How we operate

Under its humanitariandevelopment 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. 

From November 29 to December 3, 2021, ACT will hold an electronic assembly, with a focus on youth and climate justice. During the assembly, members will : elect the new governing board and membership and nominations committee, address statutory changes, and come together to discuss a variety of issues that are before the alliance.


Has the overall responsibility for the governance of the ACT Alliance between General Assemblies. It approves policies that affect the alliance. ​
Moderator: Birgitte Qvist-Sorensen, DanChurchAid, West Europe
Vice Moderator: Tegwende Léonard Kinda, Dignus, Burkina Faso, Africa
Treasurer: Simangaliso Hove, Lutheran Development Services Zimbabwe, Africa

Full list of representatives

Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, ACT Alliance General Secretary (Ex Officio);
Isabel Phiri, World Council of Churches (Permanent Seat); 
Maria Immonen, The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) (Permanent Seat), Casey Harden, World Young Women’s Christian Association (World YWCA) Global Minnieanne Mata Calub, National Council of Churches Philippines (Asia);
Karen Janjua, Community World Service Asia (Asia);
Qiu Zhonghui, Amity Foundation (Asia);
Tegwende Léonard Kinda, Dignus, Burkina Faso (Africa); 
Girma Borishe, Ethiopian Evangelical Church Makane Yesus – Development and Social Services Commission (EECMY-DASSC) (Africa); 
Simangaliso Hove, Lutheran Development Services Zimbabwe (Africa);
Dragan M. Makojevic, Philanthropy The Charitable of the Serbian Orthodox Church,( East Europe);
Erik Lysén, Church of Sweden, (West Europe);
Martin Kessler, Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe, (West Europe);
Birgitte Qvist-Sorensen, DanChurchAid, (West Europe);
Joel Ortega Dopico, Cuban Council of Churches, (Latin America and the Caribbean);
Marta Judith Castañeda Amaya, Centro Evangélico de Estudios Pastorales en Centro América (CEDEPCA), (Latin America and the Caribbean);
Nicolás Rosenthal, Fundación Protestante Hora de Obrar, (Latin America and the Caribbean);
Ramzi Ibrahim Issa Zananiri, Department of Service to Palestinian Refugee: DSPR, (Middle East) ;
Rev. Dr Bob Mitchell, Anglican Overseas Aid, (Pacific);
Rev. Dr Laurie Ann Kraus, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Presbyterian Church, USA, (North America);
Ida Kaastra-Mutoigo, World Renew, (North America).


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
Minnieanne Mata Calub, National Council of Churches, Philippines, Asia
Simangaliso Hove, Lutheran Development Services, Zimbabwe, Africa
Ida Kaastra-Mutoigo, World Renew, USA
Rev Tegwende Léonard Kinda,  Dignus, Burkina Faso, Africa
Rev Joel Ortega Dopico, Cuban Council of Churches, Cuba, Latin America and the Caribbean
Birgitte Qvist-Sørensen, DanChurchAid, Denmark, Europe
Isabel, Apowo Phiri, World Council of Churches, Global


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

Chairs: Melton Luhanga, Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD), Africa 
Arshinta Soemarsono, YAKKUM/YEU, Asia
Jouni Hemberg, Finn Church Aid (FCA), Europe
Mara Manzoni Luz, Centro Regional Ecuménico de Asesoría y Servicio (CREAS), Latin America and the Caribbean
Elsa Tesfay, The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF), North America


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.

Advocacy and Policy

Secretariat focal point: Alison Kelly
Contact: alison.kelly[at]actalliance.org

Co-chairs: Eva Ekelund (Act CoS) and Philemon Jazi (Diakonia Sweden)

Climate Justice

Secretariat focal point: 
Contact: 

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

Emergency Preparedness and Humanitarian Response

Secretariat focal point: Niall O’Rourke

Contact: niall.orourke@actalliance.org

Chair: Michael Mosselmans (CAid)

Vice-chairs: Joseph Sahayam (CASA) and Christer Laenkholm (DCA)

Gender Justice

Secretariat focal point: Dr Elaine Neuenfeldt

Contact: elaine.neuenfeldt[at]actalliance.org

Co-chairs: Palwashay Arbab (CWSA) and Marianna Leite (CAid)

Migration and displacement

Secretariat focal points: Christian Wolff

Contact: christian.wolff[at]actalliance.org

Co-chairs: Rabia Sabri (CWSA) and Andrew Fuys (CWS)

Peace and human security

Secretariat focal point: Elizabeth Zimba Kisiigha

Contact: elizabeth.zimba[at]actalliance.org

C0-chairs: Nishant Neel (CASA) and Sunra Lambert-Baj (DCA)

Quality and Accountability/Complaints Handling

Secretariat focal point: Rizwan Iqbal

Contact: rizwan.iqbal[at]actalliance.org

Co-chairs: Khurram Saeed (CWSA) and Coleen Heemskerk (Act CoS)


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

Disability Inclusive development

The Disability-Inclusive development CoP aims to raise the profile of disability in the ACT Alliance, promote understanding of it as a human rights issue and actively advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. The CoP’s role is to gather the experiences of ACT members and others working in this area, to share that knowledge and support members to implement disability-inclusive programmes.

