How we operate

Under its humanitarian, development and advocacy umbrellas ACT Alliance responds to the changing and volatile contexts that we are facing today through holistic and integrated programmes that build on the distinct mandates and specialties of our members.

When a humanitarian crisis strikes the humanitarian team at the Secretariat receives the forums’ alerts and responds by developing appeals, in coordination with relevant ACT members, or by disbursing Rapid Response Funds. Our ability to react swiftly and efficiently is key to the wellbeing of the communities we try to help.

Advocating for the dignity and rights of the most marginalized is an integral part of our mission. Together with our members and ecumenical partners, we advocate in different forums at the global, regional and national levels to promote and defend human rights, gender equality and justice and climate justice. We are also involved in different UN initiatives and groups to ensure that the voice of our members is heard, and a faith perspective is integrated in the decision-making processes.

We support, coordinate and facilitate long-term sustainable development activities around the world. We seek participatory methods of community-based development programming that inspire innovative ways of addressing needs within communities, and we promote people-centred approaches to development that meet the unique needs of vulnerable populations.

A Forum-centered Alliance

ACT Alliance’s national, sub-regional and regional forums are a unique feature of the alliance. They are the meeting point where all ACT members operating in specific countries and regions come together as equals to work collaboratively on humanitarian response, sustainable development and advocacy initiatives and programmes, linking with local churches and organisations as key partners in advancing this work.


Key Structures

The general assembly of the ACT Alliance meets physically every six years. An electronic assembly is held every three years in between physical assemblies. General Assembly meetings bring together all the voting and observer members to elect the governing bodies, vote on statutes, build the engagement in the alliance, and discuss other matters before the membership.

ACT’s Governing Board governs the Alliance between general assemblies and ensures that the Alliance meets its overall objectives. It is accountable to the ACT members through the General Assembly.

Please, check ACT Alliance 2024 Assembly details on this page.


Has the overall responsibility for the governance of the ACT Alliance between General Assemblies. It approves policies that affect the alliance. ​

Moderator: Erik Lysén , (Europe – Western)
Vice Moderator: Minnie Anne Mata-Calub , (Asia)
Treasurer: Simangaliso Hove, (Africa)

Full list of representatives
Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, ACT Alliance General Secretary (Ex Officio);

Evans Onyemara,(Africa),

Yilikal Shiferaw, (Africa);

Karen Janjua,(Africa);

Sungjae Kim, (Asia);

Tsovinar Ghazaryan,(Europe Eastern);

Martin Kessler, (Europe Western);

Rommie Nauta, (Europe Western);

Judith Castaneda, (LAC);

Joel Ortega Dopico, (LAC);

Nicolas Rosenthal, (LAC);

Rima Nasrallah, (MENA);

Guy Smagghe, (North America);

Laurie Kraus, (North America);

Casey Harden ( Global)

Janet Cousens, (Pacific)

Sally Azar, (Youth);

Embla Regine Mathisen, (Youth);

Maria Immonen, (Permanent Seat, LWF)

Kenneth Mtata, (Permanent Seat, WCC)

Has the responsibility:

To supervise the implementation of policy and exercise responsibility for membership and financial decisions between meetings of the Governing Board.

To grant interim approval of policies and procedures for the ACT Alliance for the eventual ratification by the Governing Board.

On behalf of the Governing Board, to provide support and advice to the General Secretary on all issues.

To receive progress reports from the Secretariat on all activities undertaken according to the Strategic Plan.

Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, ACT Alliance General Secretary, Ex Officio
Erik Lysén, Act Church of Sweden, Europe, Moderator
Minnieanne Mata Calub, National Council of Churches, Philippines, Asia, Vice-moderator
Simangaliso Hove, Lutheran Development Services, Zimbabwe, Africa, Treasurer
Maria Immonen,  Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Global
Nicolás Rosenthal, Fundación Protestante de Diaconía Hora de Obrar para el Desarollo Social y Ambiental (Hora de Obrar), Latin America and the Caribbean
Laurie Kraus, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance- Presbyterian Church (USA), Northa America
Kenneth Mtata, World Council of Churches, Permanent seat
Sally Azar, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), MENA, Youth

The Membership and Nominations Committee has two broad functions, to advise on membership issues and to prepare slates for election to the Governing Board.

Chair: Marie Anne Sliwinski, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), North America
Co-chair: Patrick Watt, Christian Aid (CA), Europe
Joanne Knight, Anglican Overseas Aid -Austarlia, Asia/Pacifid
Evelyn Botros, Bishopric of Public, Ecumenical and Social Services (BLESS), MENA
Lorenzo Mota-King, Social Services of Dominican Churches (SSID), LAC

The purpose of the Reference Groups is to advise and support the Secretariat in implementation of the Global Strategy 2019-2026 in the thematic and programmatic areas. The Reference Groups form a fixed ‘strategic hub’ of expertise for a 4 year period. The groups will strategically advise and operationally support the development of strategies/implementation plans and policies for the thematic and programmatic area, and support the implementation of the ACT Global Strategy in the thematic and programmatic area. The group also needs to ensure the nexus between humanitarian-development-advocacy.

