Complaints handling and response in AFD

AFD commits itself to the institutionalization of complaints handling and response mechanisms throughout its programme and operational areas with the aim of promoting organizational accountability to beneficiaries and other key stakeholders by designing quality programmes that meet peoples’ needs and reduce the potential for mistakes, abuse and corruption. We believe that providing the people we work with and for, the opportunity to complain and raise concerns on the quality of our work is an essential element of being accountable.

Why a complaint mechanism?

  • Providing guidance to our beneficiaries, key stakeholders, partners and staff on how they can raise complaints and get timely response to their complaints and grievances;
  • Creating a conducive environment that will enable beneficiaries and other stakeholders to raise issues or express their dissatisfaction and seek explanation on our commitments and quality of programme or service delivery;
  • Drawing practical lessons that can be used to enhance the quality, effectiveness and impact of the programmes and services we provide to our beneficiaries.

What is a complaint?

A complaint is an expression of a specific grievance or dissatisfaction of a stakeholder whom is negatively affected by our staff, or who believes that the organization has failed to meet a stated commitment.

Who can complain?

Individual or group of beneficiaries, collaborating sector offices, NGOs, funding partners, service providers, contractors, suppliers, staff, or anyone adversely affected by our programme or services.

What is the scope of the complaint?

Complaints lodged by our stakeholders, internal or external, are expected to be valid, relevant, and within the responsibility of AFD or its sphere of influence. On the contrary, there could also be complaints that are beyond the mandate of AFD, which should be referred to other relevant organizations or authorities. Some examples of valid complaints include the following:

  • Quality of our development and humanitarian programmes/projects and services we deliver, measured against such criteria as timeliness, relevance, effectiveness, quality of inputs, compliance with standards, involvement of beneficiaries…
  • Errors of inclusion or exclusion;
  • Negligence in project implementation that could entail aggravation of disparities in access to basic services;
  • Disregard of positive and recognized community institutions, knowledge, norms, and values;
  • Failure to share timely and relevant information with stakeholders, eg. Shedules, beneficiary selection criteria, entitlements, minimum standards, right of complaint…;
  • Willful disregard of the humanitarian protection imperative;
  • Poor competence of staff, and under performance;
  • Gross misconduct or mal practice of staff or any individual associated with the work of the organization, eg. Accepting cash or in-kind gift in return for services provided, fraud, corruption, nepotism, extortion, sexual exploitation, abuse or harassment, child abuse….
  • Promoting one’s own political or religious views at the work place or at community level using the resources of the organization such as time, finance, logistics…, whereby compromising organizational neutrality;
  • Misuse or misappropriation of organizational resources;
  • Non-fulfillment of AFD’s stated commitments and values;
  • Breach of contractual obligations;
  • Breach of civil society code of conduct;
  • Willful disregards for organizational/partner image and reputation;
  • Violation of staff rights;

These and other related complaints of our stakeholders will be handled with varying levels of priority depending on their sensitivity.


What are the principles with which the process is guided?

  • Responsiveness
  • Honesty
  • Transparency
  • Impartiality
  • Confidentiality
  • Accessibility
  • Non-retaliation and safety

How can complaints be lodged?

Complaints can be lodged formally or informally, as well as publicly or in anonymity. AFD encourages potential complainants to directly take up their complaints to the responsible complaints handling committee members at HQ and field offices. They can also lodge their complaints in various ways as they deem appropriate. These include:

  • Complaint boxes placed at village level;
  • Open community meetings where complainants can voice their concerns;
  • Specific place, date, and time arranged by the complaint handling and response committees in prior consultation with stakeholders;
  • Phone, text, email, or fax messages;
  • Written letters of complaint;
  • Private lodging of complaint to a member of staff.
  • Online by filling out the complaints form

Formal written complaints can be lodged to any of the following addresses:

-AFD HQ: P.O.Box 19859 AA This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;Tel.  0116625976; Fax 0116625563

-Borana Field Office: P.O.Box 17 Yabello; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Tel 046 446 1110

-Southern Field Office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Tel. 0467751821; o468840713

-Bale project office: Tel 0930292464; 0228902701;

-Gudji Project Office: Tel 0916653137;

Having received complaints, the responsible officers in the various work units of the organization will register the complaints, acknowledge receipt of complaint, investigate the complaint, facilitate corrective action as appropriate, and respond to the complainant.

CLICK HERE for an optional format for lodging complaints or fill an online form here.kk