The Chab Dai Charter goes online

This week saw the official launch of our new Charter online database at the Chab Dai Charter feedback meeting here in Phnom Penh. Member organisations travelled from as far as Siem Reap and Battambang to show their continuing commitment to excellence, through the Charter’s set of professional standards in combating human trafficking and abuse. With this in mind, we’ve put together a short guide on everything to do with the Charter, how it works and how it can benefit organisations.

What is the Chab Dai Charter?

Chab Dai created the Charter in 2011 in order to give our members and ourselves a common set of 15 principles to work towards, grouped under four core values: Protection, Participation, Transparency and Collaboration.

Moreover, the Charter is designed as a practical tool, containing specific action points in order to achieve these principles. By self-evaluating on everything from encouraging creative thinking at work to being mindful of inclusion, we can continue to raise our standards as a coalition.

How is the Charter implemented?

The practical side of the Charter was actually created using feedback from our members. Charter-Doorsteps Team visit member organisations and guide the staff through a participatory process of self-evaluation, with each staff member scoring criteria based on how they think the organisation is doing. These could be provision of specific trainings, procedural points, like how to raise an issue about a senior member of staff or PTSD staff care for those dealing with trauma in their day-to-day jobs.

One of Chab Dai's Charter members conducts their initial self assessment as an organization

One of Chab Dai's Charter members conducts their initial self assessment as an organization

A report with Improvement Action Plans (IAPs) is then produced, based on the collected scores, which the organisation can use to identify strengths and implement changes where needed. Learning grants are also given to selected organisations that may need extra resources to complete the process and staff are also encouraged to share lessons learned at our training events.

The Charter database

The new database, designed by Rob Perrett, allows Charter members to record and update their information and assessments instantly online. It also enables NGOs to produce data for use in donor reports, with information already packaged into charts and recommendations, saving a lot of staff time.

What our members think

Reuk Saray of WEC and Bridge of Hope project told us about his experience of the Charter implementation:

“When I first started with WEC, no one introduced me to the Child Protection Policy – I just signed without knowing anything about it. Now, we understand the importance of what it is and how we need to protect children.”

Destiny Rescue’s Kimbra Smith also had lots of positive things to say about the Charter.

“Just spending time with other members, our staff benefit from hearing about other’s strengths and weaknesses. Once they have connected with other staff, they feel comfortable contacting them to ask questions or for resources. They then feel like they can hold their head up high and be proud of their development.”

The Charter around the globe

The Charter has proved so effective that it’s been used as a model for our partners in places as diverse as Costa Rica, Fiji, Indonesia and Thailand, with one team saying it was ‘the most practical tool for assessment they had ever used.’

The Charter has made a huge difference not only to our members but to us as well - Chab Dai was the first organisation to go through Charter process. To us, it means always striving for best practice when it comes to supporting survivors of abuse in all its forms, and doing this together as a coalition.

As one member said: “It’s not realistic that organisations can be perfect in every way, so we are very positive about the Charter – we show other members our IAPs to show them that we need to improve too!”

Story written by Laura Gavin