Non Development Activity Policy


  1.  Background and purpose

ALWS has been called by the Lutheran Church of Australia to follow Christ’s example of reaching out in love through justice. It represents one of many parts of the church and has a clear mandate to serve people unconditionally by promoting social justice and addressing the causes of poverty through working with communities. This is expressed as the first guiding principle in the ALWS Strategic Plan (2015-2020). It means that ALWS does not promote the Christian faith through evangelism because it has not been called to do so; does not link itself to, nor does it promote, any political party, and does not support welfare activities as defined by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (refer below).

If in the unlikely situation, ALWS is called to promote the Christian faith through evangelism, promote a political party, or engage in welfare activities, this policy aims to clarify the difference between aid and development and non-aid  and development activities, and to ensure a clear separation exists between the two.

This policy addresses Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) compliance obligations when communicating with supporters. It also serves to inform ALWS staff and those with whom ALWS partners of the distinction between aid and development and non-aid and development activities.

  1. Definition of aid and development activities

According to the ACFID Code of Conduct, aid and development refers to the activities undertaken in order to reduce poverty and address global justice issues via direct engagement through community projects, emergency management, community education, advocacy, volunteer sending, provision of technical and professional services and resources, environmental protection and restoration, and promotion and protection of human rights.

  1. Definition of non-aid and development activities

Non-aid and development activities refer to those with the explicit intention of evangelising, or supporting partisan political objectives, or engaging in welfare activities.

Evangelical activities are those activities which promote a particular religious adherence or are undertaken with the objective of converting individuals or groups from one faith and/or denominational affiliation to another.

Partisan political activities are those that are associated with facilitating or supporting specific political parties or individuals to gain power. These include using funds or resources to facilitate or support a specific political party, candidate or party political organisation in a local, regional or general/national election; or using funds or resources to facilitate or support a particular politician or faction to gain power within a government or within a party political structure.

Welfare activities are those which assist to maintain individuals in a particular condition on a long-term basis, such as institutionalised care programs provided by orphanages, child sponsorship (that is, funds given directly to children or their families, and not funds drawn from child sponsorship and used for development purposes), hospital care programs, hospices, and costs for the maintenance of structures for institutionalised care programs (for example, schools or orphanages). Welfare is implemented independently of other sustainable community development activities; includes no strategy for integration into a broader community development program; is provided on an individual or family basis, rather than on a community basis, and is unconnected to emergency needs; and are implemented on a long term basis with no clear exit strategy[1].

  1. Guiding principles

ALWS supports and is committed to abiding by the following principles:

  • Accurately representing our activities to the people we work with, donors and the public
  • Ensuring any funds raised for aid and development purposes are not used to place religious or political conditions on people or communities.
  1. Goal

To make clear the distinction between aid and development and non-aid and development activities. 

  1. Implementation

ALWS will demonstrate a clear separation between aid and development and non-aid and development activities by:

  1. Appraising all project proposals to determine whether they include non-aid and development components.
  2. Recording any aspects of the project that should be closely monitored over the life of the project to ensure compliance with this policy.
  3. Identifying whether the partner is engaged in non-aid and development activities, and if so, how it is able to manage and account for them separately to aid and development activities.
  4. Managing, reporting and accounting for components of projects that represent non-aid and development activity separately to aid and development components.

ALWS will ensure this separation is clear in all fundraising, programs and other activities, in public communications and in all reporting to donors, including annual reports, by:

  1. Being guided by the Communications Compliance Checklist which addresses appropriate reporting in promotional materials.
  2. Reviewing all written material and images from overseas project partners

ALWS will ensure that any such separation in fundraising, programs and other activities, in public communications and in reporting, extends to partner and implementing organisations and is documented by:

  1. Communicating ALWS’ position on support for aid and development activities with new and existing partners.
  2. Providing partners with a copy of this policy.
  3. Clearly defining aid and development activity and non-aid and development activity in partnership agreements.
  4. Reaching an agreement with partners which ensures funds designated for aid and development purposes will not be used to fund any non-aid and development activity.
  5. Identify through our own monitoring whether the partner is engaged in non-aid and development activities.

ALWS will review this policy at least once every three years.

[1] Recognised Development Expenditure Guidelines, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, p. 3.

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