ACT secretariat focal point: Cyra Bullecer, cyra.bullecer[at]actalliance.org
Chair: Tytti Matsinen, Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM),tytti.matsinen[at]felm.org

Disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation

The aim of the DRR, Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable Development CoP is to encourage ACT members to build disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into their work. The CoP is a space for the exchange of ideas and experiences. It provides knowledge, expertise and advice, produces background material and represents ACT at international negotiations, conferences and other events.

Global

ACT secretariat focal point: vacant
Chair: Kirsten Kok (Kerk in Actie), k.kok[at]protestantsekerk.nl 
Co-chair: Michael Kendagor (CWS), MKendagor[at]cwsafrica.org 
Co-chair: Patricia Roy (Uganda Forum Coordinator DCA),  prak[at]dca.dk

Regional

Asia Pacific:
ACT secretariat focal point: vacant

Chair: Mani Kumar, Christian Aid,  makumar[at]christian-aid.org
Co-Chair: Tim Hartley, Anglican Overseas Aid,  thartley[atanglicanoverseasaid.org.au
Co-Chair: Anastasia Maylinda,  YAKKUM/YEU,  maylinda_yeu[at]yahoo.com

LAC:
Moderator: Maria Luisa Navas Zorrilla, cuba.act.57[at]gmail.com
Vice Moderator: Amparo Peña, pme[at]casm.hn
Vice Moderator : Jairo Barriga, funpazos[at]gmail.com

MENA:
Lead: Joel Kelling, joel.kelling[at]anglicancommunion.org 
Co-Chair: Rachel Luce rachel.luce[at]actalliance.org

Gender equality and justice CoP

ACT has committed itself to building  gender awareness and justice  into all of its work. The overall objective of the Gender Equality and Justice CoP is to embed gender equality into ACT’s internal structures and into the programme guidelines for ACT members. The CoP supports members in their efforts to create policy and programming that works for gender justice, to ensure that programmes reflect the needs and wishes of all people.

ACT secretariat focal point: Elaine Neuenfeldt, elaine.neuenfeldt[at]actalliance.org

Regional

Asia and Pacific
ACT secretariat focal point: Cyra Bullecer, cyra.bullecer[at]actalliance.org
Chair: Thorat Joycia, (CASA), thorat_joycia[at]yahoo.comjoycia[at]casa-india.org
Co-chair: Lauria Belinda, (Anglican Overseas Aid), blauria[at]anglicanoverseasaid.org.au
Co-chair: Paakkinen Ilse, (FELM), ilse.paakkinen[at]felm.org

Africa
ACT secretariat focal point: Elizabeth Kisiigha Zimba, elizabeth.zimba[at]actalliance.org
Chair: Nairuba Gladys, DCA Uganda,  glna[at]dca.dk
Co-Chair: Makombe Zanele, ACT Ubumbano, zanele[at]actubumbano.org

Europe (formerly Global CoP on Gender Justice and Equality)
Chair: Marianna Leite, (Christian Aid), MLeite[at]christian-aid.org

LAC
Chair: Gómez Claudia, Diakonia Sweden (Diakonia Suecia), Claudia.gomez[at]diakonia.se
Vice-chair: Urbina Zoraya, Lutheran World Federation Central America (FLM Centroamérica), zoraya.urbina[at]lutheranworld.org

MENA
Secretariat focal point: Rachel Luce,  Rachel.Luce[at]actalliance.org
Chair: Abedelhack Aminah,  a.hack.aminah[at]gmail.com
Chair: Spoor Jojanneke,  jojanneke.spoor[at]lutheranworld.org

Human rights in development CoP

The Human Rights in Development CoP aims to further the implementation of rights-based development strategies within the alliance and among its partners. Its work involves enabling civil society action, based on international human rights standards.

ACT secretariat focal point: Rachel Luce, rachel.luce[at]actalliance.org
Chair: Christine Meissler, Bread for the World (BfdW), christine.meissler[at]brot-fuer-die-welt.de

Migration and development CoP

The Migration and Development CoP takes advantage of ACT members’ and partners’ in-depth knowledge to help develop useful interventions for the protection of migrants’ rights. The group’s common working issues include migrants’ rights, statelessness, migration and livelihoods, migration and climate change, and trafficked persons on the move. It also aims to strengthen and increase the visibility of ecumenical structures related to migration and development.

