Open information approach

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Open information approach

By its nature, our mission to help those living in extreme poverty and in emergency situations puts us in a position of extraordinary responsibility, whether economic, political or social. We believe that organisations such as ours should be open to independent scrutiny – our reputation will never take precedence over the welfare of the communities we work for and with.

Abraham, a Class 3 Teacher fields questions at Baptist Primary School, Rowalla, Sierra Leone. Photo taken by Michael Duff/Concern Worldwide.


Accountability is more than just a buzzword; it is foundational to what we do and how we do it. In our definition, accountability means bearing total responsibility for doing what we say we will do. We back up this conviction by establishing processes where we can listen to complaints or concerns about our work and respond to them effectively.

This ethos runs through our work on every level. We strive towards accountability in our relationships with the people we work directly within our humanitarian and development programmes, with our donors, our staff, our peer organisations and our partner governments.

Why is accountability important?

The world’s poorest are victims of a stark global inequality. Concern attempts to redress this inequality by allowing them an equal say in how we work together. We believe in collaboration – and an open culture is key to collaboration.

Concern’s ability to affect positive change is dependent on maintaining its reputation as a trustworthy, effective organisation. We believe that an emphasis on accountability leads to a higher quality of work. By learning how we are working well and how we are not, we are able to work more sustainably and inclusively towards our ambition of a world free from extreme poverty.

Whether it’s our finances or policies, our successes or mistakes, Concern’s approach to transparency allows access to information about our operations to all.

Read our accountability commitments for more.

What we don’t share

We protect any information that might compromise the security of partners and stakeholders. We are bound to protect the confidential details of both our donors and those who we work for. We will not disclose personal details of staff or internal documents unintended for public circulation.

The basics


Concern is controlled and regulated by its members who have responsibility for the Articles of Association, election of the Council, appointment of the auditors and approval of accounts. The Council of Concern is elected from membership at each AGM.

The maximum number on the Council is 24 and one third must step down every year. The Council meets at least four times per year. The Council is accountable to the relevant government Minister to ensure that we stick to the Companies Act. The Council is also accountable to the general public to make sure donations are used appropriately and effectively.

Find out more about how Concern is governed.

Organisational policies

Concern’s dedication to equality also informs our internal operations. We are an equal opportunities employer and are committed to providing equal access to training and development opportunities. We do not tolerate discrimination in any form, and promote diversity at every level within our organisation.

Concern has been certified against the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS), an internationally recognised standard which outlines what effective and accountable humanitarian action looks like.

Concern’s Code of Conduct and the Associated Policies to Concern's Code of Conduct was developed to protect the people we work with and from abuse and exploitation. Anyone contracted to work with Concern or working on behalf of Concern, must formally agree to follow this policy.

Strategies and plans

Concern’s most recent strategic place was titled ‘Greater Impact in an Increasingly Vulnerable World’, and details the ways in which we respond to emergencies, engage with the world’s poorest people, work to improve child survival and health, combat malnutrition and influence international policy and practice relating to hunger.

You can read the in-depth plan here.


Concern has consistently won awards for the transparency of our accounts (for instance, the Leinster Chartered Accountants Published Accounts award). To find out more about how and where all donations are spent, you can read our annual report.

Read the latest Concern Annual Report.

In our commitment to the highest possible standards of openness, we promote a culture of honesty and opposition to fraud in all its forms.

Find out how we define fraud, and how we work to prevent it

Our fundraising conduct complies with the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising.

Find out more about how our fundraising is conducted.


Concern works with a wide variety of people and charity organisations in its fight against extreme poverty. These partnerships often serve to link up diverse sections of society. Working with governments and organisations at a global level allows us to influence changes in policy that help society’s most vulnerable people to gain their rights. Concern is a member of Alliance2015 and the Disasters Emergency Committee.

Read a list of our top 50 partners.

Complaint process

Our complaint process provides safe, accessible and effective ways for individuals to exercise their right to raise complaints about Concern’s operations, and for a response or redress to be given.

Find out how to make a complaint. [PDF]

What do you want to know?

While we are proactive in sharing of information, we are happy to provide information that you may not be able to find. If you have any questions about Concern’s work, don’t hesitate to contact to us. You can request details by emailing [email protected].