Code of Conduct

June 2011

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.  Inspired by our Christian values, we are dedicated to working with the world’s most vulnerable people.  We serve all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.

World Vision is strongly committed to observe the highest ethical and moral standards in all its procurement activities including safeguarding of children and adults in our programmes.  This Code of Conduct provides a set of principles and behaviours in our everyday conduct of business, ensuring internationally recognized procurement ethics are followed.  Standard elements of good business practice should also be applied. The Code of Conduct is applicable to staff from all World Vision and Vision Fund entities (WV/VF), and extends to suppliers, contractors, volunteers, and Board Members.  To ensure WV/VF is donor complaint, we will adhere to donor procurement requirements, where applicable.  Suppliers and their sub-contractors must sign the Code of Conduct, acknowledging agreement to abide by the principles herein.

WV/VF expects its suppliers to:

Improve value for money –

1) Actively seek to demonstrate and improve results, and reduce costs through the life of the Long Term Agreement, and/or Purchase Orders.

  • Price appropriately and honestly to reflect requirements and risks.
  • Proactively pursuing continuous improvement to reduce waste and improve efficiency across the organization and wider supply chain
  • Earn fair but not excessive rewards

2) Act with Professionalism and integrity –

  • Be honest and realistic about capacity and capability when bidding.
  • World Vision expects that its suppliers encourage and work with their own suppliers and subcontractors to ensure that they strive to           meet the principles of this Code of Conduct, and be able to demonstrate this as and when required.
  • Work collaboratively to build professional business relationships, including with World Vision staff.
  • Act in a manner that supports the development of a mature and ethical business relationship with WV/VF.
  • Demonstrate clear, active commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • Be cleared of any outstanding legal judgements filed within the past three years.

3) Be accountable –

  • Apply pricing structures that align payments to results and reflect a more balanced sharing of performance risk.
  • Expect to be held accountable for delivery and accept responsibility for their role, including being honest when things go wrong so that  lessons can be learned.

4) Align with WV/VF –

  • Apply a strong emphasis on building local capacity by seeking ways to develop local markets and institutions, and avoid the use of restrictive exclusivity agreements.
  • Be able to operate across all WV/VF offices, including in fragile and conflict affected areas.
  • Share and transfer innovation and knowledge of best practices to maximize overall development impact.
  • Accept that WV/VF works in challenging environments and act to manage uncertainty and change in a way which protects value for money.
  • Reflect WV/VF international development goals and demonstrate their commitment to poverty reduction.

5) Agree to avoid any Conflict of Interest—

In order to avoid a conflict of interest, Suppliers or contractors agree to disclose the following to WV:

  • whether the Supplier or Contractor, or a relative of the Supplier or Contractor, receive(s) financial benefits from WV/VF.  (This would include such things as serving as an employee, agent or independent contractor of WV/VF).
  • whether the Supplier or Contractor has existing business dealings with WV/VF. (This would include such things as being a consultant, a service provider, or is a supplier for WV/VF)
  • whether the Supplier or Contractor has a family or business relationship (outside of WV/VF) with a member of the WVI or VFI board, or with a member of the WVI or VFI senior management team.

In addition, the Supplier or Contractor confirm(s) that they have no relationship, business affiliation, involvement, association, position, financial interest, and haven’t received any gift, loan, or have engaged in any other transaction requiring disclosure under the World Vision or VisionFund Conflict of Interest Policy. 

6) Observe International Labour Conventions –

  • WV/VF expects its suppliers, and their sub-contractors to observe International Labour Conventions
  • Prohibit any use of forced, bonded, or indentured labour or involuntary detention labour
  •  Prohibit the use of child labour
  • Prohibit any form of discrimination in hiring and employment practices on the ground of race, colour, religion, gender, ethnicity, age, physical disability
  • Comply with local law in terms, of wages, working hours, and freedom to association and right to organize and bargain collectively
  • Support and respect the protection of human rights and to ensure that they are not complicit in the abuse of human rights
  • Ensure that they operate a safe and healthy workplace or any other place where production or work is undertaken

7) Comply with WV’s Child and Adult Safeguarding Policy -

  • Suppliers or Contractors engaged in situations where they—or their employees or subcontractors—may have access to children or adult beneficiaries in WV programmes or to personal data about such children or adult beneficiaries, must comply with the Safeguarding Behaviour Protocol (see page 4 below)
  • Any incidents of harm or risk of harm to children or to adult beneficiaries will be reported immediately to WV
  • Any individuals with access to children or adult beneficiaries, or to personal data about such persons, will have a current clean criminal background check for offenses against children or abuse of adults, to the extent permitted by law (evidence of which will be provided to WV upon request)

8) Have a strong Environmental Policy –

  • WV/VF expects its suppliers to have an effective environmental policy and comply with existing legislation and regulations to protect the environment.
  • Suppliers are expected to undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility and encourage the use of environmental friendly technologies.
  • Suppliers should obtain wherever possible, a certified quality management system.

