About The Pledge

The Pledge for Change represents a mutual commitment towards building a stronger aid ecosystem based on the principles of solidarity, humility, self-determination and equality.

The Pledge for Change is a series of three commitments aimed at re-imagining the role of international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) in the global humanitarian aid and development system. By signing on to the Pledge for Change – as a signatory or supporter – the goal is to shift the power more directly to local organizations in the global south while building a stronger aid ecosystem based on the principles of solidarity, humility, self-determination, and equality. for Change

Pledge for Change Secretariat

Prior to joining Adeso in July 2023, Kate spent over two decades working in humanitarian contexts, most recently as IRC’s Regional Vice President for the Great Lakes and Central Africa, supporting Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Tanzania. Previously she was IRC’s Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa and Country Director in Mali. Between 2003 and 2013, Kate held a variety of leadership roles with Save the Children in South Sudan, DRC, and Cote d’Ivoire, having begun her humanitarian work in protection services with refugee and asylum-seeking children in the UK. She gained development and peacebuilding experience with Sense International and International Alert, before which she taught English in Japan, and established a start-up travel agency in Russia.

Kate holds an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Sussex and an MSc in Global Development Management from the Open University. She has recently completed a Diploma in Analytic Network Coaching and is keen to put the principles of Eco-Leadership she learned into practice with the Pledge community. Kate is a feminist who believes that it is possible, and necessary, to transform the humanitarian sector to be congruent with our stated values, and is excited about working with Pledge for Change on disrupting power dynamics to contribute to an aid eco-system based on principles of equity, solidarity and self-determination.

Kate is a solo mother to a wonderful eight-year-old, and loves walking and cycling in Nairobi’s forests with him and their dog.

Sidhee Patel works as a Program Officer for the Pledge for Change 2030 Initiative. She previously worked in administrative support, but she is now actively learning and navigating the humanitarian and development program sector. Sidhee has a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and has recently completed the 1st cohort of the Development Hub’s Skill Share Program: Decolonizing Development and Humanitarian Action. She is dedicated to social justice and empowering the Global South community in the development and humanitarian aid ecosystem.

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Locally led,
globally connected.

The Pledge for Change grew organically through informal conversations between dedicated leaders representing civil society in the global north and global south.

We wanted the Pledge to be different from past processes for change in aid. First off, all activities were led by the global south - with Adeso convening the group and other activists giving feedback and sign-off to the pledges as they were being developed. Secondly, it started as a small group of CEOs that have a personal commitment to decolonization and who sought a space to imagine change with their peers. It was a manageable number of people to coordinate and all members really had a say in the final product. Finally, the accountability mechanisms will be designed by global south activists and organizations to ensure that INGOs are being held accountable to their partners and the communities.

Degan Ali

Adeso

The global aid system is currently not reflective of our common humanity and solidarity - and it often ignores its history and complicity in upholding unjust and unequal power systems. This pledge articulates critical intentional thoughts, actions and behaviors that are past overdue to reform this system. If all actors abide by the pledge, it would be an important step to decolonize aid and create a more just and equitable development community. This is why Purposeful is proud to sign on and be part of this much needed process.

Chernor Bah

Purposeful

“Locally led and globally connected is at the heart of Plan International’s new Global strategy “ All Girls Standing Strong” and that because we know that localisation is essential to ensure we achieve a just world for all children. By setting aspirational targets, Pledge for Change is critical to ensure the change that is needed actually happens. It challenges us to deliver on our Pledge and encourages others to start the journey.

Rose Caldwell

Plan International UK

The Pledge for Change is a historic milestone in the field of humanitarian and development. The bold step taken by leaders and practitioners to use their power to transform themselves and the sector, in order to build a stronger aid ecosystem based on the principles of solidarity, humility, self-determination, and equality. The leaders and practitioners decided to accelerate the change taking different paths to achieve the collective goals of equitable partnership approach; of telling stories in an ethical and safe way demonstrating partners’ resilience and praxis; and wider influencing for change. The ultimate measure and real achievement of this is making spaces and actions on the ground demonstrating the power shift to local actors and amplifying their voices and leadership in various platforms at varying levels.

