Frequently asked questions
Website acceptable use policy
Website acceptable use policy
Conditions for all people using or visiting the ODI site. This Acceptable Use Policy applies to all users of, and visitors to, our site. Your use of our site means that you accept, and agree to abide by, every part of this Acceptable Use Policy.
You may not use our site:
- In any way that breaches any applicable local, national or international law or regulation;
- In any way that is unlawful or fraudulent, or has any unlawful or fraudulent purpose or effect;
- For the purpose of harming or attempting to harm minors in any way;
- To send, knowingly receive, upload, download, use or re-use any material that does not comply with our content standards;
- To transmit, or procure the sending of, any unsolicited or unauthorised advertising or promotional material or any other form of similar solicitation (spam);
- To knowingly transmit any data, send or upload any material that contains viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time-bombs, keystroke loggers, spyware, adware or any other harmful programmes or similar computer code designed to adversely affect the operation of any computer software or hardware.
You also agree:
- Not to access without authority, interfere with, damage or disrupt:
- Any part of our site;
- Any equipment or network on which our site is stored;
- Any software used in the provision of our site; or
- Any equipment or network or software owned or used by any third party.
We may from time to time provide interactive services on our site, including:
- Chat rooms and discussion forums;
- Bulletin boards;
- Polls and feedback forms.
Where we do provide any interactive service, we will provide clear information to you about the kind of service offered, whether it is moderated and what form of moderation is used (including whether it is human or technical). We will do our best to assess any possible risks for users (and in particular, for children) from third parties when they use any interactive service provided on our site, and we will decide in each case whether it is appropriate to use moderation of the relevant service (including what kind of moderation to use) in the light of those risks. However, we are under no obligation to oversee, monitor or moderate any interactive service we provide on our site, and we expressly exclude our liability for any loss or damage arising from the use of any interactive service by a user in contravention of our content standards, whether the service is moderated or not.
The use of any of our interactive services by a minor is subject to the consent of their parent or guardian. We advise parents who permit their children to use an interactive service that it is important that they communicate with their children about their safety online, as moderation is not foolproof. Minors who are using any interactive service should be made aware of the potential risks to them.
Where we do moderate an interactive service, we will normally provide you with a means of contacting the moderator, should a concern or difficulty arise.
These content standards apply to any and all material that you contribute to our site and to any interactive services associated with that material.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
- Be accurate (where they state facts);
- Be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and
- Comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
- Contain any material that is defamatory of any person;
- Contain any material that is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory;
- Promote sexually explicit material;
- Promote violence;
- Promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age;
- Infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person;
- Be likely to deceive any person;
- Be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence;
- Promote any illegal activity;
- Be threatening, abuse or invade another's privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety;
- Be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person;
- Give the impression that they emanate from ODI, if this is not the case;
- Advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Suspension and termination
We will determine, in our discretion, whether there has been a breach of this Acceptable Use Policy through your use of our site. When a breach of this policy has occurred, we may take such action as we deem appropriate.
- Immediate, temporary or permanent removal of any posting or material uploaded by you to our site;
- Issue of a warning to you;
- Legal proceedings against you for reimbursement of all costs on an indemnity basis (including, but not limited to, reasonable administrative and legal costs) resulting from the breach;
- Further legal action against you;
- Disclosure of such information to law enforcement authorities as we reasonably feel is necessary.
We exclude liability for actions taken in response to breaches of this Acceptable Use Policy. The responses described in this policy are not limited, and we may take any other action we deem reasonably appropriate.
Changes to the Acceptable Use Policy
We may revise this Acceptable Use Policy at any time by amending this page. You are expected to check this page from time to time to take notice of any changes we make, as they are legally binding on you.
Some of the provisions contained in this Acceptable Use Policy may also be superseded by provisions or notices published elsewhere on our site.
ODI is an independent body that does not express opinions of its own. The opinions expressed in our publications and other website content are the responsibility of the authors. ODI therefore disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on such materials by any visitor to our site, or by anyone who may be informed of any of its contents.
We aim to update our site regularly. Any of the material on our site may be out of date at any given time, and we are under no obligation to update such material. Commentary and other materials posted on our site are not intended to amount to advice on which any reliance should be placed.
Linking to our site
You may link to pages on our site, provided you do so in a way that is fair and legal and does not take advantage of our reputation, but you must not establish a link in such a way as to suggest any form of association, approval or endorsement on our part where none exists.
The website from which you are linking must comply in all respects with the content standards set out in our Acceptable Use Policy detailed above.
We ask other organisations and media to create links to documents stored on our site, rather than storing our documents on their own systems.
Links from our site
Where our site contains links to other sites and resources provided by third parties, these links are provided for your information only.
