Interaction Program on Safeguarding Policies and Way forward
An in-house “Interaction Program on Safeguarding Policies” was held on 25th March 2022 at TPO Nepal to orient the staff about existing organizational policies and to discuss the way forward. A total of 26 staff of TPO Nepal were present in the program, and 12 staff joined virtually. The objective of this interaction was to discuss and get feedback on the different organizational policies developed, revised, and currently under implementation.
Firstly, Dr. Mita Rana, Chairperson of TPO Nepal, welcomed all the participants virtually. She thanked the staff members for participating in the program and requested them to understand and apply the policies. “This applies to all of us as part of our responsibilities as an employee as well as human beings”, said Dr. Rana. After this, the Safeguarding Officer of TPO Nepal Ratna Maya Lama gave a presentation on the following policies of TPO Nepal: Preventing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) Policy 2021, Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) Policy 2021, Child Protection Policy 2014, Whistle Blowing Policy 2021, and Code of Conduct 2014. TPO Nepal, as an organization, has zero tolerance against sexual harassment, abuse, and exploitation and zero tolerance against child abuse and exploitation. “These policies have been made for our and our beneficiaries’ safety in the workplace. It is our responsibility to abide by them. All staff members are expected to be sensitive and respectful towards each other and people they come into contact with while representing the organization”, said Ms. Lama. She also shared the steps the organization has taken to safeguard the team and the organization’s response and reporting mechanism. As the way forward, she highlighted that the organization planned to orientate all concerned on the available policies and provisions and share the progress periodically.
After the presentation, the staff gave feedback on the policies and mechanisms. Some suggestions were adding a board member to the PSEA committee, specifying complaint addressing time, adding the management of non-serious events in the policies, making the salary scale transparent, and disseminating the safeguarding mechanism during community events.
“This is a continuous process of learning and doing. So, I request you all to look at the policies, identify the gaps, and suggest areas of improvement”, said Mr. Pitambar Koirala, Head of Program department at TPO Nepal. Lastly, the program was formally closed by Dr. Mita Rana. “I think this is a very good opportunity to sit and discuss among the TPO family. Getting you input is very important to us as we are still learning”, said Dr. Rana.