APBAid Committee Policies

Policy No. 1  
Policy on compiling, monitoring and reviewing APBAid’s Finances.

The cost of APBAid’s administration is borne by the APBAid annual budget and is not part of  the APBF administrative and programs budget.  All APBAid administrative, travel, promotion and project expenses are to be included in the adopted APBAid budget.  This budget is financed by:

  • A ten (10) percent levy on income or  donations for project;
  • Contributions made by supporting agencies (e.g. BWAid, BWAA, CBF, Cyan  International, IM-ABC etc); and
  • Fees received as a result of paid consultative activities by APBAid staff. 

At the beginning of each calendar year, the APBAid Director will submit APBAid’s annual administration and program budget for review by the APBAid Committee, after consultation with the APBAid Treasurer.  This budget will include projected administration and program expenditure, projected funding income for the year, including use of funds held and new income projected.  The APBAid budget will anticipate program needs and challenge donors to give for generic budgetary accounts as well as continuing to honour the wishes of donors who give for special project/s. Final approval of the APBAid budget will be given by the APBAid Committee at the annual meeting of the Committee at the beginning of each year.  

All contributions to APBAid will be acknowledged and used as designated by the donor or assigned to undesignated funds if no instructions are given. Undesignated contributions will be treated as funds to be applied where needed most.   Funds received in excess of a project goal may be assigned to similar projects or undesignated funds where this was indicated in the promotional material, otherwise with the permission of the donors.   When a project has been completed with undesignated funds, any subsequent designated contributions to that project will be allocated to undesignated funds up to the total amount taken from that account. Funds consolidation will occur at the end of each financial year in line with this procedures.

APBAid has authority, on behalf of APBF, to seek to respond to emergencies in the region, including making emergency appropriations and publicizing emergency needs in the APBF region, always being mindful of methods that are acceptable to APBF and BWA constituent bodies.  Funds given for a specific emergency will normally be used for projects approved for funding as a result of the specific emergency.  Further, APBAid will establish a non-specific Emergency Relief Fund (ERF) to enable APBAid to respond immediately to emergencies with grants of up to $3000 (or double this in exceptional circumstances).  Should funding come in for emergencies funded with existing ERF funds, then those funds already expended from ERF can be replenished to the ERF account.  APBAid will also seek donations to the ERF account and also will deposit 10% of the administrative charge on project income to the ERF.

Having followed the above policy all approved project payments within the agreed budget will be submitted by the APBAid Director to the APBAid Treasurer and Chair for authorization and payment as they become due.

Policy No. 2 
Policy on process for sourcing and receiving, assessing, approving, monitoring and evaluating APBAid’s development and relief projects.

As part of the annual APBAid budget process, requests for project funding will be considered from an APBF member body, where such requests have been approved by the respective member body. 

As a norm, after desk assessment by the APBAid staff, relief and development projects will be submitted for approval by the APBAid  Director  to working group of the APBAid Committee, consisting of the Chair, Treasurer and APBF General Secretary, who will authorized funding as part of the annual program budget process (e.g. use of ERF monies) or use of designated funds raised in previous years or the current year.  Input into the approval process may also be sought from other APBAid Committee members. 

Normally, grants of up to $3,000 in each disaster or other emergency may be made, assuming there are funds available in the ERF account for undesignated emergencies. In exceptional circumstances, and where funds are available, double this amount may be approved.   Where an emergency occurs within a year and designated funding is received, or where there are carried forward designated funds from previous years, the APBAid Director can present projects for approval up to the limit of the designated funding received.   All such actions requires the authorization of the above mentioned working group of the APBAid Committee and be reported to the whole APBAid Committee.

An agreed list of criteria will be established by the APBAid Director to screen projects considered for funding.  

Appropriate controls will be in placed to ensure grant transfers to member bodies are received by a responsible official of the body and are used for the specific purpose for which they are authorized.  

