Simon Vorley

Simon Vorley

Simon is currently the Transition Officer & Global Safeguarding Lead at an INGO. He has led projects and operations in India, East Africa and Latin America over the past 12 years.

Location Bristol, UK


  • Thank you @LauretaMuhongoMadegwa a very useful and tangible example.

  • Agree that specificity on who some of the referees need to be is useful and the idea of getting a more holistic reference from a co-worker or someone they managed is interesting.

    The idea of "blind" references would need to be handled carefully if possible at all given it isn't a very transparent approach. The employer needs to be careful to ensure they...

  • Anyone have thoughts on Hilary's question?

  • Any thoughts from other learners?

  • Great thoughts and reflections on your experience @GemmaAmadi thank you for sharing. I really like the 'skip line management' concept.

  • Interesting and valid point @KumarChandiramani about the time limit meaning the parties involved are better able to manage their mental health.

  • Good leaders are proactive. As you say @MollyCunningham 'without an event needing to occur'.

    Learning from an event/incident may often be the way but this means people have suffered when perhaps this could have been avoided by more active leadership.

  • Agree with your point @KatieSears that without a major issue to test policy and procedures some organisations can assume everything is working just fine.

  • Good point about not underestimating the importance of word of mouth @KatieSears

  • Do the mechanisms mentioned in the video seem accessible? Are there any others you would suggest or any adaptations you would expect to see?

  • Excellent to hear about some concrete steps you took after the initial push back. Thanks for sharing @JodyKelly

  • Great point about not going 'fishing' or becoming some sort of detective. It is vital to have as clear a response plan as possible to guide us through those tricky times where we aren't certain what to do or who to speak to first.

  • The subject of being a UK (or other) based organisation that works with/through local partners and the challenges this brings has come up several times.

    Has anyone had positive experiences collaborating with partners on safeguarding or other golden thread topics?

    Is there a balance to be struck between being paternalistic and empowering for example?

  • 100% agree with all the comments above. Investment in safeguarding sends a strong message especially as there can often be tough competition for the funds.

  • How networked are the Country Directors @JodyKelly ?

    Would it be possible for the good role model you mention to positively influence other Directors?

  • Such an important point @AnneWuijts

  • Well said @BonnieKlassen with reminders of how important it is to ensure organisational culture is high on everyone's agenda.

    Interesting that you mention a 'whisper network', something I can relate to. More on the subject of whispers coming up later in the week.

  • Good point @HannahNdungu that some actions taken can have unintended consequences. I also saw this during the initial stages of the pandemic when there was pressure to adapt quickly.

  • Sounds very interesting and empowering @HannahNdungu

  • Hi @JacquelineCox thank you for sharing your situation. We have heard from other learners about how conservation organisations are now taking steps in safeguarding and the challenges that can be faced.

    I would encourage you that these are very normal and similar challenges to any other organisation and the important thing is to be selective about which are...

  • Interesting to hear how you complete additional screening of applicants @PabloS

    Could you provide more details as to how you would approach others who haven't been put forward as references in an appropriate manner?

  • Such a good analogy. Thank you for sharing @PatriciaDoutriaux

  • @PabloS great to hear about the reality of the situation at your organisation.

    The subject of metadata is one that hasn't come up previously and could be a level of detail not considered by many organisations without either an IT department or staff who are aware of such details.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • A good reminder @PabloS that sometimes law isn't up to speed with best practice. I agree with you that we need to be super cautious in regard to social media and consider the morals or ethics of our use of these platforms.

  • Yes thank you for picking up on this. We will feed this back to the course writers.

  • Thank you @SarahMaguire for these important clarifications. As learners have mentioned elsewhere, starting with clear and simple definitions of terminology can make a big difference.

  • Hi @PatriciaDoutriaux thank you for your reflections. Lots of thought provoking comments. As you rightly point out there may not be answers to some questions within this context.

