Abbie Trayler-Smith

Mariam Tawfeeq Matlaq, plumber
Mariam Tawfeeq Matlaq, plumber

Statement of legitimacy and accountability

Why Oxfam has authority to speak and act on issues relating to our mission to alleviate poverty and suffering, and how we hold ourselves accountable.


Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are sometimes challenged about their legitimacy to speak out on issues such as world poverty. Oxfam's authority to do so is based on the following: 

  • Oxfam's experience is wide-ranging and in-depth.
  • We have worked with poor people in developing countries for more than 70 years.
  • Currently, we're working with more than 1,000 partners in 67countries.
  • We employ local people who understand the issues that keep local communities trapped in poverty.
  • Our development and humanitarian work is respected by the international community, southern and northern governments, our partner organisations, allies, and other agencies.
  • More than 400,000 people in the UK support Oxfam's work through monthly giving.
  • Oxfam is an independent charity, and as such does not align itself to any governments.

Oxfam also carries out important advocacy and policy work, to make sure that governments and international organisations understand the needs of poor people, and work towards improving their lives. Members of the public who campaign for Oxfam help us to convey these messages and to increase awareness of our work.


In order to achieve our organisational mission and to ensure that our work has the greatest impact on poverty, we believe it is vital to be accountable to our key stakeholders.

Key stakeholders include the individuals and communities with whom we work; partners and allies; donors and supporters; staff and the wider public; and regulatory bodies in the UK and in countries where we operate.

We are working towards improved transparency and information-sharing, greater stakeholder participation in decision-making, and better evaluation and compliance mechanisms. You can find further details in the following information: