is our Code of Conduct, which is an agreement that all Oxfam employees must sign and abide by, regardless of location. This code of conduct guides our staff in carrying out their duties and regulating their conduct according to Oxfam values. Read our Code of Conduct here.
The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to give the members of Oxfam Canada's Board of Directors guidance regarding the key issues of which they need to be aware, and the standards with which they are expected to comply. The Code applies to all members of the Board of Directors of Oxfam Canada. Read our Board Code of Conduct here.
It is important for us to ensure that the conduct of all people connected to our work is in keeping with our organization’s beliefs, values and aims. The aim of this Code of Conduct is to give partner organizations guidance regarding the key issues that they need to be aware of, and the standards by which they would be expected to behave in certain circumstances. The Code applies to all partner organizations, contractors or consultants who engage with Oxfam, regardless of location.
Oxfam has a long tradition of working in partnership and solidarity with civil society actors around the world as a key strategy in realizing its mission to end poverty and injustice.
Partnerships lie at the core of how Oxfam understands the world and our role in working for change. Our partnership principles help us to clarify and be held to account for the kinds of relationships we want to foster with different types of partners.
All of Oxfam’s work in long-term development, humanitarian response, disaster prevention and campaigns and advocacy are guided by these principles.
Oxfam Canada’s Feminist Principles shape and guide our approach to our work across the organization – with partnership, in our long-term development work, in our humanitarian programming, in our policy advocacy and campaigns, and in our organizational culture and behaviour.
Ten feminist principles have been developed collaboratively by Oxfam Canada staff:
- Support transformative change
- Recognize power and privilege
- Put women’s rights actors at the centre of our work
- Honour context and complexity
- Celebrate diversity and challenge discrimination through an intersectional approach
- ‘Nothing about me without me’
- Do no harm
- Balance learning and accountability
- Support knowledge for transformative change
- Commit to organizational transformation
The Transparency and Accountability Policy provides transparency about governance, decision making and accountability within Oxfam Canada. The policy outlines the division of responsibilities between the Board and the Executive Director, and establishes a framework that includes any thresholds of authority for decision-making roles, responsibilities and accountability within the organization.
This policy is a part of a suite of internal accountability policies and external codes that frame our commitment to accountability and good governance, financial management, program delivery, fundraising, communications, volunteer engagement and human resources.
The Oxfam Conflict of Interest Policy sets the minimum procedures for Oxfam affiliates to follow to effectively manage conflicts of interest and to create an environment where people are comfortable declaring any conflict they might find themselves in. This enables Oxfam to manage its exposure to fraud and corruption.
This policy applies to all Oxfam staff, and those associated with the delivery of Oxfam work, consultants, volunteers (including Affiliate Trustees), Board and Committee members and Directors, trading staff, fundraising staff and invited visitors residing, working and/or travelling on behalf of Oxfam.
Oxfam believes that anyone has the right to make a complaint, have that complaint addressed and receive a response to the complaint. In the event of a mistake, wrongful action or breach of the codes to which Oxfam Canada subscribes, Oxfam Canada will acknowledge and take steps to remedy the error or breach.
The Oxfam Gift Acceptance Policy ensures that the highest standards of professionalism are followed in the development of philanthropic relationships, in the solicitation of gifts and in working with donors and their advisors.
Oxfam Canada holds human rights, social justice, collaboration, learning and inclusion as core values driving its mission and focus on gender justice and women’s rights. It recognizes that it must align and embody these core values in all its activities and operations. This policy provides a framework to which all other policies should conform. It provides direction to staff, members, volunteers, and the Board.
Oxfam Canada is committed to being accessible. Learn more about our policy on accessibility here.
Oxfam’s vision is a world in which people can influence decisions that affect their lives, enjoy their rights and assume their responsibilities as full citizens where all human beings are valued and treated equally. This is central to our work eliminating injustice and poverty.
Sexuality and gender identity is a positive, core part of being human and experiencing well-being and fulfilment. Yet, when diversity of sexuality and gender identity is rendered invisible, or becomes the basis of discrimination, the rights to decisions over bodies, sexualities, identities and intimate consensual relations of one’s own choosing are violated. Further, poverty and gender inequalities can become more extreme, and development interventions can be inappropriate or fail to reach 2SLGBTQ+ people altogether, resulting in multiple marginalizations.
The Oxfam confederation is made up of non-governmental organizations that employ thousands of people around the world. Many of these people live and work in hazardous and insecure environments. As responsible employers, Oxfam affiliates acknowledge their obligations to provide safe and secure workplaces, that are fair, just and reasonably practical for employees. In appropriate circumstances, and depending on the nature of the relationship, there may also be obligations to associated personnel. Meeting these obligations requires Oxfam to manage risks, without being risk-averse.
The purpose of the security policy is to record and communicate the guiding principles and responsibilities that form the governing framework for security risk management. The policy provides managers and employees with strategy and direction to enable Oxfam’s program objectives to be effectively implemented while at the same time protecting (to the extent possible) Oxfam’s employees, reputation and assets from harm.
External Standards, Codes and Charters
Oxfam International Code of Conduct and Governance Standards. Oxfam Canada is accountable to the Constitution, Rules and Procedures, and Code of Conduct for the Oxfam Confederation as a whole.
INGO Accountability Charter (Accountable Now). The Charter commits Oxfam and all other INGO signatories to meeting best-practice standards on public accountability and transparency, including in good governance and effective management, ethical fundraising and multi-stakeholder engagement.
Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) Code of Ethics. Oxfam Canada accepts and promotes the ethical principles outlined by CCIC - a set of operational standards, which promote understanding and improvement of development and operational practices.
Imagine Canada Standards Program. Oxfam Canada’s accreditation ensures that standards are met in the areas of board governance, financial accountability, fundraising, staff and volunteer management.
Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Oxfam Canada is committed to ethically generating philanthropic support, adhering to AFP’s Code of Ethics.
Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement. Oxfam Canada ensures effective volunteer involvement while providing a safe and supportive environment for volunteers.
Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response (Sphere). Oxfam Canada joins other signatories from around the world in commitment to a set of common principles and universal minimum standards in life-saving areas of humanitarian response.
Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS). As an organization involved in humanitarian response, Oxfam Canada adheres to this standard to measure and ensure the quality and effectiveness of the assistance it provides, including accountability to communities and people affected by crisis.