The APBAid Committee will ensure that APBAid has in place for projects funded an appropriate process for desk monitoring of those project’s progress, including at least six monthly narrative and financial reporting, completion reports and audited financial statements. Due process will be established for dealing with grant funds held by the partner at the completion of a project, as well as the sale, disposal or reassignment of all capital items funded by the grant.  Upon completion of a project, any balance of grant funds remaining must be reported to APBAid.  

The Committee will ensure that monitoring visits to projects occur for projects of, accumulative funding, more than $25,000, and that evaluations of completed projects occurs for projects of, accumulative funding, more than $50,000.   Costs for monitoring and evaluation will be included in the approved funding amount for the project.  This includes travel by APBAid staff or external consultants to monitor and evaluate a funded project. 

Policy No. 3 
Policy on how the work of APBAid will be communicated and promoted to the member bodies of the APBF, the BWA and the wider public.

The APBAid Committee will ensure that work and ministry of the APBAid is promoted and communicated to the APBF member bodies through available and appropriate communication channels.  The material used will be of current needs and projects, and will abide by strict ethical standards, including the photographic depiction of vulnerable and hurting people, particularly children.   

All communications to do with fund raising will give the donor the opportunity to provide funds to an undesignated, general category, as well as the need depicted in the specific promotion material.  Furthermore, the fund raising capture document will indicate that if a need is over-subscribed, surplus funds will be used for a project of a similar nature. 

Appropriate means of communication will be established with major donors and funders. Communication will be provided to all donors on how funds were used and have impacted the lives for those the funds were intended to help.

As well as fundraising materials, innovative educational materials may be sourced and developed challenging the APBF Baptist constituency to live justly and promote change to structures that perpetuate global poverty. Such materials will encourage APBF Baptists to be known as those who “live justly, love mercy and walk humbly with their God..." (Micah 6:8)’, are committed to gospel values of simplicity and compassion, and advocate for change in unjust structures.

The Director of APBAid and the APBF General Secretary are the spokespersons to the APBF member bodies and general public on all matters to do with the ministry and work of APBAid, unless otherwise delegated.

Policy No. 4
Policy on sustainable community development practices to be supported by APBAid.

APBAid puts a high value on the ability and dignity of communities, families and individuals to sustain themselves from their own resources. Good development activities are then a process where a community of people work together to break the cycle of poverty and dependence so that their fundamental needs are met and the quality of their lives is enhanced.  These development activities seek to address the root causes of the need identified and in doing so, make a contribution to reducing that need in the long term.   

The following principles are key to sustainable development activities supported by APBAid: 

  • Participation: The local community should decide what to do, and how to do it, and do as much of the work as possible, rather than the assisting organisation.
  • Just distribution:  Development activities seek to improve the well-being of those in need without favouritism or discrimination by race, religion, culture or political persuasion i.e. projects seek to bring about positive changes for the benefit of all members of the community.
  • Ongoing Benefits: Benefits will continue after development assistance has ceased, with the benefits being appropriate and owned by the stakeholders, and supported on an ongoing basis with locally available resources.

APBAid, therefore, seeks to empower the poor and oppressed to lift themselves out of poverty and deal with emergencies, to the point where they can sustain themselves without outside assistance.  Development and relief projects funded by APBAid will seek to improve the conditions of communities in a sustainable way based on working with communities, rather than for or on behalf of communities. 

Projects will be funded on the basis of their potential to deliver substantial and sustainable benefits for an extended period of time after finance, managerial and technical assistance finishes.  Such self-reliance assistance supports ideas and training which develop skills that enable recipients to continue the activities into the future.  

Implicit in such sustainable relief and development projects is the ability of the environment to sustain the activity; the support of local and national governments for the activities; the involvement and commitment of all key stakeholders (e.g. women and children); the ability of the local community to maintain any infrastructure or equipment (e.g. pumps, wells); and realistic assessment of risks outside the control of the partner, such as civil disturbances or natural disasters.

