Code of conduct.

I. Powerful women, healthy societies

Unequal power structures result in the exclusion of women’s and girls’ voices at decision-making platforms. In turn, this negatively impacts women’s and girls’ health and rights.

That is why we work for a world where all women and girls enjoy their human rights to water and sanitation, resulting in healthier and just societies.
Jointly, we fight for equality and overcome barriers for women and girls to claim these rights.

Women and girls in disadvantaged situations are disproportionately affected by inadequate access to water and sanitation because of cultural and social factors and sex-related needs around menstruation and pregnancy.

Our work is informed by three guiding principles: social justice, feminist leadership and climate justice. These principles are both a means and a goal. They represent the values and approaches that guide our work while at the same time we aim to embed these principles deeper into society and decision-making.

We identify two mutually reinforcing intervention strategies that fit our role, position and expertise in the international development sector:

  1. Influencing duty bearers, policymakers, funders, civil society actors, and private actors to promote and ensure women’s and girls’ human rights to water and sanitation.
  2. Collaborating with civil society actors to strengthen their leadership to realise these rights for women and girls.

In performing its tasks, it is vital to Simavi that the organisation, and everyone that works for or on behalf of the organisation, adheres to the principles that constitute Simavi’s foundation. These principles are described below.

Simavi furthermore wishes to provide a positive, learning and stimulating environment for staff members, volunteers and partners, where equality and mutual respect are a matter of course and where everyone has a participative say in and is responsible for his or her own work and function. It is therefore important to create maximum clarity within the organisation, with respect to the basic principles that everyone should observe, and in so doing to embed these in the organisation.

In order to achieve continuous attention, application and internalisation of these principals, Simavi will regularly communicate, discuss and, if needed, review these principles.

This Code of Conduct applies to Simavi as organisation and to all persons that work in, for, or on behalf of Simavi. The code is in part based on the Code of Conduct of Goede Doelen Nederland (GDN, the association of fundraising organisations in the Netherlands). Simavi endorses the Code of Conduct of GDN.

II. Stakeholders

In performing its work, Simavi deals with individual persons, groups and a wide range of agencies. On account of the nature and objective of Simavi as a fundraising charity organisation engaging in development cooperation, Simavi acknowledges responsibilities towards:


Whereby the donors are defined as all persons, groups, foundations and institutions that, pro-bono and voluntarily, support our programmes by giving money and/or goods in-kind.

Motivation: trust in the proper allocation and the voluntary contribution of the donor constitutes the basis of fundraising for the causes concerned.


Whereby the objectives are defined as the goals, as presented by Simavi in its communications, campaigns and proposals. These are primarily development programmes/projects supported by Simavi, conducted by partner organisations in the target countries. These also comprise public awareness activities in the Netherlands and other western countries.

Motivation: this constitutes the core of Simavi’s objectives and activities.

Staff members

Staff members are all persons employed by Simavi.

Motivation: the staff members constitute Simavi’s daily face to the world.


Volunteers are defined as the persons that, pro-bono and voluntarily, make themselves available for Simavi activities. This includes supervisory board members, ambassadors, public information providers, campaign staff and other volunteers.

Motivation: volunteers also constitute Simavi’s face to the world. Their efforts are moreover vital to and interwoven with Simavi’s continued existence, making a permanent focus on their optimum deployment and appreciation for their dedication indispensable.

Partner organisations

Partner organisations are defined as the organisations operating in a target country, supported by Simavi in their performance of development projects.

Motivation: partner organisations co-create and execute the programmes and form link to the actual target groups. These organisations thereby constitute the critical factor in an effective and efficient performance of activities.

Target groups

Simavi’s target groups are the women and girls whose lives are affected by our programmes as executed by the local partner organisations.

Motivation: It is Simavi’s objective to structurally ensure the right to water and sanitation of these people.

(Alliance) Partners

(Alliance) partners are defined as institutions that focus their fundraising activities on the Dutch (or European/International) public, with whom we cooperate and whose objective is to engage in development cooperation.

Motivation: each institution is part of a larger whole in which the conduct of the one institution affects the functioning of other institutions.


Whereby the society is the social environment in which Simavi functions, both in the Netherlands, the western world and in the developing countries where Simavi operates.

Motivation: institutions have social significance and fulfil public functions.

III. Core values

Simavi holds that its activities must be governed by a number of guiding principles, referred to as core values.

Our core values are: Sustainable, Empowering, Connecting, Inspiring and Just

  • Sustainable: We commit to sharing the consequences of climate change equitably. Our activities are meaningful, efficient and effective, ensuring a lasting positive change, respecting people and the planet.
  • Empowering: We believe in the power and passion of people to develop their talents and enhance change. We lead by example, think outside the box and challenge the status quo.
  • Connecting: We put our heart and soul into what we do. We are open, authentic empathetic. By cooperating and sharing, we learn and improve continuously. Our inclusive and participatory collaboration means we can reach further.
  • Inspiring: We strive to inspire within our field by encouraging creativity and innovation and being open to new ideas and perspectives. At the same time, we are inspired by engaging individuals, like-minded organisations, movements and networks.
  • Just: We fight for equality and strive for a just world where all people are treated fairly, have equal chances and power and resources are distributed equally. We encourage diversity and appreciate differences between people, cultures and organisations.

