Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct has been developed in line with the values of Legs4Africa and a consideration of the various balances of power present in its work both in the UK and overseas.

The Code of Conduct below should be followed by all staff, volunteers, project partners, trustees, grantees and contractors. When entering into a new contract with a potential partner we expect them to sign and agree to this Code of Conduct in addition to other relevant Legs4Africa policies and documents, and ensure the values in The Code are present in their activities at all times.

1. Interactions with beneficiaries

a. Legs4Africa, as a disability-focused organisation, is committed to the philosophy of ‘no decision about me without me’, and challenging paternalistic attitudes and practices. All Legs4Africa projects will therefore be conducted in collaboration and communication with disabled persons and/or disabled person’s organisations (DPOs).

b. All staff and volunteers understand that this Code of Conduct is supplementary to best practice procedures and codes of conduct specific to their areas of contact with vulnerable people.

c. As an organisation that collaborates with multiple implementing partners, we will ensure that our high standards are reflected in these partners’ organisational best practices and will provide assistance and training to partners and local staff to maintain this standard.

d. No beneficiary will be subject to abuse, harassment or discrimination because of their race, gender, sexuality, ability, religion or age, and Legs4Africa takes a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination based on any of the above.

e. Legs4Africa and its implementing partners will maintain thorough risk assessment and management procedures, understanding that risk cannot realistically be eliminated, but can be reduced and managed.

f. We will engage in active listening in all interactions, appreciate the opportunity for lesson learning, and respect individuality and agency. Above all, we will be kind and make time for people.

g. Ensure that all information is provided with informed consent, with attention paid to different needs depending on the activity environment, and seeking local assistance with language barriers where necessary.

h. To that end, when engaging in fieldwork, be aware of situations where it is more effective and appropriate for interviews and workshops/events to be led by local partners and staff.

i. All relationships with beneficiaries will be kept strictly professional.

j. No physical contact will be made with a beneficiary without their permission.

k. All staff and volunteers will receive annual training on safeguarding and understand their responsibilities and appropriate cultural boundaries.

l. Ensure reporting mechanisms are clearly communicated and available and whistleblowers protected as per our Whistleblowing Policy.

m. When engaging with a beneficiary or vulnerable person, do so with an understanding of the scope and limitations of the work undertaken. Manage expectations and avoid making promises.

2. In the workplace

a. No staff member or volunteer will be subject to abuse, harassment or discrimination because of their race, gender, sexuality, ability, religion or age, and Legs4Africa takes a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination based on any of the above.

b. All staff and volunteers commit themselves to maintain a culture of kindness and inclusivity and challenging any discriminatory behaviour and practices. We will challenge poor practice, help to promote good practice and strive to create positive change.

c. All staff and volunteers will strive to create an inclusive and welcoming workplace by going out of their way and across cultures to include others in casual, conversational or work-related team interactions.

d. Respect and support the mental and physical health and wellbeing of all staff and volunteers.

e. Be generous in both giving and accepting feedback

f. Remember that what may be acceptable to one person may not be acceptable to another; be respectful of this and act accordingly.

g. Use appropriate professional language and behaviour

3. Reporting

a. Ensure there are appropriate reporting mechanisms both for local staff and implementing partners.

b. Maintain and distribute information on the reporting process and make sure it is clear and easily understandable.

c. Use the correct reporting pathway as an example of best practice and to keep information secure.

d. Abide by the Whistleblowing Policy and protect whistleblowers from abuse.

4. Communications

a. We agree never to use distressing imagery for “shock factor”, but to promote a positive representation of people and countries and challenge colonialist and paternalistic attitudes.

b. Aim for inclusive representation in our media and show a diverse range of ethnicities when possible.

c. Use photos that uphold the dignity of those depicted.

d. Respect the right to privacy and anonymity of beneficiaries by using pseudonyms in media posts.

e. Acknowledge the work of professionals in the UK and internationally by name.

f. Challenge the homogenisation of African countries by using specific country names as often as possible, or sub-Saharan Africa if necessary.

g. Ensure informed consent is given before using images/videos/stories of beneficiaries, including gaining consent from a parent/carer if they are unable to give consent themselves.

h. Adhere to the Communications Procedure when communicating with implementing partners; maintain appropriate professional boundaries and language with attention to cultural sensitivity.

i. Images and videos of vulnerable people are to be stored in a secure folder, and kept on phones for a maximum of one week and then deleted.

4. Prevention of Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

All Legs4Africa staff, volunteers and implementing partners are prohibited from engaging in the following harmful behaviour, including but not limited to:

a. Any behaviour or activity that could amount to sexual exploitation and abuse

b. Sexual activity with children (persons under the age of 18) regardless of the age of majority or age of consent locally. Mistaken belief regarding the age of a child is not a defence.

c. Exchange of money, employment, transport, goods, or services for sex, including sexual favours or other forms of humiliating, degrading or exploitative behaviour.

d. Any other activity that is intended to cause physical or emotional harm, humiliation or exploitation to any individual.

e. Any activity, practice or behaviour that suggests staff, grant recipients or partners have abused their position of power and is engaging any individual based on inherently unequal power dynamics.

f. Sexual relationships between staff, grant recipients, partners and any individuals that are based on unequal power dynamics are strongly discouraged since they may undermine the credibility and integrity of the work of Legs4Africa.

In addition, staff, grant recipients and partners must:

a. Create and maintain an environment that prevents all forms of exploitation and abuse and promotes the implementation of this Code of Conduct. Grant recipients have particular responsibilities to support and develop systems that maintain this environment.

b. Report any concern or suspicion of exploitation, including sexual exploitation, abuse or breach of the Code of Conduct by a fellow member of staff immediately via the established reporting mechanisms (focal point)

c. Make sure you know how to contact your focal point if you need to manage disclosures of abuse.

d. In the event of a violation or suspected breach of the Code of Conduct, please contact Phil Tunstall, Legs4Africa CEO on +44 7443583810 (WhatsApp or Telephone) as soon as possible to discuss the next steps. e. If you wish to remain anonymous and have anything that Legs4Africa need to be aware of about their staff, volunteers, partnering organizations or work or anything else then fill out the whistleblowing form lined below and found on the Legs4Africa website. This can be for fraud, a safeguarding incident, or anything else, no matter how seemingly small.