Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS) has again been recommended for the highest accreditation possible from the Australian Government as a not-for-profit agency.

Every five years, the Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) reviews the work of aid and development agencies, and the results are linked to government funding and viability. The process aims to give the public confidence that the government is funding well-managed, professional, accountable organisations capable of delivering quality development outcomes.

If agencies pass the review, they receive one of two levels of accreditation – base or full. Full accreditation, for which ALWS again has been recommended, provides capped funding, along with access to a share of pooled funding which varies annually, depending on government budget allocations.

This accreditation is awarded by the government to organisations that are highly effective and meet strict criteria across a range of areas, including accountability and transparency, program management, approaches to partnership, risk management and ethical communications and fundraising.

The official wording of the accreditation is as follows: ‘ALWS is accredited by DFAT, responsible for managing Australia’s development program. To maintain accreditation, ALWS systems, policies and processes are rigorously reviewed by the Australian Government. ALWS receives support through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program.’

ALWS Community Action Manager Jonathan Krause said the ‘exhausting’ and exhaustive DFAT review involved ‘hundreds of pages of reports, days of interviews, more than 70 questions to be answered from those reports’.

‘Success in the review means a number of wonderful things for our church’s ministry through ALWS’, he said. ‘First, ALWS continues to receive grants from the Australian Government to multiply the impact of donations through ALWS. Over the next five years, we estimate this may add more than $9 million value to what our church can do through ALWS. Second, accreditation means ALWS is in a good position when other opportunities for support from the Australian Government are offered.

‘Third – and important for us Lutherans who like ‘value for money’ – accreditation is assurance donations are put to work with strict standards of accountability and proven effectiveness in making a lasting difference in people’s lives.’

The accreditation recommendation outcomes will be known later this year.

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