IV. Elaboration of the core values

The core values listed above govern what persons associated with Simavi will do and will not do. In practice, these values concretely impact Simavi’s relations with the donors, with partner organisations and target groups, and Simavi’s interaction with and among employees and volunteers, with (alliance) partners and the societies in which Simavi operates.

Adhering to the Code of Conduct means that all persons involved can be confident that they will be treated with respect and will equally be expected to treat others with respect. That they will not be subjected to undesirable conduct and will equally be expected to refrain from undesirable conduct, being:

  • Sexual harassment/intimidation: unwelcome and/or unsolicited attention in the form of requests for sexual favours or other verbal, non-verbal or physical behaviour (including the unsolicited sending or overt viewing of pornographic images or texts, e.g. via Internet); sexual violence; all other non-consensual sexual or intimate behaviour. See also: what is sexual harassment
  • Intimidation, aggression and violence: subjecting others to harassment, psychological or physical bullying, intimidation, humiliation or assault.
  • Discrimination: subjecting persons to statements, actions or decisions, in any shape or form, that are offensive to those persons on account of their race, religion, gender, personal persuasion and/or sexual orientation, or applying any distinctions on the grounds of these factors (race, religion, and so on).
  • Bribery and corruption: offering of or soliciting for unpermitted favours in exchange for money, return favours or for (personal) gains.
  • Fraud and theft: tax evasion, abuse of any kind of information, means, funds or services, to which a person has access.Abuse of power: conflicting interests, all forms of nepotism, favouritism, inappropriate use or leakage of confidential information, neglect.
  • Abuse of power: conflicting interests, all forms of nepotism, favouritism, inappropriate use or leakage of confidential information, neglect.

a. The donors can be confident that:

  1. the provided information regarding the cause of the campaigns are complete, accurate and comprehensible;
  2. the donor and beneficiary are shown due respect in fundraising campaigning;
  3. all activities are performed with the aim of achieving maximum quality;
  4. of the resources received, as much as possible is allocated to the intended purpose;
  5. complete, honest and comprehensible accountability is provided concerning the allocation of resources and the activities performed towards achieving the objective.

b. The beneficiary partners, organisations and target groups can be confident that:

  1. individual persons and the local culture and society are treated with respect;
  2. all activities towards realising the objective are performed with the aim of achieving maximum quality, sustainability and impact;
  3. no distinction is made with regard to race, religion, nationality, gender or sexual orientation in the selection of beneficiaries;
  4. the interventions do not seek to promote any party-political or religious aims, but solely to achieve the above mentioned objective of Simavi;
  5. interventions and prioritisation of the interventions is based on the real needs and rights of the target groups, and that they are actively participating herein;
  6. the interventions draw upon and strengthen, as much as possible, locally available capacities and resources;
  7. the safeguarding of children is given priority in all activities (Please also refer to the Simavi Child Safeguarding policy).

c. Staff members and volunteers can be confident that:

  1. generally accepted rules and standards of good employment are observed with understanding for local and cultural habits, insofar as these apply to their activities;
  2. proper conditions are created for their efforts;
  3. they are suitably appreciated for their efforts.

d. The (alliance and business) partners can be confident that:

  1. mutual respect is shown;
  2. there is a willingness to confer with regard to common interests;
  3. efforts are made to coordinate and to collaborate in campaigning and in project- and partner support provided as well as monitoring and evaluation of partners;
  4. no negative comments are made about each other in public.

e. Every society where Simavi operates can be confident that:

  1. generally accepted norms and values are observed, both in terms of social behaviour and of the principles of the democratic constitutional state;
  2. at all times, the willingness exists and is expressed to confer and converse with relevant community and political groups about Simavi’s functioning.

V. Concluding provisions

  1. Simavi pursues integrity and shares the responsibility for the social and political acceptance and perception of the development sector and the fundraising sector as a whole.
  2. Simavi is committed to collaboration, both within the sector and with other parties involved.
  3. Simavi is loyally devoted to implementing the self-regulatory activities defined and supported by GDN.
  4. Simavi has a complaints procedure, which is published on our website.
  5. Simavi is committed to act in case any of these principles is (threatened to be) violated, in order to protect the victims, to restore justice and to prevent repetition of such violation.

Therefore, Simavi strongly encourages the filing of complaints and reporting of (suspected) undesirable conduct or other practices that violate this Code of Conduct, please report this using the procedure of the Simavi Complaint policy or of the Whistle-blower policy.

Related policies (available on request)

  • Simavi Complaint Policy
  • Anti-Fraud and Anti-Bribery and corruption Policy
  • Simavi Child Safeguarding Policy
  • Whistle-blower Policy

Contact address:

Stichting Simavi
Naritaweg 135
1043 BS Amsterdam

The Netherlands
Telephone: + 31 (0)88 31 31 500


Revised and approved: November 2021
Ms Ariette Brouwer
Managing Director

Esther Oeganda

Everbody has the human right to safe water and sanitation.

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