A. Preamble

The Council for International Development (CID) serves as the umbrella organisation for Aotearoa New Zealand non-government organisations active in international development. Its members have the vision for Aotearoa New Zealand as a leader working towards a sustainable world free from poverty and injustice.

The CID Code of Conduct (“the Code”) is a voluntary, self-regulatory sector code of good practice that aims to improve international development outcomes and increase stakeholder trust by enhancing the transparency and accountability of signatory organisations. It serves both as a guide to good practice and as a risk management document.

The Code Committee of the CID Board (“Code Committee”) monitors adherence to the Code and investigates complaints, which may be brought by any member of the public.

Development of policies and procedures to comply with the Code will be appropriate to the size and complexity of the organisation and the extent of their operations. Not all policies necessarily apply to all signatory organisations.


Signatory organisations while varying in size, and differing in their approach to development work, share values that underpin their work in aid and development and that inform this Code. Signatory organisations, as development actors, adhere to the following principles/values.[1]

  1. The Treaty of Waitangi is fundamental to development in Aotearoa New Zealand and to members’ approach to development issues internationally.
  2. Respect and promote human rights, social justice and equality for all people.
  3. Embody gender equality and equity while promoting women’s and girls' rights and support women’s efforts to participate as fully empowered actors in the development process.
  4. Focus on people’s empowerment, democratic ownership and participation, with an emphasis on the poor and marginalised.
  5. Promote and practice environmental sustainability for present and future generations as part of all development initiatives.
  6. Practice transparency and accountability to recipients and donors as well as integrity with respect to internal practices of the member’s organisation.
  7. Pursue equitable partnerships and solidarity with other development actors.
  8. Create and share knowledge and commit to mutual learning with other civil society organisations and development actors.
  9. Commit to realising positive sustainable change, focusing on results, with special emphasis on poor and marginalised populations.
  10. Promote development education in Aotearoa New Zealand as an integral part of sustaining public support for development assistance.
  11. Ensure that promotional, educational and fundraising programmes are consistent with the above principles and values.


The following structure, principles, obligations and processes detailed in this Code are predominantly based on the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Code of Conduct. The support and assistance provided by ACFID staff and the permission granted to draw so heavily on the long experience that is distilled in the current ACFID Code of Conduct is gratefully acknowledged.

Each principle is backed up by implementation guidance, examples and other resources as available for this code. These can be read at the CID website and are contained in the CID Code of Conduct Guidance document. The CID Implementation Guidance document is adapted from the ACFID Code of Conduct and Guidance document, which provides comprehensive ‘how-to’ information for signatory organisations to implement the Principles and Obligations.


The Code sets out standards in three areas of accountability:

  1. Programme principles - including Obligations for effectiveness in aid and development activities, human rights and working with partner agencies.
  2. Public engagement - including Obligations on signatory organisations to be ethical and transparent in marketing, fundraising and reporting.
  3. Organisation - including Obligations for governance, management, financial controls, treatment of staff and volunteers, complaints handling processes and compliance with legal requirements. 

CID Code of Conduct Guidance

Each Principle is a statement of intent that links to the values framed in the Preamble. The specific requirements of signatory organisations are then set out in the numbered obligations. The Code Implementation Guidance document complements the CID Code of Conduct and provides some assistance with compliance. Unlike the Principles and Obligations set out in the Code, the Guidance is not contractually binding, unless specific reference is made to it in the Obligations. The Code of Conduct will adapt over time to meet the changing environment, the needs of stakeholders and emerging good practice from within the sector.

Assessment of compliance

Assessment of signatory compliance with the Code is provided by:

    1. Commitment to the Code Principles;
    2. Public disclosure of relevant aspects of the Code standards;
    3. Triennial self-assessment by the signatory organisation's governing body;
    4. Verification of compliance with selected aspects of the Code by the Code Committee at the time of application and through periodical checking; and
    5. A complaints handling and discipline process.


[1]These are largely based on the Istanbul CSO Development Effectiveness Principles agreed at the Open Forum’s Global Assembly in Istanbul, September 28-30, 2010.

Photo credit: World Vision 

 Gender Photo 106 WV