ACT secretariat focal point: Christian Wolff christian.wolff[at]actalliance.org
Chair: Sophia Wirsching, Bread for the World (BfdW), Sophia.wirsching[at]brot-fuer-die-welt.de

Psychosocial CoP

The Psychosocial Community of practice, (PS CoP) brings together ACT members involved in psychosocial work, with the aim to share expertise, experiences and good practices on community based psychosocial support. The PS CoP exists on regional levels, working to build regional networks. Through the Regional PS CoP, the aim is to strengthen the capacities and practices of community based psychosocial support of ACT members by sharing good practices appropriate to local cultures, expertise and experiences. The Regional PS CoPs are connected through the Global PS CoP, which includes 1-2 representatives from each Regional PS CoPs, along with other experts. The aim of the Global PS CoP is to work at a policy level and connect to other global networks in the field of Psychosocial wellbeing.

Global

ACT secretariat focal point: Carlos Rauda, carlos.rauda[at]actalliance.org
Global Chair: Markus Sserwanga Larsson, Act Church of Sweden, markus.sserwanga.larsson [at] svenskakyrkan.se

For more information on the Psychosocial CoP and Community-Based Psychosocial Support visit the following website: https://www.svenskakyrkan.se/act/cbps

Regional

East Africa
Belay Negesse, belayrrad[at]hotmail.com

Latin America
Ana Paxtor, apaxtor[at]cedepca.org

MENA
Nader Abu Amsha, nabuamsha[at]ej-ymca.org

Southern Africa
Arnold Limbani, arnoldlimbani[at]yahoo.com

Southeast Asia
Chair: Hepi Rahmawati, hepi.rahmawati[at]gmail.com 

Religion and Development CoP

The objective of this CoP is to develop a better understanding of the intersection between religion and development, contributing to improve development interventions that engage people’s world views, values and practices informed by religion for sustainability and local ownership, as well as to play a constructive role in ensuring that the convergence that seems to be emerging between religion and development is consolidated, appropriated, spread and translated into global policy on development.

ACT secretariat focal point: Thorsten Göbel, thorsten.goebel[at]actalliance.org
Chair: Dietrich Werner, Bread for the World (BfdW), dietrich.werner[at]brot-fuer-die-welt.de
Co-Chair: Jørgen Thomsen, DanChurchAid (DCA), jth[at]dca.dk

Safeguarding CoP

The purpose of the Safeguarding Community of Practice (CoP) is to gain knowledge, share learning and best practice and to develop competence amongst ACT members in safeguarding. The overall objectives are:

  • To strengthen the capacity of ACT Alliance members to ensure safe environments for all people who come into contact with their projects, programs, and personnel
  • To strengthen cooperation among members and partners on safeguarding activities, including prevention and accountability
  • To provide a forum for information and resource sharing between ACT members.

This CoP has grown out of the now-defunct ACT Child Safeguarding CoP. Child Safeguarding will remain a component of the new CoP, as one of the sub-themes alongside issues such as Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment; Codes of Conduct; Reporting and Feedback Mechanisms; Screening and Recruitment etc. The CoP will discuss both programmatic and organisational Safeguarding issues. It is currently seeking expressions of interest from ACT members. Interest can be registered by clicking here.

ACT secretariat focal point: Rizwan Iqbal, Rizwan.Iqbal[at]actalliance.org
Interim Chair: Anne Fitzpatrick, Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS), annef[at]alws.org.au

Safety and security CoP

The Safety and Security CoP is made up of the safety and security experts linked to ACT member organisations. These experts are responsible for the safety and security of people deployed to programmes. As well as providing training to their own staff, the CoP advises ACT forums in their response efforts. The CoP tries to cover every country in which its members work and to have a training opportunity there annually.It monitors the hotspots of the world, focusing on particular regions. The great value of this group is in the knowledge of its members and their drive to provide proper safety and security.

ACT secretariat focal point: James Davis, james.davis[at]actalliance.org
Chair: Susan Muis, The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), susan.muis[at]lutheranworld.org
Co-chair: Andrew Kirkham, Christian Aid (CA), akirkham[at]christian-aid.org

For more information visit the CoP’s dedicated website www.act-security.org
The ACT online security induction course is available on the same homepage.

Youth Participation CoP

This CoP aims to grow youth participation in ACT Alliance. It aims to ensure that youth are treated as agents of change and have their voices heard. Many ACT Alliance member organisations are working with youth-related issues, having intergenerational approaches and having their own youth organisations, therefore the CoP creates a common meeting space for these organisations, to increase the attention given to youth participation and encourage cooperation across the alliance on such issues.

ACT secretariat focal point: Gabriela Annequin, gabriela.annequin[at]actalliance.org
Co-chair: Amanda Björksell, Agera of Act Church of Sweden, amanda.bjorksell[at]gmail.com 
Co-chair: Jantiku Ijasini Jamare, Christian Council of Nigeria, janticks1[at]gmail.com
Co-chair: Matias Uusisilta, uusisilta[at]gmail.com


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.

%

Staff members are women

%

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, and a copy of the maintenance audit 2020 is available here.