Loreine B. dela Cruz

Center for Disaster Preparedness Foundation (CDP)

I’m proud to have spent my career working in the non-profit and media sectors focused on telling stories about human rights abuses and inequality and working strategically to address these issues and their root causes. Like many people who work at Save the Children, a passion for positive social change and an equally passionate frustration with inequality, racism, and oppression – and the slow pace of change to address these – is what drives me. Our sector is at a critical juncture in its history: global disparities and social challenges are growing and expanding despite decades of work to address them – even as we’re more interconnected than at any time in history. At Save the Children Canada, we recognize that to sustainably and collaboratively meet these challenges, we must face up to our role in perpetuating some of these inequalities as well as our history as an international NGO based in the Global North, with all the privilege and power that entails. Collaborating with the Pledge for Change process is part of this and participating in it has contributed to our vision for a significant organizational shift to understand and transform unequal power dynamics in all we do.

Danny Glenwright

Save the Children Canada

Signing onto this incredibly important pledge is another step in our journey of shifting the power into the hands of children and their communities. It is only by moving capacity, resources, and ownership to national and local organisations, that we will be able to achieve meaningful and lasting change for children and their communities.

Gwen Hines

Save the Children UK

The Pledge for Change is a critical milestone in moving the system forward from its current state of inertia toward more equitable and decolonised ways of working. The Centre for Humanitarian Leadership (CHL) is incredibly proud to have been a part of Pledge for Change in a supportive and guiding role since its inception. While CHL is not an operational actor, we wholeheartedly endorse the pledge as a lever for systemic change.

Mary Ana McGlasson

Centre for Humanitarian Leadership CHL

I am so glad to see the Pledge for Change launch and to have been able to contribute to this meaningful initiative along with other Global South and Global North leaders. Only courageous leaders who aren't afraid to instigate structural change can build a better and equitable future for all."

Marie-Rose Romain Murphy

ESPWA and of Fondation Communautaire Haitienne-Espwa/The Haiti Community Foundation

CARE International is delighted to be part of this critical and long overdue initiative aiming at shifting power to local organizations and adopting a truly ‘locally-led and globally-connected’ approach to humanitarian response and development. The Pledge for Change will help us learn more meaningfully and transparently from organizations from both the Global South and Global North as we continue to adjust a fast-evolving aid and development ecosystem. This has never been more important as millions are impacted by conflict, climate change and deep inequality. The global majority’s voices must be at the heart of decision-making – this is the main aim of this Pledge.

Sofia Sprechmann Sineiro

CARE International

During my career, spanning over three decades, I have seen several processes aiming at reforming the humanitarian architecture but not changing much in favour of local actors and the affected population. The Pledge for Change gives high hope to the community of local actors as this framework is based on clear and measurable indicators. The pledge holds the senior leadership to account for disseminating the commitments and track the delivery on the commitments. I particularly appreciate the decolonial approach and bringing back ethics in communication, which is not racist and respectful to the people we serve.

Sudhanshu Shekhar Singh

Humanitarian Aid International

The Pledge for Change commitments are not only the right thing to do morally, they are also essential if we are serious about addressing many of the unprecedented challenges the world is facing. International aid needs this long, overdue rethink. It’s time to move beyond the rhetoric into genuine behavioural and systemic change.

Peter Walton

CARE Australia

The humanitarian and development sector is being increasingly challenged for how it exercises its power, practices partnership, and portrays people living in poverty. I welcome that challenge. There is a huge unfinished agenda in International NGOs becoming accountable, localised, and responsive to what affected communities actually want and need. The Pledge for Change is an important step on that journey from rhetoric to action.

Patrick Watt

Christian Aid

“If organisations like ours are to have the radical impact we seek, then it is clear that we must transform the way we work. It is vital that our sector leads by example in making sure that the way we work embodies the values we stand for. That means doing all that we can to nurture a vibrant and resilient civil society in the countries we operate and engaging our supporters in new ways that are based on solidarity across borders.”

Danny Sriskandarajah

Oxfam