Partnership is fundamental to the way Cord operates. It is a key outworking of our organisational value of inter-dependence.

Cord works almost exclusively in partnership with local & international organisations to achieve our mission. We strive to ensure that all our partnerships are characterised by valued, meaningful and interdependent relationships. 

Cord aspires to work in partnerships which are mutually empowering rather than conditional, which emphasise ‘power with’ rather than ‘power over’, whilst at the same time recognising power imbalances. We recognise and celebrate the unique qualities and capacities that our partners bring to our work. We seek to maximise these qualities in addition to bringing our own experience and expertise. 

Our partnership principles

Cord uses the following partnership principles, to ensure strong working relationships, clear roles and responsibilities and local ownership throughout:  

  • Shared understanding of goals and objectives;  
  • Clarity of purpose and expectations; 
  • Joint accountability and transparency; 
  • Reciprocal dialogue and consultative decision-making;  
  • Reflective practice is used to enhance working relationships.  

Our ‘Charter for Change’

Cord strongly supports the drive to increase local ownership and decision making in humanitarian, development and peacebuilding work known as the ‘Localisation agenda’. We regularly evaluate ourselves against the 8 components of the ‘Charter for change’ that was created to shape what localisation looks like in practice: 

1. Passing funds to Local Organisations

A key element of most Cord projects is the sub-granting of funds to partner organisations

2. Principles of Partnership

We place high value in partnership and sign a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with all partners

3. Transparency of funding

Cord is open and transparent with regard to our sources of funding and these are published in our annual report 

4. Fair Recruitment policies

Cord always seeks to recruit local staff to country teams without taking those with the most capacity away from local organisations

5. Advocate to funders

Cord regularly promotes the benefits of working with local partners to our donors and the unique challenges they face 

6. Involvement from the beginning

Cord always seeks to involve partners in project and programme design from the very start, ensuring the issues highlighted and proposed solutions are locally relevant and needed

7. Capacity Development

All Cord’s projects include development of the capacity of our partners as a standard element, any support is discussed agreed with the partners 

8. Recognising our Partners

In Cord’s communications we strive to highlight the amazing role of our partners and the invaluable work that they do 

A group of children in laos

Theory of Change 

Our Theory of Change explains how and why we’ll achieve our vision, of a world where all people can live in peace and live life to the full.

Our strategy

There are 3 strands to our peacebuilding work. Together they strengthen relationships between different parts of society. Communities become safer and more stable, and people prosper.
Building Bridges in Burundi programme


Because of the complex contexts where Cord works, we’ve pioneered outcome harvesting as a monitoring and evaluation approach to compliment traditional methods. It identifies, describes, verifies and analyzes outcomes.
Lives changed
Cord has the privilege of partnering with some amazing organisations, including Wan Lark in Myanmar. Operating since 2010, Wan Lark’s work involves emergency relief, community development and defending human rights. They are based in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State. This port city on the Bay of Bengal at the mouth of the Kaladan River, ...