Our values and approach Our Values Assisi Aid Projects is a signatory to the Australia Council for International Development (ACFID) Code of Conduct. Our values are aligned and we are committed to: Sustainable, fair and equitable solutions that address the root causes and symptoms of gender inequality, poverty and disadvantage; Accountability and transparency to all our stakeholders for our performance and integrity; Building strong collaborative relationships, based on understanding and mutual trust, with the communities we work with; Striving to continuously learn, innovate and improve our work; Honesty and integrity in everything we do; Respecting, protecting and promoting all internationally recognised human rights; Environmental sustainability in all our programs; and Strengthening civil society both in Australia and in the countries we work. Our values underpin our strategy and approach to programming, which are centred on strengthening the capacity of women to establish, manage and operate their own development initiatives. Our approach Assisi Aid Projects' approach to community development has evolved over years of working with disadvantaged communities, and focuses on targeting the root causes of gender inequality. Our success is due to our commitment to supporting tangible, practical and self-sustaining initiatives in disadvantaged communities. Assisi Aid Projects works directly with communities, particularly women, to alleviate poverty through initiatives supporting women to adopt leadership roles, start businesses, access government support schemes, and advocate for their rights. Assisi Aid Projects recognises the interrelated dimensions of gender inequity and seeks to challenge these through four spheres of influence: Tradition, culture and gender norms shape the social rules and expectations of both women and men and have a profound impact on progress towards equality. Discriminatory gender norms act as barriers to women and girls securing their fundamental rights, including their right to education, protection, health, expression and participation. Policy and governance can result in widespread gender inequality when laws fail to equally protect and promote the rights of women and girls, fail to encourage women and girls to participate in public life, do not allocate a fair share of resources, and fail to equitably include their perspectives in policy decision-making processes. Access to markets and income significantly impacts women’s ability to access, and control, the resources they need for themselves and their families. Barriers to women’s labour force participation and access to income are numerous, ranging from the time burden associated with child-rearing and other domestic tasks, low education levels and existing wage gaps between males and females. Personal voice and agency are critical to achieving gender equality. Supporting the active, free and meaningful participation of women and girls in all spheres of life (social, political and economic) ensures their ability to define their own life-choices and pursue their own goals. Partnership Working in partnership with and through local civil society organisations is fundamental to Assisi Aid Projects' development approach. Assisi Aid Projects seeks to partner with local organisations that share our commitment to women’s empowerment and gender equality. We seek to partner with local organisations that bring significant local contextual knowledge and capabilities to the partnership and, in turn, we provide technical support and access to financial resources. Through mutually beneficial partnerships, we aim to improve the effectiveness and impact of our programs. We strongly believe that learning within a partnership goes both ways and that both parties should be enriched by the cooperation. Hence, in our partnerships, we place emphasis on joint decision-making, knowledge sharing and we engage in needs based capacity development. We are very proud of our current partnerships with Integrated Development Trust in Tamil Nadu, India, and our new partnership with the Federation of Business and Professional Women Nepal (BPW Nepal) in Jumla, Nepal.