InterAction members will now adhere to standards recently updated to include provisions on books and educational materials, and to require that all members also self-certify compliance with sexual exploitation and abuse protection standards every other year.
InterAction's Board of Directors
recently approved these changes to the InterAction PVO Standards
, a set of standards that define operational, financial and ethical codes of conduct for the NGOs that are members of InterAction
. Members, currently 189 US-based NGOs, must self-certify that they are in compliance with the standards every other year.
The new books and educational standards stipulate, among other things, that donated educational materials must comply with national education standards. They also say that members should not "dump" books on local markets but ensure they are relevant and needed by local receiving organizations.
"We all know that education is the most effective way to break the cycle of poverty, but it is important that books that are sent to recipient countries be what is needed by those countries – they must conform to the language, culture, subject matter, levels and quantities required by the countries to which they are sent," said Angel Aloma, the executive director of Food for the Poor
and the co-chair of the Gifts-In-Kind (GIK) Working Group
. "Adding the Books and Educational Materials Standards to our PVO Standards will help guarantee the efficient process of appropriate materials and distribution of said items.”
The Board in December also approved the expansion of Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Standards to apply to the work of all InterAction members, not just those operating in humanitarian settings. The standards spell out core principles that members must incorporate into a code of conduct in order to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse.
To learn more about Material (Gifts-In-Kind) Assistance, the challenges the GIK community faces and how a well-functioning supply chain is critical to a successful GIK program, please attend InterAction's Forum 2013 workshops
“Gifts-In-Kind – What's Effective and What's Next?” and “GIK Supply Chain Standards.”