9) Anti-corruption and Bribery –

  • World Vision expects its suppliers to adhere to the highest standards of moral and ethical conduct, including extortion, fraud, and bribery.
  • Apply a zero tolerance approach to corruption and fraud, with top-quality risk management.
  • Disclose any situation that may appear as a conflict of interest. Complete disclosure form on page 3 below.
  • Agree to blocked party screening and criminal back ground checks
CONFLICT OF INTEREST DISCLOSURE LETTER

World Vision standard form, enhanced for Suppliers

Having read the World Vision(WV) Code of Conduct and examined my(our) relationships with World Vision or Vision Fund (VF), and noting that if in doubt a relationship should be disclosed for further discussion, I have carefully reviewed each of the four statements below and marked either “yes” or “no” for each.

Note that “WV/VF” as used below refers to any World Vision or VisionFund entity, including affiliated microfinance institutions. “A relative” refers to any individual related by blood or marriage.  Circle the appropriate answer for each statement below:

1.  Yes / No      I/my company/business (or a relative of mine) receive(s) financial benefits from WV/VF.  (This would include such things as serving as a volunteer or a beneficiary of WV/VF).  [If answer yes, please provide details at the end of this form.]

2.  Yes / No      I or a relative of mine is a current employee for WV/VF. [If answer yes, please provide details at the end of this form.]

3.  Yes / No      I/my company (or a relative of mine) has existing business dealings with WV/VF. (This would include such things as being a consultant, a service provider, or is a supplier for WV/VF) [If answer yes, please provide details at the end of this form.]

4.  Yes / No      I/my company has a family or business relationship (outside of WV/VF) with a member of the WVI or VFI board, or with a member of the WVI or VFI senior management team. [If answer yes, please provide details at the end of this form.]

Please describe below the details of any positive response for items 1 – 4 above, and/or any other potential conflicts of interest, or any comments you may wish to make on the matters disclosed above.  If more space is needed, kindly attach an additional sheet.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

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Check this box if you agree to the statement: I hereby certify that my answers to statements 1 – 4 above are accurate.  If I have indicated “no” for all of statements 1- 4, I confirm that I have no relationships, business affiliations, involvements, associations, positions, financial interests, gifts, loans or other transactions requiring disclosure under the World Vision or VisionFund Conflict of Interest Policy.

CHILD AND ADULT SAFEGUARDING BEHAVIOUR PROTOCOL

The protection of vulnerable children and adults in World Vision’s programs is essential to all aspects of our work.  A core element of everything we do is our commitment of not harming beneficiary children and adults, respecting the beneficiaries’ rights and defending their best interests as a major consideration in any actions and decisions.

Therefore, Suppliers and/or Affiliates and their staff (i.e. World Vision partners, suppliers, contractors, consultants, and/or volunteers), shall behave in ways that protect children or adult beneficiaries, prevent sexual exploitation and abuse, and prevent any other intentional or unintentional harm to the people WV serves or works amongst.

All Suppliers and Affiliates abide by these protocols in their activities with WV, for all children anywhere and for all adult beneficiaries. In regards to safeguarding, WV uses a broad, working definition of ‘beneficiary’ to include not only direct beneficiaries of a particular project, but also any child or adult who might suffer harm caused by Suppliers or Affiliates as part of conducting business with WV where WV has programme presence.

