In the wake of the events involving Oxfam, charities are coming to terms with the negative exposure they could face if they fail to meet the expectations of the public in terms of ethics, governance and compliance matters. For a long time there has been a tendency to downplay concerns around corruption in charities, moral and economic, were because ultimately charities are simply trying to do good, get aid to the right people and have a positive impact on the world.
However, accountability, governance and compliance should not be optional for charities but rather the mainstay. The letter from 22 charities promising to address the recent issues around sexual exploitation demonstrates that public concerns must be met with honesty and accountability.
Many charities have a great track record of managing corruption in their organisations but donors want assurance, so this is the time to proactively and openly review Governance and Compliance.
Twenty-two aid organisations have said they are "truly sorry" for the sector's failings in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct by workers. In a letter signed by chief executives, charities including Save the Children UK and Oxfam GB vowed to do more to protect those they were set up to help. They also promised a series of "urgent and immediate" measures, including more resources for safeguarding. "There can be no tolerance for the abuse of power," the letter said.