We have no control over the contents of those sites or resources, and accept no responsibility for them or for any loss or damage that may arise from your use of them.
If you have any concerns about material that appears on our site, please contact [email protected].
Copyright and permissions
Copyright and permissions
ODI publishes content using a Creative Commons Licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 – full attribution, no commercial gain, no derivatives). Readers are encouraged to reproduce material from ODI publications for their own use, as long as they are not being sold commercially. ODI requests due acknowledgement and a copy of the material. For online use, we ask readers to link to the original resource on the ODI website.
Reproduction and dissemination
ODI wants to ensure that the research carried out by its staff reaches a wide audience, contributing to debate and research on critical development issues.
We welcome requests for non-commercial dissemination and reproduction of our work, however we do not permit the reproduction of ODI content for commercial gain, whether direct or indirect.
Much of our content is available for download from our website. We ask other organisations and media to link to these materials rather than hosting documents in full on their own sites.
This helps us to track the use of our research and communications outputs, providing vital information for monitoring and evaluation activities.
Our status (and that of any identified contributors) as the authors of material must always be acknowledged and a full credit given as follows:
- Author or Editor, with last name first
- Year of publication (in brackets)
- Full title in italics
- Place of publication
- Overseas Development Institute
Example: Greenhill, R., Prizzon, A. and Rogerson, A. (2013) The age of choice: how are developing countries managing the new aid landscape?, London: ODI (https://odi.org/en/publications/the-age-of-choice-developing-countries-in-the-new-aid-landscape/)
For all other queries about reproducing ODI publications, please contact:
Overseas Development Institute
203 Blackfriars Road
London SE1 8NJ
Email: [email protected]
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7922 0300
Fax:+ 44 (0) 20 7922 0399
Open information policy
Open information policy
Scope and responsibilities
This policy sets out the information that the Overseas Development Institute (Registered Charity no. 228248) will make publicly available, both through our website and on request.
It also sets out information that is excluded from this policy,1 and how to appeal decisions relating to some types of exclusions. It is informed by best practice within the UK international development sector and existing legislation in the UK, where ODI is a registered charity. This includes:
- The Freedom of Information Act
- Charities Regulation Act 2008
- Data Protection Act
- UK Aid Transparency Guarantee (for funding from DFID)
- International Aid Transparency Initiative
Overall accountability for the implementation of this policy will lie with ODI’s Secretariat and Governance Manager. Compliance with this policy is the responsibility of all staff within ODI. Specific accountabilities are as follows:
- Provision of information, responding to information requests, complaints procedure: ODI Company Secretary
- Review and update of this policy: ODI Secretariat and Governance Manager.
How to make a request for information
All the information listed in this policy is or will be openly available on our website. To request information that isn’t listed, or to request a more accessible format, please use the contact information on our website.
We aim to respond initially within 3 working days, and respond fully within 10 working days of receipt of your request. If you would like to appeal any response where the information you have requested is subject to exclusions, please follow the ODI complaints procedure Please also note that some categories of exclusion are not open to appeal.
See “Circumstances under which we may be unable to provide information” for more information
ODI’s commitment to transparency
Transparency lies at the core of our accountability towards our staff, our funders, the general public and all those who benefit from and are affected by our work.
It refers to our openness and honesty in sharing information about our activities, our performance and learning as an organisation, our governance and decision making processes and our financial arrangements.
Transparency has both internal and external aspects. ODI’s trustees, management and staff need to be sure they will be informed in a timely way of important information that could affect their work.
If external stakeholders are to have confidence in us, they need to be sure that ODI will share timely, relevant information to enable them to make informed decisions about ODI and our work.
We will make information available in order to increase our transparency to our key stakeholders and to enhance our own effectiveness in achieving our mission.
We will model best practice to our partners to increase their own transparency. We will also support the collective effort among international development actors to improve coordination through provision of standardised information on our activities, for example through IATI.
Our IATI portal can be viewed here. This Open Information Policy sets out ODI’s approach to information sharing on the basis of a preference for openness unless there are valid reasons for withholding information (see the Exclusions section of this policy).
By adopting this approach, we enable our stakeholders to assess how we have made decisions, how we have managed our finances, how effective our programmes have been and how we learn from the challenges we face.
Who are we transparent towards?
ODI’s key stakeholders in terms of transparency are our trustees, staff, donors and partners.
We also consider a key stakeholder group to be the policy-makers, people and communities in the South who use and are affected by our research and policy work.
In addition, we also have a responsibility to ensure we communicate information that is in the public interest in relation to sources of funding that originate from public money and our registered charity status.
What information is shared under this policy?
This is not a definitive list but indicates the status of the most common types of information that is shared by organisations within the development and charity sectors.
