These standards promote good humanitarian and development practise for the people we serve. The eight standards summarise all of the relevant external and internal accountability and quality standards, codes, guidelines and principles to which we are committed. These commitments exist to ensure quality. They are of primary importance in all Tearunf work and of priority in any work we are doing in cooperation with our implementing partner organisations. 

Who are the Quality Standards for? 

The purpose of Tearfunds Quality Standards is to ensure that those we serve through development or humanitarian assistance benefit from the increased quality, accountability, effectiveness and impact of the work that we undertake, and that make the Quality Standards everybody’s job. Our Quality Standards provide us with a framework for improvement in project design, monitoring, evaluation, accountability, continuous improvement, learning and capacity building. We aim to facilitate and to support partners who share our commitment to good practice and improvement, and to seek to improve the quality of our partnerships. The standards are not intended to be used as a “pass/fail” checklist and the framework recognises that questions of quality rarely involve simple “yes/no” answers, but require analysis, transparency and continual improvement.  

Tearfunds eight quality standards are:

1. Behaviour

We expect the highest behaviour standards across all of our work. We stand against all forms of exploitation, abuse, fraud, bribery and any other conduct that is incompatible with our values. We strive to transfer power to the people we serve; to transform our own, our partners’ and communities’ attitudes and practices on inclusion, conflict sensitivity, accountability, gender and learning. 

2. Impartiality and Targeting

We are committed to impartiality, providing assistance to the most vulnerable without regard for race, religion, ethnicity, ability, age, gender, sexuality, or nationality. We target our work on the basis of need alone while remaining sensitive to conflict dynamics, and proactively work to support those who would otherwise be marginalised or excluded, in particular children, the elderly and those living with disability. 

3. Accountability

We are committed to ensuring that all our work is based upon effective communication with, participation of and feedback from the communities we serve. It is important that all interventions are transparent and based upon continuous learning. We also hold ourselves accountable to our partners, donors, supporters and colleagues, and to all those with whom we relate and interact. 

4. Gender

In all our programmes we actively seek to challenge gender inequality, harmful beliefs and practices, and work towards gender justice. We are committed to progressing gender equality, the restoration of relationships between men and women, boys and girls, and ensuring their equal value, participation, and decision-making in all aspects of life.

5. Empowerment

We are committed to community-led and participatory approaches to development and humanitarian response for sustainable impact that is based on root cause analysis. We encourage participation from all members of a community, and strive to support beneficiaries to have control over their own development at all levels, from local development activities through to local, national, and regional advocacy.

6. Resilience

We are committed to helping people understand, reduce and manage the risks they face as well as to address the drivers of vulnerability. This includes supporting people and communities in developing resilient livelihoods, strengthening social cohesion, improving access to services, stewarding environmental resources, reducing disaster risk and adapting to climate change

7. Protection

We are committed to restoring relationships and building safe and secure communities. We seek to prioritise the protection of all - especially children and the most marginalised and vulnerable adults - from physical, social and psychological harm. We will take steps to assess risks, including conflict dynamics, to avoid any adverse effects of our work that might expose people to danger or lead to abuse. We believe that community members are the best actors in their own protection and will support their actions to stay safe, find security and restore dignity.  

8. Technical Quality

We are committed to the high technical quality of all of our work, and the work of partners, through meeting relevant national and international standards aligned with communities’ own priorities. We will continuously learn to improve and identify and replicate good practice that is demonstrated to have relevant and positive impact.