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: 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.

Advocacy and Policy

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

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

Climate Justice

Secretariat focal point: 

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

Emergency Preparedness and Humanitarian Response

Secretariat focal point: Niall O’Rourke


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]

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

Migration and displacement

Secretariat focal points: Christian Wolff

Contact: christian.wolff[at]

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

Peace and human security

Secretariat focal point: Elizabeth Zimba Kisiigha

Contact: elizabeth.zimba[at]

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

Quality and Accountability/Complaints Handling

Secretariat focal point: Rizwan Iqbal

Contact: rizwan.iqbal[at]

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]
Chair: Tytti Matsinen, Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM),tytti.matsinen[at]

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.


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


Asia Pacific:
ACT secretariat focal point: vacant

Chair: Mani Kumar, Christian Aid,  makumar[at]
Co-Chair: Tim Hartley, Anglican Overseas Aid,  thartley[
Co-Chair: Anastasia Maylinda,  YAKKUM/YEU,  maylinda_yeu[at]

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

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

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]


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

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

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

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

Secretariat focal point: Rachel Luce,  Rachel.Luce[at]
Chair: Abedelhack Aminah,  a.hack.aminah[at]
Chair: Spoor Jojanneke,  jojanneke.spoor[at]

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]
Chair: Christine Meissler, Bread for the World (BfdW), christine.meissler[at]

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]
Chair: Sophia Wirsching, Bread for the World (BfdW), Sophia.wirsching[at]

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.


ACT secretariat focal point: Carlos Rauda, carlos.rauda[at]
Global Chair: Prudence Atukunda Friberg, Act Church of Sweden, Prudence.AtukundaFriberg [at]

For more information on the Psychosocial CoP and Community-Based Psychosocial Support visit the following website:


East Africa
Belay Negesse, belayrrad[at]

Latin America
Ana Paxtor, apaxtor[at]

Nader Abu Amsha, nabuamsha[at]

Southern Africa
Arnold Limbani, arnoldlimbani[at]

Southeast Asia
Chair: Bhoj Khanal, bhoj.khanal [at]

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]
Chair: Dietrich Werner, Bread for the World (BfdW), dietrich.werner[at]
Co-Chair: Jørgen Thomsen, DanChurchAid (DCA), jth[at]

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 contacting Rizwan Iqbal.

ACT secretariat focal point: Rizwan Iqbal, Rizwan.Iqbal[at]
Co-Chairs:  Asma Shehzad (Community World Service Asia – CWSA), asma.shehzad[at]

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. 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. 

For any questions or requests for support on particular issues, member organisations can contact the following members of the ACT SS CoP.

ACT secretariat focal point: Nancy Etté, Director of Operations,

Chair: Lampinen Lasse, Security Manager at FELM

Co-chair: Vacant

The ACT online security induction course is available on the ACT Learn platform on FABO.

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: Daisy Yator , daisy.yator[at] ​
Co-chair: Emma Berglund , Agera of Act Church of Sweden, emma.berglund96[at] 
Co-chair: Lauri Heikkinen, ChangeMakers Finland, lauri.heikkinen[at]
Co-chair: Patricia Mungcal , National Council of Churches in the Philippines, pat.mungcal[at]

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.


Staff members are women


Executive Board members are women

Nationalities in the Secretariat