Charities are sometimes challenged about their legitimacy to speak out on issues. Ucare Foundation is working continuously to develop and improve its accountability (a vital part of legitimacy) so that it fully supports our vision and mission, and ensures that our work has the greatest impact.
Ucare Foundation’s experience is wide-ranging and in-depth. We have worked with poor people in developing countries for more than 15 years. We employ local people who understand the issues that keep local communities trapped in poverty. Our development and humanitarian work is respected by the local governments, our partner organisations, allies, and other agencies.
Ucare Foundation also carries out important advocacy and policy work, to make sure that governments and international organisations understand the needs of poor people, and work towards improving their lives. Members of the public who campaign for Ucare Foundation help us to convey these messages and to increase awareness of our work. More than 25000 people in the UK support Ucare Foundation’s work through their generous donations.
Ucare Foundation is an independent charity, and as such does not align itself to any governments.
Ucare Foundation believes that in order to achieve our organisational mission and to ensure that our work has the greatest impact, we need to be accountable to our key stakeholders. We are working towards improved transparency and information-sharing; more stakeholder participation in decision-making; and better evaluation and complaint mechanisms. Key stakeholders include the individuals and communities with whom we work; partners and allies; donors and supporters; staff and the wider public; and regulatory bodies in the UK and in countries where we operate.
Described below are the ways we make ourselves accountable, or plan to do so, with each of our different stakeholder groups.
1. People living in poverty and suffering
One of Ucare Foundation’s core principles is to ensure our work is effective by involving poor people and partners. We want to involve them in monitoring what is delivered and in assessing impact. If there are problems, we want people to be able to make a complaint and to know that it will be acted upon. We also publish information about our work on our website and others social media like Facebook and twitter etc. We have a plan to improve our accountability to the people with whom we work.
2. Donors and Supporters
Ucare Foundation aims to be open and transparent with donors and supporters. We produce a variety of reports, including The Annual Report and Accounts and The Annual Review, as well as other materials such as newsletters and email messages. Our Supporter Charter, which is publicly displayed in every Ucare Foundation office, clearly defines our commitment of care to the supporter, and provides a unified approach to the quality of customer care across the organisation. We also run a series of charitable work and sports activities, in the spring of each year, which are open to anyone interested in Ucare Foundation’s work. The most comprehensive and current source of information is our website and Facebook. We have specific processes to deliver accountability to our major donors. This involves delivering regular reports to a timetable prescribed by, or negotiated with, the donor. We strive to keep fundraising and administrative costs low.
3. Partners and Allies
In Ucare Foundation’s short & long-term development and humanitarian work, we sometime work through local partner charitable organisations. Beyond these partnerships, Ucare Foundation also works with many other groups who may be affected by what we say and do. These include: Other agencies in the humanitarian and development sector, especially in the United Kingdom; Other allies and partners in developing countries which may be particularly affected by our work; Apart from maintaining our own behaviour and actions at a high standard, we also seek to be sensitive about our public and private advocacy and campaigning work.
4. The Wider Public and those we challenge
Ucare Foundation often makes public statements that call for support from the wider public. In these circumstances, we ensure that what we say is based on our mandate to overcome poverty and suffering and that it is based on our experience and research. In order to make more informed judgement about Ucare Foundation and about what we say, the public is entitled to know whether or not what we suggested did happen or may happen, and to know the reasons. If concerns are raised that our claims are inaccurate or unfounded, we will investigate and respond appropriately.
5. Staff and volunteers
We are committed to an open and accountable management system in which staff is properly line-managed. We also have human resources policies, to which staff with grievances or those wishing to disclose information about malpractice have recourse.
6. Legal Status
Finally, and importantly, we are accountable to the Charity Commission & Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) and its regulations as is necessary for us to operate as a charity in the United Kingdom. We are also accountable to the host governments in countries where we operate.