Thanks for taking to time to review this latest iteration of our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.
Regularly updating the guidelines by which we do business is crucial to our continued success as a global development company. Our core values of integrity, excellence, responsibility, and global citizenship are unwavering, but the world we work in is always in flux and constantly offering new tests and applications for the principles we live by. At the same time, DAI is expanding into new technical areas and markets with new kinds of services, such as our work through DAI Capital and the Sustainable Business Group. Accordingly, we find ourselves encountering new kinds of questions and facing new kinds of choices. And the societies in which we work are themselves evolving, leading them—quite rightly—to demand ever-higher standards of all enterprises.
Our commitment to global citizenship, to take just one of our core values, is absolute and non-negotiable: “We depend on our diversity and inclusiveness, respect the cultures in which we work, and treat everyone, everywhere with professionalism and dignity.” But like organizations all over the world, we have chosen to take a hard look at this and other values we espouse and make sure we are living up to them.
While we have made real progress on gender equity, for example, the journey is not complete, and the broader aid and development industry has not been spared its share of shameful incidents of sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment (SEAH). At DAI, we responded to the call for heightened awareness and vigilance around SEAH by appointing a full-time Global Director of Safeguarding.
Similarly, the movement for racial and social justice—initially sparked by police malfeasance in the United States but reflecting much deeper social inequalities and extending beyond America’s borders—caused us to launch a Racial and Social Justice Initiative that will lead to a much sharper focus on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion at DAI. We’re proud to respond to the moral imperatives of our time, and some of the changes in the Code reflect these new points of emphasis.
Just as the Code will never be “finished”—we will always be looking for ways to refine our guidelines, adapt to new circumstances, plug holes, address unexpected challenges—it can never be exhaustive. You will always be able to find something we should have anticipated or a novel case where you will have to apply principles rather than established precedent. But this document is the working model of how we expect you to conduct business here at DAI. As always, if you have any questions about how to apply the Code in your everyday work, or suggestions about how we might improve it, please contact Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Mike Walsh.
And finally, please remember: If you see something, say something. If you’re aware of anybody, or any group, or any process or system that is not living up to DAI standards, let us know. The mechanisms for reporting are listed in this document, and you have our word that you will be treated respectfully, in confidence, and with the assurance that you will face no retaliation of any kind.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Board Member