Normally, welfare activities will not be supported by funding from APBAid outside the humanitarian disaster context (i.e. the context of direct assistance of clothing, food, seeds and tools, temporary housing as part of a short term relief response) (see APBAid Committee Policy on Relief). Welfare activities are those which provide direct assistance to individuals because of a need. They generally seek to address immediate needs rather than address the root causes of those needs.  Common examples of welfare are the provision of food and clothing to poor communities. Other examples of welfare include institutionalised care programs provided by such institutions as orphanages.   Welfare programs include no strategy for integration into broader, community development programs and are implemented on either a one-off ‘gift’ basis or on a long-term basis with no clear exit strategy.

Policy No. 5 
APBAid Committee Relief and Disasters Policy.

APBAid supports relief assistance where it is the provision of basic support to people `in emergency situations, such as earthquakes, or chronic disasters such as famine or conflict.  In theses emergency situations, direct assistance (such as distribution of clothing, food, seeds and tools, temporary housing) form part of a short term relief response.  

The relief measures supported by APBAid are usually temporary and are directed at providing life-sustaining assistance or short-term recovery assistance aimed at putting people ‘back on their feet’. Relief is to be provided to groups of people, such as communities, directly affected by a disaster, and will be extended to all people, irrespective of tribe, caste, color, gender or religion.   APBAid aims abides by the Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in assessing and funding relief projects in disaster situation.

In seeking to position APBAid as a regional networking body for Baptists when disasters happens in the Asia Pacific region, APBAid will collect and collate information from and through the Baptist regional network to share with the APBF member bodies, BWA family and others. APBAid will coordinate a response by linking groups, raising funds and distributing funds.  When appropriate, APBAid will work in partnership with the growing Baptist network of rapid response teams to emergency situations, working closely with such groups as Rescue 24, the rapid response disaster and medical teams sponsored by Hungarian Baptist Aid. 

APBAid is committed to a program of training in disaster-preparedness and risk management in the most frequently affected areas, thereby increasing the capacity of local Baptist churches to respond effectively in times of disasters.   In addition, APBAid will develop a readily available, comprehensive data base of organizational capacity and resources across the APBF membership that can be activated and access during times of humanitarian disasters at any location within the membership.

APBAid may act as a facilitator for Gifts in Kind where such donations of gifts:

  • Have been specifically requested by the partner organisation;
  • Will not undermine the mission, vision and values of the partners, or the development approach used in the community;
  • Have been compared for costs and benefits;
  • Will be used responsibly in the local areas; and
  • Will not damage the local economy.

Policy No. 6 
APBAid Committee Capacity Building Policy.

APBAid will provide support and training to APBF member bodies that build their capacity to deliver increasingly better quality development and relief projects.  Its annual program will include support for training of APBF Baptist partners on what constitutes good practice relief and sustainable development work, and how they can educate their churches in development awareness. 

Such training will include helping member bodies to define what constitutes good relief and development work, while encouraging quality programming through the use of APBAid Guidelines, international standards and protocol.  APBAid is committed to a program of training in disaster-preparedness and risk management in the most frequently affected areas, thereby increasing the capacity of local Baptist churches to respond effectively in times of disasters.   Particular attention will be given to achieving sustainable development through projects and building capacity in disaster risk management, including the training of local churches and APBF member bodies in rapid response procedures to disasters.

Policy No. 7 
APBAid Partnership Policy.

APBAid supports relief and sustainable development projects that extend aid and relief to communities irrespective of tribe, caste, gender, color or religion.  Specifically, funding support is not only for helping Baptists or Baptist churches who are victims of poverty and disasters, but for helping the hurting communities of which Baptists are one part of.  Such support is normally provided by APBAid through projects proposed by APBF member bodies, their churches and regional bodies.  

In seeking to build the capacity of APBF Baptist partnerships, the relationship between ABPAid and the partner organization will nurture participation, empowerment and cooperation. 

