Mercy Corps Commitments to Action Progress Report

Report closes three additional commitments, bringing total to 18 out of 23 commitments fulfilled

Mercy Corps today released its fifth report detailing progress delivering on commitments to action made by the organization in February 2020. The list of commitments followed an independent, external review examining Mercy Corps’ handling of reports of sexual abuse by Mercy Corps’ late co-founder brought to the organization’s attention in 2018. 

“As we near the fulfillment of our commitments to action, we look not towards an endpoint but rather a continued journey to ensure the organizational changes we’ve made are not just embedded into policies and team structures, but into the culture and DNA of the organization” says Tjada D’Oyen McKenna, Chief Executive Officer of Mercy Corps.

Mercy Corps has now completed 18 out of 23 commitments to action, including closing three more commitments as of this report:

  • Create a comprehensive Safeguarding and Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) capacity-building plan for country-based and headquarters-based senior management members and Board Directors. In addition to in-country safeguarding and support roles, senior management across the organization, including Board Directors, have received tailored training and Mercy Corps has developed a set of Safeguarding Core Standards articulating minimum capacity building requirements for all team members, volunteers, and partners. Implementation and rollout of the Core Standards is planned for FY23 (July 2022 - June 2023).
  • Clearly define accountability and communication so Board Directors understand how decisions are made and who has responsibility. Mercy Corps has introduced a number of changes following a comprehensive external governance review to bring additional improvements to its governance practices.
  • Conduct a review of Mercy Corps culture. In January 2022, Mercy Corps launched the All Voices Global Team Survey, the organization’s first-ever all team member engagement survey, completed by 78% of the global Mercy Corps team. The results were released to all team members in April 2022 and action planning is underway to address areas identified for improvement. A similar survey will be conducted every two years to create a regular and consistent avenue for team member feedback. 

Mercy Corps continues making progress on the remaining commitments, including safeguarding policy revisions. Between March and June 2022, internationally recognized PSEA and safeguarding experts, Global Child Protection Services (GCPS), conducted a comprehensive external review of Mercy Corps’ safeguarding policies. The policies were reviewed against donor expectations, sector standards and best practice, and benchmarked against peer organizations. Mercy Corps is now incorporating the recommendations from this review into further policy revisions for FY23.  Mercy Corps is also launching a comprehensive review and refresh of the performance review process in FY23, which will include new language on diversity and inclusion expectations, as well as expectations for team members at all levels on ethics, safeguarding, diversity, equity, and inclusion.  

A complete summary of Mercy Corps’ response to details of abuse by co-founder Ellsworth Culver, including the organization’s commitments to action, can be found on the Mercy Corps website here