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Privacy Notice

This Privacy Notice, refers to your relationship with ActionAid International only and details why we collect your data, what data we collect, how we protect it and your rights.  

Your personal data (such as your name and contact details, known as ‘personal data’) is protected by specific legislation: 

If you are in the European Union / European Economic Area: 

If you are in the United Kingdom:  

  • The GDPR as transposed into United Kingdom national law by operation of section 3 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 ("UK GDPR"); 
  • The UK Data Protection Act 2018; 
  • The Data Protection, Privacy and Electronic Communications (Amendments etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 and other data protection or privacy legislation in force from time to time in the United Kingdom (“UK Data Protection Laws”)  

                      – In the following also referred to as “Applicable Data Protection Laws” – 

The laws in this area continue to develop quickly. We take our responsibilities around data very seriously, and it’s important to us that you understand how and why we ask for and work with your details. Your privacy is important to us and we have policies to ensure that we collect only the data that we need to carry out the work that we do, and that we don’t keep it any longer than we need to. This policy explains how we collect, manage, use and protect your personal data, including how we work with third parties. We never sell or swap your details with any other organisation for their marketing purposes. 

About us

ActionAid International is an international development organization working in 44 countries around the world to achieve social justice, gender equality and eradicate poverty. Our dedicated local staff work to help end violence against women and girls and changing lives, for good. At ActionAid International, everything we do is geared towards ensuring the rights and improving the lives of women and girls and the implementation of our international strategy which is action for global justice. We seek to develop a greater understanding of our supporters through their personal data in order to help us give them the best possible experience, fundraise more efficiently and help us change lives for good. 

The information that we collect, how it is collected and used.

To comply with Applicable Data Protection Laws, we will always ensure we have legal justification for processing (e.g. collecting and using) your personal data. We will collect personal data about you in a number of ways: 

Where you have provided your consent to allow us to use your data in a certain way;  

When you support us by; 

  • Signing one of our petitions 
  • Signing up to make a donation to ActionAid International Engaging with our social media and digital advertising
  • Joining our volunteer and activist communities 

As well as 

  • When you apply for a job at ActionAid International 
  • When you visit our website
  • When you contact our Supporter Care team 

To comply with data protection rules, we will always ensure we have legal justification for collecting and using your personal information. 

The legal justification (also called “legal basis”) that we rely on will depend upon the circumstances in which we process your personal data. Our processing of your personal data will fall into one of the following categories: 

  • Where you have provided your consent to allow us to use your data in a certain way.
  • Where it is necessary for us to process your data in order to comply with a legal obligation.
  • It is in our legitimate interests, for example to contact you in order to raise funds and achieve our campaign objectives. Where we rely on a legitimate interest to use your information, we will always ensure that this is done in a way so as not to be intrusive or cause distress, and that respects your rights by conducting a Legitimate Interest Assessment beforehand. 
  • Where it is necessary for us to process your data in order to carry out the performance of a contract with you. 

Where a legal basis is relevant which is not listed here, we will expressly refer to it at the appropriate section in this Privacy Notice. 

People who support us

There are a number of ways that we collect information; most often this will be directly from you, for example, if we are collecting data on our field visits, if you fill out a form on our website, or directly with one of our fundraisers. Whenever we ask for information from you, we will explain why we are asking for it (including by reference to this policy), and you will always be given a choice about how we communicate with you. 

In some very specific circumstances, we will gather data from publicly available sources. We use data from third parties to keep our records up to date, (from within the Federation) or to enhance the information that we hold.   

We do not buy lists of data to use for our marketing purposes or share data with other charities for them to use in their marketing purposes. 

How we collect your data

ActionAid International obtains personal data from you when you support a campaign, engage with our social media and digital advertising or make a donation. 

In most circumstances, we will only ask for your name and contact details (plus payment details if you are joining or donating). Sometimes we may ask for additional information where it may either help us in our campaigns or help us keep our communications relevant to you.  We may occasionally supplement your data with other publicly and commercially available information where it meets Applicable Data Protection standards. We may store relevant information about you that you voluntarily share with us. 

