‘Diversity is a fact. Equity is a choice. Inclusion is an action. Belonging is an outcome.’
– Arthur Chan
As rights-based organisations, both Oxfam Novib and Hivos already have strong value statements. All throughout the Voice extension, the consortium seeks to reaffirm the following terms and principles:
Voice recognises the role society plays in marginalisation and discrimination and supports ownership of the influencing agenda by the people concerned. Voice considers terms such as beneficiaries and target groups do not honour the individuals and organisations as rightsholders that can make legitimate claims. Similarly, states and other actors are duty-bearers that are responsible and can be held accountable for their acts or omissions. Putting the rightsholder groups at the centre of Voice therefore requires a changing transformative narrative. Consciously reminding that we’re all rightsholders, avoiding a new form of othering, and recognising each groups demand for human rights, respect and dignity.
Nothing About Us Without Us
Abbreviated to NOW-Us!, this saying stems from the People with Disabilities (PwD) movement. It emphasises that no policy and/or practices should be decided without the full participation of the rightsholders. For Voice, NOW-Us! is also embodied in the modus operandi or way of working, ensuring we walk the talk. Furthermore it emphasises that the rightsholders own their own narrative at all times.
Knowledge generation and exchange should include the people concerned in all aspects and produce accessible information using various media.
Leave No One Behind
Every person – regardless of ethnicity, geography, disability, gender (identity and expression), sexual orientation, race, age or other status – should live their lives freely and fully. We recognise that people have diverse identities as a result may face overlapping forms of exclusion, and are often left behind. Within Voice, we consciously promote taking an intersectional and transformative approach.
The right voices at the table rather than on the menu
As a key to vital inclusive societies and sustainable development, we recognise the critical role of civil society as a platform for different rightsholders to raise their voices. For Voice, this means inclusion, openness, and embracing diversity lie at the heart of all we do and stand for. It also means that we support locally driven agendas which are flexible and need to adapt to changing contexts.
In everything we do we are committed to transparency and open data, where possible.
Innovative approaches are sought in all key components of Voice. Being innovative means not only creating new ways of working but also creating space for improvement in every step of the implementation of Voice, which can entail different steps in different contexts. This implies flexibility, to allow for the implementation of new ideas.
Voice is furthermore innovative, because of its explicit focus on the inclusion of informal civil society organisations, as not all rightsholder groups are formally organised. Also, the space for ‘failures’ is innovative: to encourage experimental and innovative projects, taking risks is allowed and failures are framed as lessons to learn from. The linking and learning process provides an environment for different groups to share and learn from the successes and failures of others.
Safety and Security
In all processes and activities of Voice, the safety and security of all grantees shall be ensured. This includes physical, emotional, and digital safety and security. Depending on the current local context, risks shall always be assessed, and proper mitigation strategies shall be developed. Information/data from grantees shall be protected, following Voice and local data privacy policies.
Voice is committed to providing safe spaces filled with integrity and respect for ALL people as well as for financial resources.