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In recent years the Official Development Assistance (ODA) sector has prioritised safeguarding against harm, violence, exploitation, abuse and harassment more than ever. The main vehicle of this focus has been through increased safeguarding compliance and due diligence requirements. Such requirements apply to a wide range of funding mechanisms, for example government funding and funds dispersed from bilaterial and multilateral development finance institutions. However, such processes have limited ability to meaningfully support those delivering ODA to have effective and efficient safeguards in place to protect their personnel, constituents and service users. What often happens is organisations and companies put tokenistic and inadequate measures in place to meet minimum compliance standards, or staff do not understand the safeguarding systems that do exist.

SDDirect’s Safeguarding Assessment Framework and Roadmap for Organisations (SAFR Orgs) approach solves this challenge by working closely with clients to undergo an in-depth assessment of their safeguarding work to identify strengths, gaps and key risks, with a particular focus on sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment. Our SAFR Orgs approach provides comprehensive insights and analysis into a client’s safeguarding policies, procedures and practice, identifying and prioritising areas where safeguarding risks are highest and where approaches can be strengthened. We take the findings from the assessment and work with clients to develop an action plan to address the biggest priorities. The SAFR Orgs approach has been developed in line with international safeguarding standards and draws on good practice from development, humanitarian and private sectors.

Our approach is tailored to meet each client’s specific needs, whether it is an organisation-wide safeguarding assessment or focusing on a specific programme or service. After understanding the client’s needs, we develop an assessment framework that includes the relevant focus areas outlined below:

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The assessment process utilises a range of methods involving stakeholders from across the organisation. Our team of experts will work with the client to assess the data and present the findings of the assessment, together with recommendations for addressing identified gaps, risks and organisational priorities.

We don’t just stop at providing safeguarding assessments. Our safeguarding technical experts implement recommendations stemming from the SAFR Orgs findings to strengthen the client’s safeguarding work. Examples of the technical support we provide includes policy and procedure development, delivering safeguarding training, mentoring and producing briefs on technical safeguarding issues.

Our SAFR Orgs approach is an effective means to assess safeguarding measures with a range of clients and in any context, whether it be government agencies, private sector companies, development or humanitarian programmes.

Overview of the SAFR Orgs approach
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If you would like to hear more about our SAFR Orgs service, please reach out to Anna Gawn, Head of Safeguarding Portfolio, at