Background

Plan International’s vision is a world in which all children, regardless of religious, political, or cultural beliefs and affiliations, realise their full potential in societies that respect people’s rights and dignity. Plan International is guided by the international human rights framework, and therefore respects and works to protect all peoples civil, political and cultural rights regarding religious and political belief and expression. Plan works in both development and humanitarian contexts.

Over recent decades there has been a significant shift in the focus of international development assistance, from a welfare approach to a development approach, and increasingly towards a right based approach. The International agenda is firmly focused on achieving sustainable development for all that is based on building the capacity of individuals, communities and nations to lead their own development process.

Purpose

This Policy articulates Plan International Australia’s understanding of welfare in contrast to development, position on directing all Plan International Australia funding towards activities that contribute to sustainable development and long term positive change for communities.

This policy meets DFAT’s principle of sustained or lasting benefits, which ‘recognises that the success of a development activity is closely linked to the degree to which its benefits have a lasting impact and do not create dependency. The activity itself does not need to be sustained or demonstrate that it is sustainable, but the benefits which have resulted from the activity should be lasting and able to be sustained’. (DFAT, 2016)

This policy utilises DFAT’s definition of welfare activities as ‘care and maintenance, which aims to maintain people in a particular condition on a longer-term basis’ and which are typically: implemented independently of other sustainable community development activities; include no Development and Welfare Policy Plan International Australia 2 strategy for integration into broader community development programs; provided on an individual or family basis, rather than on a community basis, and are unconnected to emergency needs; and, implemented on a long term basis with no clear exit strategy. (DFAT, 2018)

Scope

This Policy articulates Plan International Australia’s definition of development, in contrast to welfare, activity.

This Policy provides guidance for all organisational functions of Plan International Australia, in particular that of development programming.

This Policy is relevant to all organisational functions of Plan International Australia including programming, advocacy and fundraising activities, and the establishment of partnerships with other organisations/entities. This is a Plan International Australia policy aligned to relevant Plan International policy.

Policy statement/s

Plan’s vision is of a world in which all children realise their full potential in societies that respect people’s rights and dignity.

Plan International Australia believes that individual needs are best met through long-term integrated and sustainable development programmes. We seek to continuously improve the quality and reach of our development programmes and in particular ensure that those children who are most at risk through gender, ethnicity, caste, illness, disability or extreme poverty benefit and contribute to the development process personally or through informed advocacy.

Plan utilises a Theory of Change approach for its programme and influence work that enhances the long term impact for children and communities. In addition, Plan’s Global Policy on Programme and Influence Quality sets out a commitment to attain long term impact through ‘the highest standards of quality for our work across all technical areas and at all levels. This is achieved through rights-based, gender transformative and accountable programme and influence work, which builds upon evidence, partnerships, meaningful participation and efficient use of resources. Quality work must contribute to lasting change and positive impact for children’. (PII, 2017) The Plan Programme and Influence Quality Procedures set out the implementation modalities for achieving this Policy.

Plan International Australia recognises that at times individual children and families require specific support. However, this will always be provided within a wider development framework recognising that individual and direct assistance will not make an impact on the root causes of poverty nor lead to long term sustainable development outcomes. In humanitarian responses, individual or household assistance to meet immediate needs (distribution of clothing, food, seed, temporary housing) may be provided as part of a consolidated relief response, and will meet the relevant principles and standards.

Funds raised from private donors in Australia by Plan International Australia are used to achieve lasting change for children through the delivery of community development programmes and/or influence activities. DFAT funds are applied according to applicable DFAT policy and contract provisions for eligible activity.

Roles and responsibilities

All PIA staff and management are responsible for the application of this policy.

Related legislation & Plan policy

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2016 Overseas Aid Gift Deduction Scheme: Guidelines.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2018, Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) Manual 

Plan International, 2017 Global Policy on Programme and Influence Quality