Peace and Security
Secretariat focal point: Elizabeth Zimba Kisiigha

Co-chairs: Nishant Neel (CASA), Tanja Viiki (Felm)

Climate Justice

Secretariat focal point: Julius Mbatia

Co-chairs: Patriciah Roy Akullo (ACT Uganda Forum) and Mattias Söderberg (DCA)

Emergency Preparedness and Humanitarian Response
Secretariat focal point: Niall O’Rourke

Co-chairs: Joseph Sahayam  (CASA), Hilda Timmermann (KIA)

Advocacy and Policy
Secretariat focal point: Alison Kelly, Marianna Leite

Co-chairs: Eva Ekelund ( Act Cos), Philemon Jazi (Diakonia)

Secretariat focal point: Christian Wolf

Co-chairs: Andrew Fuys (CWS)

Quality and Accountability
Secretariat focal point: Rizwan Iqbal

Co-chairs: Coleen Heemskerk (Act CoS), John Gilmore (Act for Peace)


The purpose of the ACT Communities of Practice (CoPs) is to create and support spaces within the alliance for members to work together on issues of common interest and concern to the alliance and its members.

ACT CoPs are established to work on issues:

  • that are in line with and support implementation of the Alliance’s strategic plan
  • that relate to the humanitarian, development or advocacy work of members
  • where members and observers believe that they can be more effective by working together under the name of ACT
  • on which members and observers are willing to commit time, energy and resources

Climate Justice

Co-chairs: Joel Kelling (Anglican Alliance), Devar Sher (AHC)

Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation

Co-chairs: Kirsten Kok (KIA), Michael Kendagor (CWS)

Gender Equality and Justice

Chair: Palwashay Arbab (CWSA)

Religion and Development

Co-chairs: Bob Kikuyu (Christian Aid),  Corrie van der Ven (Kerk in Actie)


Co-chairs: Anne Fitzpatrick (ALWS), Jacinta Harford (ALWS)


Chair:  George Stephan (DSPR)

UN Tax Convention

Chair: Anne Grete Larsen (NCA)

Safety and Security 

Chair: Lasse Lampinen, Felm

Co-chair: Andrew Eckert, Christian Aid


ACT Alliance’s national, sub-regional and regional forums are a unique feature of the alliance. They are the meeting point where all ACT members operating in specific countries and regions come together as equals to work collaboratively on humanitarian response, sustainable development and advocacy initiatives and programmes, linking with local churches and organisations as key partners in advancing this work. In order to meet the needs of those ACT Alliance seeks to serve, ACT Forums establish mechanisms to work in a cohesive and effective way, working under the same principles and standards, and upholding accountability in all dimensions.

ACT forums are part of ACT Alliance as one of its basic structures. They foster joint planning, implementation and monitoring as a way to enhance effectiveness and impact. They invest in the capacity development of all members, taking advantage of the different skills and expertise within the alliance. ACT forums are shared platforms of Voting members and Observer members of ACT Alliance. They are engaged in working together in a particular country, sub-region or region, with common interests defined broadly by their commitment to the mission, vision and values of ACT Alliance. In joining ACT Alliance2, all members have committed themselves to collaborate and work closely together, leading to situation-specific responses, programmes and initiatives and through actively participating in the life and different structures of ACT Alliance where they exist.

Full list of Forums

Read the ACT Alliance’s National, Sub-Regional and Regional Forums Policy

Diversity, justice and accountability

At ACT Alliance diversity, justice, inclusion and accountability are at the core of who we are. These principles are part of our mission and the vision for our impact worldwide.

We believe in and we push for a localization agenda that promotes the role of local actors. We work with local communities and empower them to become more resilient and independent from international aid and support. For this reason, we have changed our structure to make sure that our regional, sub-regional and national forums are at the center of the change we want to see in the world.

We support diversity and inclusion as we believe that different ideas, skills and perspectives make our alliance better and stronger. As part of this strive, we promote the implementation of a gender justice policy across our membership and we push for the internal recruitment of diverse staff members who are best fit to fight inequality and call for justice.

ACT Alliance is a signatory to the highest humanitarian codes and standards, including the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief.

ACT Alliance is a member of the International Council for Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response (SCHR) and a member of the CHS Alliance.

ACT is committed to the Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response and has a seat on the Sphere Board.

ACT is also a member of Reuters AlertNet.

The ACT Alliance Secretariat is certified against the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability, and a copy of the maintenance audit 2020 is available here.

60 %

Staff members are women

62 %

Executive Board members are women


Nationalities in the Secretariat

Core Humanitarian Standard

The Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS)  places communities and people affected by crisis at the centre of humanitarian action. As a core standard, the CHS describes the essential elements of principled, accountable and high-quality humanitarian aid. It is a voluntary and measurable standard.

The ACT Alliance Secretariat is certified against the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability.The latest audit report is available here