APBAid may identify support channels for Baptist participation in areas of need, such as disaster or refugee ministries, where there is little or no Baptists involvement (e.g. Pakistan floods in 2010).  Often these channels will already be trusted non-Baptist partners of a BWA member body.
 APBAid may accept or work with other groups which accept government and public agency grants for relief and development programs, always ensuring that such programs are consistent with the Constitution and witness of the APBF and the BWA.

APBAid will develop and increase its role as a networking body in the region and for the BWA, where it will help identify, nurture and establish working partnerships amongst the APBF member bodies and the BWA.
Policy No. 8
APBAid Peace Activities Policy
The APBAid Committee of the Asia-Pacific Baptist Federation (APBF) is responsible for integrating the policies and activities of the former Peace Network of APBF into the work of the Aid Committee because it was observed that there is so much interdependence between the activities of both previously separate groups. Also the personnel overlap was significant in the capacity and activity of the APBF currently. 

This Policy will be read in close association with APBAid Policy No 2.
This policy is designed to set out the objectives and the process for sourcing and receiving, assessing, approving, monitoring and evaluating specific Peace related projects (or complementary part projects) within the overall Policy Framework of the APBF Aid Committee.
It also has the added purpose of ensuring that the peace aspects of any aid project are kept in the forefront of thinking and planning
The focus of the Peace component of Aid policies will be on the following areas:

Working alongside other aid workers in disaster response teams supported by APBAid.

Encouraging local church and community groups where they are in Disaster Response mode;To build and sustain strong & healthy working relationships within their own groups while under pressure.

Create and strengthen wider community and infrastructure relationships for future combined activity as part of good neighbourliness and contingency planning.  

Peace education & Training in a proactive mode or as a follow-up to disaster relief activities. Specific  current areas of focus are :Domestic Violence situations. Trauma Training i.e. Post disaster and ongoing-conflict trauma minimisation and recovery. Encouraging inter-faith response to disasters at a local level. Intra-Faith disputes that impact on Church and community life particularly in Christian majority areas. Promote the work of Peace makers: Christian, other religions and secular.    

Networking for Peace  Practitioners in emergency and on-going Aid, Development and Peace Projects

Recruiting the next generation of peace activists within the Baptist spheres of interest and providing networking and educational resources for such interested people.

As an extension of point 4 above focusing attention on Theological Colleges Staff in the region for identifying and training future Peace Practitioners.

Data Collection relevant for Peace Practitioners particularly listing existing work, workers and contact details.

Promote Fund Raising activity specific to Peace Building activities within the APBAid supporter networks.

Provide information links through the internet and other information sources as well as information for the communication arm of APBAid.

Commission research on the Religious Causes of Violence in the APBF region with respect firstly to Christianity and its immediate neighbourhood for the purpose of actively promoting peace within and outside our faith boundaries. (In the light of the current view that religion incites violence rather than promotes peace).

Promotes the work of peace Makers/Builders as role models for our 21st Century  World.   
As part of the Annual APBAid Budget Process, requests for project funding will be considered from an APBF member body, where such requests have been approved by the respective member body. Normal APBF Aid administrative policies will be followed for process and funding.
APBAid Director will keep in mind the Peace aspects of any project when screening projects being considered for funding especially the funding considerations.
APBAid Director will ensure adequate monitoring of the Peace aspects of any project under APBF Aid management or support.
APBAid Committee of the APBF has responsibility to ensure APBAid is fulfilling its obligations with respect to its Peace Policy components particularly during this transition phase (up to 2014).
The APBAid Director will liaise closely with Project Officers concerning the development and effective implementation of the Peace Components of every APBAid supported project.
The APBAid Director will also establish procedures and processes (Guidelines) to ensure  this becomes part of  ongoing APBF Aid work practice.
The APBAid Director will report, as part of the Annual Report, on the Peace aspects of APBF Aid work.