This morning, the International Development Committee, chaired by Sarah Champion MP, published a report calling for better diversity data in the international aid sector.
The report recognises what Money4YOU’s #OperationTransparency has been saying for six months: diversity data is part of a vital mechanism of accountability. As the Select Committee writes, “Only by being transparent can organisations share and learn from each-other.”
This is a significant moment. The Charity Commission published a report in 2017 calling for diversity data to be on charities’ annual returns, and then, bafflingly, refused to implement it. This is the first time a Parliamentary group has called for an end to the diversity data gap in the charity sector.
The International Development Select Committee’s remit is limited, and its diversity reporting recommendations therefore focus on the FCDO, but restricting the requirements to the aid sector would be madness. Racism and a lack of accountability are just as endemic in the rest of the charity sector as they are in international development.
This is also not the FCDO’s job: it is firmly the responsibility of the Charity Commission to increase public trust and confidence in charities by maintaining an open Charity Register. There can now be no doubt that diversity data must become part of that register if the regulator is to achieve another of its most important statutory objectives: accountability.
This is an encouraging report, but there’s still further to go. Sign our open letter to the CEO of the Charity Commission and help us advocate for a permanent, structural change. If the past five years have shown us anything, it’s that the people we are seeking to help deserve better.