    In my opinion it is important to consider the big picture from time to time and how at times it feels like change isn't happening fast enough. However, I also believe that in many...

  • Thanks @BlessingsKadzuwa do you have examples of what others were doing that you decided to take up yourselves?

  • Excellent points all! @HannahMills you are right that there is a danger that doing half a job could lead to a lack of engagement from stakeholders, including staff or worse some kind of negative impact.

  • Thank you for this reflection @BonnieKlassen

  • Some ideas @GrahamSymons from my understanding of some of the work of Integrity Action.

    Community monitors are likely to undergo a selection and briefing/training process. They may be utilised on a rotational basis or work in clusters to prevent bias, fraud or intimidation.

    Often the monitoring includes taking a photo of some infrastructure and...

  • @FatmataJalloh I had this discussion with a organisation recently and am of the opinion that we should be clear about our standards with all types of partners whether we implement a project with them or not.

    There may be different levels of detail and obligation depending on the type of relationship but suppliers, donors etc are part of operations too. As...

  • @KumarChandiramani I think many would agree that organisations should not be driven or pushed too much by donors. Would you say this is currently a reality for most organisations though?

    @EvelynI a good point. Has anyone seen collaboration amongst donors on this or other topics? Some larger NGOs will have teams focussed on specific donors but whether that...

  • Thank you Bonnie, I really like your comment especially the last sentence. Great to see such positivity.

  • Totally agree with you @PatriciaDoutriaux

    We so often consider what is best for us or what we can afford rather than what is actually going to work for our clients/users/beneficiaries. As has been mentioned elsewhere if we engage them effectively then often they would tell us this from the outset.

  • Very pleased to hear this @BritneySealy best of luck with the project

  • Thank you @JuliusGeofreyOkongo for mentioning the UNCPRD

  • Great points @OluchiI

    In a couple of months time there will be a third and final MOOC aimed at organisational leaders and board members. Please encourage yours to join in!

  • @KumarChandiramani please can you further explain transformative justice?

  • @NM Yes there can be conflict between a survivor centred approach and the law. Decisions can have both legal and ethical implications.

    What are the challenges organisations face here?

  • @JodyKelly thanks for sharing. Such a difficult position to be in.

  • Hi @JamesOdongo could you elaborate your point a bit further please?

  • Hi @NM I'm wondering if section 4.13 has provided you with the answer to your questions? If not please let us know below.

  • Hi @HannahMills you raise an important question.

    Whilst it is always preferable to have consent both for reporting and response this may not always be the case. The focal point should be trained and aware of the need for a sensitive, survivor centred approach (more on this later in the week). However, there is a decision to be made around the risk that...

  • Good questions Lisa.

    This situation could become one of tricky grey areas. Should the employer be making a judgement on the allegation? Should they hand over the case to the relevant authorities? Or could that potentially cause more harm?

    Organisations have legal and ethical factors to consider. Each situation is unique and there are many variables in...

  • Hi @FatmataJalloh if I have understood your points correctly you say that as more than one organisation is involved and the relationship isn't one of staff/beneficiary or staff/supplier etc then it doesn't qualify?

    Perhaps you have had a chance to read the comments by others on where they feel there are safeguarding concerns? Do get back to us if you are...

  • Great points @OluchiI

  • Great suggestions @ElizabethWilliams

  • Having a database of photos and content that has been used many times before is probably very common. As is some form of conflict between safeguarding staff and communications staff on whether or how they are to be used.

    Has anyone else noticed an increase in the use of animations and drawing rather than real people in content recently?

    What are the...

  • I remember a similar discussion to this on the Introduction to Safeguarding MOOC earlier this year.

    Around can / should criminal checks such as DBS that function to some degree in the UK be applied elsewhere.

    I'd be interested to know learners opinions on whether these measures should be duplicated and/or whether locally applicable options are...

  • Some thoughts on your questions Lisa.

