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MEMORANDUM

FROM: Mohammad Akhter

TO: InterAction Members

SUBJECT: GUIDELINES ON SERVICE

Date: January 1, 2006

In accordance with its mission, InterAction is committed to fostering the effectiveness and
recognition of its members, both professionally and publicly, while setting standards of the
highest ethics.

In matters of service delivery, the InterAction Board of Directors requested that an ad hoc
committee be established of both secular and faith-based member organizations to determine
whether InterAction should have a standard or a guideline that would prohibit, limit or set
parameters for proselytizing by faith-based member agencies.

The Ad Hoc Committee met by conference call on July 28, 2005. It was unanimously agreed that
members of InterAction should never proselytize or discriminate at point of service.

Rather than establish a new PVO Standard, the Committee agreed that a set of guidelines should
be developed that support compliance with existing PVO Standard 7.1.5: “A member’s programs
shall respect the dignity, values, history, religion and culture of the people served”

Draft guidelines were disseminated to the Ad Hoc Committee for review and comment. A
revised draft was then reviewed by the Board of Directors on September 20, 2005. While there
was debate, there was general agreement to adopt proposed guidelines 1, 2 and 3.

Several Board members argued to remove proposed guideline #4 that would require a clear
separation of staff delivering faith messages, from those delivering development assistance.
Other argued as forcefully that this guideline should stand. Compromise language was
subsequently proposed and is shared with members of the Ad Hoc Committee.

Taking all views into account, the Standards/Membership Committee proposed compromise
language for guideline #4 below. While strong views prevail on all sides, the
Standards/Membership Committee urges all members affected by these guidelines to examine
their organizational structures to assess whether and how they could meet the intent of guideline
#4, by establishing clearer separation between their faith messages and service delivery.

These guidelines were formally approved by the Board of Directors for adoption into the
PVO Standards on December 6, 2005.
Guidelines to assist InterAction members in their compliance with PVO Standard 7.1.5:

“A member’s programs shall respect the dignity, values, history, religion and culture of the
people served”.

A member should:

1. Adhere to a policy and practice of non-discrimination at point-of-service. The promise,


delivery or distribution of assistance should be given according to the need of individuals,
families and communities and will never be preconditioned on faith, administered in a coercive
manner, or tied to the embrace or acceptance of a particular political or religious creed;

2. Adhere to, through normal practice, systems and deeds, clear institutional policies that
demonstrate respect for and sensitivity to the religious traditions of the individuals, families and
communities served;

3. Use good judgment, based on local realities, in the printing of religious text or the display of
other forms of messages or symbols on aid packages;

4. Establish guidelines for the appropriate usage and balance of religious messages and or
teachings in relief or development programs, to ensure that any message is non-coercive,
culturally sensitive and respectful of the dignity, values, history, religion and culture of the
people served.