Acceptable Behaviour – Suppliers and Affiliates (and their staff):
  1. create and maintain an environment which prevents sexual exploitation and abuse of children and adult beneficiaries and promotes the implementation of these Behaviour Protocols;
  2. are careful about perception and appearance in their language, actions and relationships with children and vulnerable beneficiaries. Their behaviour—including in person and on digital platforms, both online and offline—demonstrates a respect for children and adult beneficiaries and their rights;
  3. ensure that all physical and online contact with children and beneficiaries is appropriate in the local culture;
  4. use positive, non-violent methods to manage children’s behaviour;
  5. accept responsibility for personal behaviour and actions as a representative of the organisation;
  6. are always accountable for their response to a child’s behaviour, even if a child behaves in a sexually inappropriate manner; adults avoid being placed in a compromising or vulnerable
  7. position with children;
  8. where possible and practical, follow the ‘two-adult’ rule while conducting WV work, wherein two or more adults supervise all activities that involve children, and are visible and present at all times;
  9. comply with safeguarding related investigations (internal and external) and make available any documentary or other information necessary for the completion of the investigation;
  10. comply with applicable data privacy laws and with relevant WV data privacy and information security policies, including WV digital child safeguarding protocols, when handling any personal data about individual children or adult beneficiaries, noting in general that collecting or using such data must be limited to the minimum necessary, and that such data must be maintained and transferred in a secure, confidential manner;
  11. immediately report through established reporting mechanisms any known or suspected safeguarding incident or breach of this Policy by a WV employee or affiliate, or a humanitarian aid worker from any other agency. ‘Humanitarian aid worker’ includes all paid employees, volunteers, contractors, and other affiliates of organisations providing emergency relief or development aid. Such organisations include UN agencies, INGOs, LNGOs, and CBOs.
Unacceptable Behaviour – Suppliers and Affiliates (and their staff) do not:
  1. behave in an inappropriate physical manner, or develop a sexual relationship with a child (under 18 years old), regardless of the country specific legal age of consent or age of majority. This also includes consenting or condoning the above behaviour (including fostering or condoning child marriage (under 18 years old));
  2. develop or seek a sexual relationship with any beneficiary of any age; such relationships are not acceptable and will not be tolerated since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics. Such relationships undermine the credibility and integrity of WV's humanitarian aid or development work;
  3. sexually exploit or abuse any beneficiary (adult or child); such behaviour constitutes an act of gross misconduct;
  4. exchange money, employment, goods, or services for sex (including sexual favours, other forms of humiliating, degrading, or exploitative behaviour, or hiring sex workers) or other exploitative demands is strictly prohibited. This includes exchange of assistance that is already due to beneficiaries;
  5. fondle, hold, kiss, hug or touch children or adult beneficiaries in an inappropriate or culturally insensitive way;
  6. use language, make suggestions or offer advice to a child or adult beneficiary which is inappropriate or abusive, including language that causes shame or humiliation, or is belittling or degrading;
  7. spend excessive or unnecessary time alone with a child or adult beneficiary, away from others or behind closed doors or in a secluded area;
  8. condone or participate in behaviour with children or adult beneficiaries which is illegal, unsafe or abusive; including harmful traditional practices, spiritual or ritualistic abuse;
  9. hire children in any form of child labour (including as “house help”) unless it is within the best interest of the child and in alignment with local law and international standards (‘Child labour’ is work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children, or that interferes with their schooling. ‘Child work’ in contrast may be beneficial if permitted by International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions and puts the child’s interests ahead of any benefits gained by adults.);
  10. hit or use other corporal punishment against a child while the child is in WV care or the WV employee or affiliate is conducting WV work;
  11. take a child alone in a vehicle for WV work, unless it is absolutely necessary, and with parental/guardian and managerial consent;
  12. misuse or be careless with personal data about individual children or adult beneficiaries;
  13. communicate with a child in WV's program areas via digital platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter), via mobile technology (e.g. texting, Whatsapp, Skype), or online without consent and knowledge of his/her parents. Further, WV employees or affiliates never communicate on mobile, digital or online platforms with children or adult beneficiaries in ways that are inappropriate or sexual;
  14. stay silent, cover up, or enable any known or suspected safeguarding incident or breach of Safeguarding Policy by a WV employee or affiliate.

Check this box if you agree to the statement: I have read, fully understand, and agree to comply with World Vision’s Child and Adult Safeguarding Behaviour Protocols above.

WV Supplier Code of Conduct Statement of Acknowledgement

My signature below confirms that I/we/supplier, have read, fully understand and agree to WV’s Supplier Code of Conduct principles set forth above and authorizes WV to conduct all background checks as applicable. I understand that any action inconsistent with this Supplier Code of Conduct, including failure to take action mandated by these protocols may result in termination of the business relationship with World Vision.