ODI may also share information not included on this list via our website.
Data protection and privacy
ODI is subject to data protection and privacy legislation, and therefore we are unable to disclose personal private data covered by this legislation without consent, unless we are obliged or permitted by law to do so.
Freedom of Information
As a charity, ODI is not a public body and therefore is not subject to the UK’s Freedom of Information Act 2000. However, ODI is committed to working to increase the openness and availability of the information listed in this policy.
ODI is committed to supporting trustees, staff and partners to value transparency and open information and to ensuring that we have cost-efficient systems in place to make information available, including an improved website. However, this will take time.
Therefore, ODI will follow a path of progressive publication, publishing what we can now and committing to publishing additional information (such as those items marked ‘on request’ above) as it becomes possible.
Circumstances under which we may be unable to provide information
If you request information from us, we may not be able to provide you will all the information you require. If all or part of the information you have requested falls under one of the following categories, we will write and let you know the reason we will not share it. You will have the opportunity to appeal this decision through our complaints procedure for some categories (indicated).
For information about the complaints procedure, please visit our contact page.
- Safety and security – where disclosing information may present a risk to the safety and security of staff, communities and projects, either for ODI or other organisations (decision not subject to appeal.)
- Political context – where disclosing information may present a risk to ODI and its partners based on current political issues (decision not subject to appeal).
- Privacy – where disclosure would breach data protection legislation or an individual’s right to privacy. For example, we will not share the personal details of our staff, volunteers or individual supporters. (Decision not subject to appeal.)
- Confidentiality – where the information is confidential on legal, business or contractual grounds. (Decision not subject to appeal.)
- Intellectual Property Rights – where the IPR for a piece of work belongs to someone else and we cannot give permission for its use. (Decision not subject to appeal.)
- Ownership of the data – you may ask us to disclose information about a relevant party that is not our right to disclose. This is outside of the scope of this policy and we will ask you to contact the relevant party directly. (Decision not subject to appeal.)
- Vexatious, offensive or unreasonable requests – we may decline to correspond if a person deliberately behaves in an offensive or abusive manner, aims to obtain information by deceit (for example by using false contact details or other misrepresentation) or otherwise engages in unreasonable conduct. Appeal via complaints procedure.
- Cost – where the financial or time cost of disclosing the information would be unreasonably high. We need to balance our commitment to transparency with our delivery of results, especially where it involves public funds. Appeal via complaints procedure.
- Status – where the information is in draft state for staff review only, or is an internal communication, administrative or management document. Appeal via complaints procedure.
- Historical information – if the information requested is historical, it may be difficult and costly for ODI to obtain archived material.
Copyright and legal information about this policy
ODI reserves intellectual property rights for information and materials provided under this policy, including those materials distributed under an open license, unless stated otherwise in the material.
- What information ODI may collect about you;
- What ODI does with the information we gather about you;
- When ODI may use your details to contact you;
- Whether ODI will disclose your details to anyone else;
- Your choices regarding the personal information you have provided; and
- ODI's commitment to keeping your details secure.
If you have a complaint or concern regarding any aspect of ODI’s work, funding or the conduct of our employees that you have been unable (or do not wish) to resolve directly with the parties concerned, please send an e-mail to [email protected].
You can expect to receive a response within 20 working days.
Our work involves working with, and for, the benefit of the world’s most vulnerable and marginalised people, often in fragile and volatile places. In this context, ODI operates in a highly regulated environment.
We are passionate about co-creating an ethical and professional culture in which everyone works towards eliminating all forms of malpractice. In this regard, we commit to:
- relating to each other in ways that enhance our identity as a trusted, independent, global think tank;
- manifest our values of fairness, diversity and equality, inclusion, transparency, independence, excellence in all that we do
- having a zero tolerance to bullying, harassment, victimisation, abuse of power or sexual exploitation,
- expecting all staff and representatives, contractors, Fellows, to comply with ODI’s, government, partner and donor compliance policies. This includes safeguarding, environmental and safety policies whether based locally (onsite) or working remotely (internationally),
- adhering to the six core principles of the UN Inter-agency (IATF) prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse covering NGO and Humanitarian workers
The ODI Safeguarding policy and procedure sets out a series of clear guidelines that all ODI staff, contractors, trustees (in the course of their ODI duties), fellows, partners and other associates should follow when interacting with children (including children with additional vulnerabilities) or vulnerable adults. The intention is to ensure that children and vulnerable adults – as groups who are particularly susceptible to exploitation and abuse - are protected from harm at all times when involved in ODI projects, or interacting with ODI trustees, staff, contractors and fellows in any other context. Safeguarding can constitute a serious incident.