Our primary goal is to bring about positive and lasting change in the lives of poor and disadvantaged people, which we believe requires investing in work that addresses people’s immediate needs as well as tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. To do this effectively, and help guide our decision making, we’ve developed a set of principles.
These principles guide both the way in which we work and the expectations we have of the organisations we fund. We use the principles to help inform how we allocate our funds, and organisations applying to us for a grant will need to demonstrate how their work takes account of the following:
Understanding the context
We would expect organisations to demonstrate their understanding of the context in which they are working and the root causes of the issues they wish to tackle. This may include the diversity of local communities, local decision making structures, the role of others in the field and issues relevant to the nation in which they are working.
Consulting with key players
We would expect to see people who will benefit from projects – as well as those who could influence the success or failure of the work - being consulted at the outset and their views incorporated in project design. Including more marginalised groups in this process is important.
Building on good practice
We want to see how organisations are drawing on ‘good practice’ and knowledge of ‘what works’ to inform the work they do. But we also welcome projects that wish to experiment with new ideas and approaches to familiar problems.
Where possible, we want to see how people benefiting from the projects we fund actively participate in those projects – from membership of advisory groups and trustee boards to feeding back on the value of the services to help inform future plans.
We expect organisations to demonstrate a commitment to diversity and show how this runs through their governance, service delivery and policy development. We recognise that some organisations will need help to develop their approach to diversity.
Working with others
Very few organisations can bring about lasting change on their own. We need to see how organisations work with others. This may be through sharing information and learning, joint influencing work and approaches that can help to make the work sustainable in the long term.
Evaluating and learning
In order to learn from experience, we would expect organisations to show how they are developing practical ways of capturing information and creating a culture committed to reflection, analysis and learning. We will look for how organisations will use the evidence they have built up to inform their future plans and influence the decisions of others, particularly policy makers and others in the field.