Governance, Accountability and transparency


The Board of Directors of Self Help Africa take seriously the responsibility that is placed on us to be transparent and accountable in all of our dealings. It is vitally important that our supporters, donors, partners and the communities with whom we work have confidence in everything we do.

This is why we have put in place robust systems of governance, accountability and transparency, full details of which are set out below. Our organisation has a zero tolerance approach to any form of corruption, fraud or wrongdoing and will pursue any of these issues  thoroughly.

The board and its subcommittees perform a vital role in ensuring that we operate to the highest governance standards. Over the past decade we have invested heavily in ensuring that we have compliance and oversight systems to monitor and evaluate all aspects of our work. The fourteen key policy documents which our organisation operates under are published on this page.

Our Audit, Finance and Risk Committee (AFRC) is a key part of our commitment and ability to review and monitor all aspects of our financial management and governance. This skills based committee is comprised of eight independent professionals with experience in finance, audit, law, corporate governance and business. The AFRC is chaired by a member of the Board and acts on behalf of the board.

Each year we undergo a rigorous annual financial review and audit with external auditors Deloitte. All relevant information is made available to our supporters and the general public in our Annual Report. We are subject to periodic detailed audits from our institutional donors (e.g. Irish government, UK government, European Union). Clean track records in such audits give us further confidence in the robustness of our systems and procedures.

We have a confidential whistleblowing system that allows any members of staff, suppliers, community members or the general public to notify our board of any suspicion of wrongdoing, through an independent third party mechanism. Our donors and supporters expect nothing less. The communities that we serve deserve nothing less.

Geoff Meagher, Chair, Self Help Africa



Self Help Africa is a member of the CHS Alliance (Core Humanitarian Standard), a global alliance of humanitarian/development organisations committed to making aid work better for people. 
The CHS Alliance strengthens accountability and puts people affected by crisis at the heart of what we do.



Our new Global Strategy (2023-2027) provides us with a road map to guide us in our work in the years ahead. It sets out our plans to alleviate hunger and poverty through economic and social change that creates sustainable livelihoods and healthy lives.

Governance structure

As a charity, Self Help Africa has no shareholders. Members effectively fill the role of shareholders. Members are supporters of the organisation, believe in its mission and vision and are prepared to get involved on a voluntary basis to support the organisation.

The members elect directors and the board is accountable to the members at its Annual General Meeting (AGM). A director must be a member. Our management team supports the board in the achievement of its objectives and are accountable to the board.

Self Help Africa is fully compliant with the Irish Development NGOs’ Code of Corporate Governance developed by the Corporate Governance Association of Ireland in partnership with Dochas.

The Board

The Board of Self Help Africa is a skills-based Board. It is elected from the membership at its annual general meeting. The maximum number of Board members is twelve. To ensure good board renewal, each year one third of the directors shall retire by rotation. The maximum term limit for any director is nine years.

The Board can co-opt members of the organisation when necessary to maintain a full complement of Directors, co-opted Directors will then stand for election at the next annual general meeting.

The Board of Directors is responsible for the strategy of Self Help Africa, approving budgets, major policies, monitoring performance, reviewing and ensuring management proposals are actioned.

The Board has five standing committees:

who else is the board accountable to?

Aside from our members, the Board is accountable to:

- Our donors, to ensure that funds donated are used effectively in pursuit of the organisation's objectives.

- Our programme beneficiaries, for the design and implementation of effective programmes that make a real difference in the countries where we operate.

- Our staff, for their development, welfare and safety.

Self Help Africa has robust complaints procedures in place. Find out how to make a Confidential Report.

Our Values and behaviours

Self Help Africa's three values are:

  • Impact: We are accountable, ambitious and committed to systemic change
  • Innovation: We are agile, creative and enterprising in an ever changing world
  • Community: We are inclusive, honest and have integrity in our relationships

Learn more on our values and behaviours here.

who is on the Management Team?

The management team of Self Help Africa is currently made up of the following people:

- Feargal O' Connell, CEO
- Gus McNamara, CFOO
- Patricia Wall, Interim Director of Programmes Operations & Development Education; Regional Director for Great Lakes & East Africa, and Bangladesh
- Martha Hourican, Director of Business Development
- Kathrin Hall - Head of Programme Funding and Interim Director of Impact, Strategy and Policy
- Helena Škember, Regional Director

Find out more about our Management Team

who is on the Board?

The Board of Self Help Africa is currently made up of the following people:

- Geoff Meagher, Chair

- Chinyere Almona
- Sinéad Kilkelly
- Kalongo Chitengi
- Catherine Fitzgibbon
- Mary Robinson
- Joe Healy
- Martin Ryan

- Jim Kinsella
- Hadi Hasani
- Jim Galvin
- Ray Coyne

Find out more about our Board of Directors

what is expected of a member of Self Help Africa?

Members must be actively engaged in supporting the organisation. As an international non-governmental organisation dedicated to the alleviation of poverty in Africa, Self Help Africa members are expected to contribute more to the organisation than the minimum requirements of company law.

More details about the role of a member are available here.

To become a member, you need to be approved by the Board of Directors. If you are interested in becoming a member please contact : [email protected]

Financial Statements


Self Help Africa is a signatory to the Dochas Code of Conduct on the responsible use of images and messages.

The Code is our commitment to respect the dignity of the people and communities with whom we work in Africa, and to reflect this respect in the manner in which we use pictures and information relating to these people.

More details about the code are available here.

UN Global Compact


Download our letter of commitment to the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact in the areas of Human Rights, Labour, Environment and Anti-Corruption here.



Self Help Africa and its subsidiary organisations are committed to ensuring diversity, equality, inclusion and anti-racism in our organisation. A staff-led committee, ARISE, has been created to progress these aims. ARISE stands for Anti Racism Inclusion Solidarity Equality.

Terms of Reference for ARISE are available at this link.