27th July 2015

In an effort to achieve high quality, ACT strives to meet and even surpass the expectations of its stakeholders, i.e., ACT members and their partners, communities with whom ACT members work, donors, supporters and the public. There may however, be occasions when ACT does not meet the reasonable expectations of all stakeholders at all times. ACT stakeholders have a right to raise a concern, give feedback and if necessary lodge a complaint when this occurs.

The ACT Alliance promotes accountable and transparent ways of working with all stakeholders. It encourages its members and the secretariat to address staff and stakeholder concerns quickly and effectively so that issues are resolved to the satisfaction of the concerned person and do not progress to the level of a complaint. Programme level concerns should be raised and discussed with responsible employees as close to the activity as possible.


How to submit a complaint

A complaint should be lodged as soon as possible after the complainant becomes aware of the concern. The secretariat will not accept a complaint more than six months after the alleged incident, except in exceptional circumstances and then only in cases of allegations of abuse, exploitation, gross misconduct or malpractice, where new ‘evidence’ has come to light.

A sample complaint letter format is available here, which serves as a guide and can be adapted as appropriate. When the details have been completed, it can be submitted by email to

Complaints addressed by the ACT policy

The ACT Alliance secretariat will accept the following complaints:

  • complaints against ACT member organisations who, in the course of providing humanitarian and/or development assistance, allegedly fail to apply, enforce, or otherwise implement an ACT Alliance policy;
  • ACT member disputes in relation to ACT funding appeals. Complaints can only be made against ACT Alliance members who have, in one way or another, been involved in an appeal. Complaints against an ACT member by its non-ACT partner in relation to funds received via an ACT appeal will be accepted. Such complaints can only be referred to the ACT secretariat when dispute resolution efforts between both parties fail; and
  • work or behaviour of staff at the ACT secretariat.

Complaints not addressed by the ACT policy

The Alliance secretariat and ACT governance will not accept, but may respond to complaints, such as, but not limited to:

  • Complaints against a partner organisation of an ACT member who is not receiving funds from an ACT funding mechanism. Such complaints must be addressed directly between the partner organisation and the relevant ACT member organisation. Any such complaints received by the secretariat will be referred back to the relevant ACT member for action
  • Complaints related to employment contracts of staff of ACT members and employee terms and conditions. Such complaints are covered by employer human resource polices and staff rules and regulations
  • Complaints that are already the subject of legal proceedings.

The ACT secretariat and ACT governance will not respond to the following complaints:

  • Complaints against a political stand which has being taken by an ACT member. For example, ACT funding members at times receive complaints about their partners from organisations with a different political viewpoint
  • Offensive complaints using inappropriate or abusive language
  • Complaints sent as part of a bulk mail from an unknown source.