    Kenya is positioning itself as a leader for action on disability inclusion with policies that include a tax break for companies with a certain number of staff who are people with disabilities. This has incentivised a more positive outlook from some employers.

    Also I am aware of researchers and organisations looking...

  • Important questions Lisa. Does anyone have thoughts on why?

  • You are right Kumar, most buildings aren't accessible for wheelchair users. In many cases public transport systems also discriminate intentionally or unintentionally against PwDs. Sometimes solutions are as simple as adjusting infrastructure.

    As you mention in your second and third points there is a lot more complex work to think about as well.

  • Great example Lisa!

  • Thanks Katie, would you be happy to share an example or two of those different ways of asking?

  • @BruceC thank you for your thoughts on 'living the code of conduct' as this is vital to ensure it is not simply another document you read once and never consider again.

    Does anyone else have examples of how they have seen the code of conduct lived / weaved into the day to day?

  • As you mention Hilary, the pandemic has generated some new dynamics for all of us in terms of the way we use digital platforms and technology to do our work.

    Did anyone find that their digital related policies had to develop rapidly over the past two years to catch up?

  • Interesting point about EAPs which my experience of has been similar to Katie's point. Perhaps this is another area where sufficient budget should be included to make sure counselling support is appropriate?

  • Hi @PetraForsströmdeLeón thank you for going into the detail of what this means for you in practice. This is the extra detail we want to get to on this course as opposed to the 'Intro to safeguarding' course (MOOC 1)

  • Hi @OluchiI much more detail on power coming up on week 3

  • This is a really good point and well explained. Thanks for sharing @PetraForsströmdeLeón

  • Hi Anne, I hope that the next few pages provide that detail on the How you are looking for but if not, please do ask again.

    The principles are similar but we must ensure that the approach is considered with a disability specific lens. This can vary greatly depending on the groups and types of disability we are working with.

    I'd be interested to hear...

  • I agree Graham, the model works well for participatory culture when applied to other contexts. Recently, I was at a meeting on localisation where this model was referenced as a means of measuring how appropriate and participant driven the approach would be.

  • Your point Bonnie makes me think about the various youth movements pushing for greater action on the climate crisis. Yet even with a strong voice and developed movement they were still sidelined at even the most recent COP event as I understand it.

  • 'Inherited' is a good way to put this. Has anyone come across successful methods of addressing power dynamics whilst working within the system (of donor compliance for example)?

    I imagine many of us have experienced the tension Anne mentions?

  • @JonKershner I like the points you make about a code of conduct including aspirational elements and secondly encouraging a healthy culture of audit and improve.

    @GrahamSymons very interesting to read your reflections about how a staff at a non 'Aid' focussed organisation consider themselves. The topic of power is one that permeates all parts of society...

  • Are there other factors related to economic structures that anyone can offer which influence power?

  • Completely agree Bruce. As Anne says above awareness, similar to your point that acknowledgement of ones own power is key.

  • Absolutely Bonnie, has this resonated with others?

  • More on survivor centred approach on the way in Week 4!

  • Very interesting way to add some concrete structure to our thinking. Thanks for sharing Karolina.

  • Absolutely Kumar, however I assume the tool has been kept simple at this stage with the expectation that more layers of analysis will be applied at risk assessment stage.

    Whenever that conversation happens it is important to consider where your sphere of direct control or influence lies.

  • Thank you Bonnie, this is a fantastic point that helps us to consider the complexities and elements of a dynamic working environment such as yours.

  • A really important question Sarah. I would comment that when working for an organisation focussed on people with physical disabilities this topic was an interesting point of debate.

    As you say people are not inherently vulnerable and may take offence at the suggestion they are. Appropriate and widely accepted terminology can be hard to settle on. For me...

  • A good point Cathy. As has been mentioned elsewhere safeguarding is a very anglophone word and how it is understood often assumes a certain culture. We must be conscious of a localised approach to safeguarding as with any other line of work.

    Tricky as Leanne says but important to keep at the front of our minds.