How we Work - Our principles and values | ERDO Skip to main content

How We Work

Our Theory of Change

ERDO’s approach to programs is very simple and yet incredibly complex. We put the community and the well-being of families first in order to create sustainable, long-lasting change.

When we begin working in a new community, we first determine our long-term goals alongside local leaders. Then, we figure out together how to obtain these goals through effective programs. ERDO empowers the community to run these programs, which can include:

  • Increasing a community’s access to food
  • Educating children and adults
  • Increasing the mental, physical and spiritual health of individuals and families
  • Creating job and business opportunities for men and women

Since ERDO works alongside different people and communities, our programs can change from one location to the next depending on culture or need. To ensure these programs are successful, ERDO follows internationally recognized best practices and standards as well as our own program principles.

Our principles are based on ERDO’s core values of integrity, excellence, dignity, collaboration, compassion and gratitude.

Our Program Principles


We commit to transparency and accountability in all our work.


We commit to being a learning organization.

Dignity & Compassion

We commit to promoting the inherent worth of every person.

Collaboration & Gratitude

We commit to working collaboratively to reach common goals.

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Our Human Rights Approach

In all our programs, we use a human rights-based approach. This means we stand with the most marginalized, excluded groups who face incredible discrimination. When working in a community we examine the culture to identify any root causes of inequality, including discrimination, repression, lack of access to resources and participation.

We know that inequality denies people their rights and keeps them in poverty. In our programs, we strive to make sure families know what their human rights are and become participants in all decisions that affect their community.

ERDO recognizes that people should be able to make decisions about their own futures and in their community’s development. We do our best to empower a community to break out of poverty rather than impose our own solutions.

Our Non-Discriminatory Approach

In every program we commit to being transparent and accountable. We commit to adhere to the humanitarian principles of impartiality, neutrality, independence and humanity.

We will not discriminate who we assist within a community but will show impartiality and help everyone we can. We will not take sides in a hostile environment but will continue to deliver aid with neutrality. We will not be influenced by another country’s policies and actions but will assist where we can with independence. We will recognize people’s humanity and address suffering wherever we find it, especially when it concerns vulnerable people.

ERDO will remain impartial, serving people in need regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, ability, gender, sexual orientation or social status.

Our Alliances and Networks

Our Cross-Cutting Themes

Woven into every program is our desire to do good and make the world a better place for children and families in need. We are intentional about our program’s impacts on the environment, and on a community’s sense of equality and inclusion. To accomplish this, we ensure our Cross-Cutting Themes are written into each of our programs.


We recognize the impact of climate change on the poorest communities around the world. ERDO commits to ensuring we do not harm the environment while we protect those who rely on the environment for food, water and shelter.


We recognize that there have been historical disadvantages which result in inequality between men and women. ERDO commits to promoting gender equality to see both men and women empowered to change their futures.

Diversity & Inclusion

We desire to create a collaborative, supportive and respectful environment where all voices can be heard. ERDO commits to listening and ensuring people who are often overlooked, like people with disabilities or ethnic minorities are included in our programs.