We will only collect sensitive personal data where absolutely necessary and with your explicit consent. 

Call recording data

ActionAid International has a telephone call recording system in operation and may record both outgoing and incoming telephone calls from and to our Supporter Services team. An ‘incoming call’ is a call received by us, and an ‘outgoing call’ is a call made by us. We record calls for quality and training purposes so that we can make sure we are dealing with your questions in the best way that we can. 

When we make outgoing calls, we will ask for your consent before making a recording and will only make such a recording with your consent. For incoming calls, due to the volume of calls we receive, we will make an announcement around the recording of calls before the call begins. 

Incoming calls are recorded under the legal basis of legitimate interest; we have a legitimate in improving the quality of calls with our Support Services team. If you would prefer for your call not to be recorded, you may state this at any time during the call and we will stop the recording immediately. 

Call recordings will be retained in line with our Retention Policy and deleted once they fall outside time limits determined in this policy. Call recording data will be stored securely and in an encrypted manner within the UK. 

How we use your data

ActionAid uses the supporters’ personal data in a variety of ways which include the following: 

  • Providing you with information or products that you have requested from us. 
  • Providing you with information that is relevant to your interests. 
  • Processing donations and joining fees received from you. 
  • Making enquiries or informing you about your interactions with us (e.g. resolving issues with Direct Debits or informing you of changes to events). 
  • Responding to any complaints from you. 
  • Offering you ways to fund our work. 
  • Inviting you to campaign with us. 
  • Keeping you updated on our campaigning work. 
  • Informing you of volunteering opportunities. 
  • Inviting you to participate in surveys or research. 
  • Reviewing records such as for financial audits. 
  • Compliance with applicable statutory retention periods (e.g. resulting from tax laws). 
  • Analysing and refining our advertising, campaigning and other operations to increase our effectiveness. 
  • Monitoring your information to prevent fraud. 
  • Working with authorities in cases of fraud or criminal investigations. 
  • Establish or exercise our legal rights or defend against legal claims. 

Where a purpose for processing is relevant which is not listed here, we will expressly refer to it at the appropriate section in this Privacy Notice. 

Job applicants

If you apply for a job on our careers site your personal data will be collected and processed by ActionAid International and our Recruitment Software Provider. 

We will collect a range of information about you, including: 

  • Your name, address and contact details, including email address and telephone number. 
  • Details of your qualifications, skills, experience and employment history 
  • Whether or not you have a disability for which we need to make reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process. 
  • Information about your entitlement to work in any of our offices. 
  • Equal opportunities monitoring information, including information about your ethnicity, sexual orientation, health, and religion or belief. We will only collect this sensitive information with your explicit consent, which can be withdrawn at any time. We keep this information separate from your application. 

We initially rely on your consent to process your information as a job candidate. Your information will not be used for any purpose other than processing and managing your job application, and for internal reporting on our recruitment processes. Only people involved in the recruitment process for the role you apply for will have access to your personal data. 

Personal information about unsuccessful candidates will be held for one year after the recruitment exercise has been completed and will then be destroyed. We retain de-personalised statistical information about applicants to help inform our recruitment activities, but no individuals are identifiable from that data. 

If you are successful in your application, our use of your data will be set out in our policies for ActionAid International Staff. 


Like most websites, the ActionAid International site uses cookies; small data files that are downloaded when you use a website, to make the site easier to use. The information that is gathered helps us to see how people use our site, so that we can provide a better user experience.  

Types of cookies

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer or other mobile or handheld device (such as smartphones or tablets) when you visit certain pages on the internet. They are used to ‘remember’ when your computer or device accesses our website. Cookies are stored in your browser. The cookie will help us, or another website, to recognise your device the next time you visit. Most cookies won’t collect information that identifies you as a person (personal data),and will instead collect more general information such as how visitors arrive at and use our website. 

  • Session cookies: Session cookies are stored only temporarily during a browsing session and are deleted from the visitor’s device when the browser is closed. 
  • Persistent cookies: This type of cookie is saved on your computer for a fixed pre-defined period of time (usually a couple of months) and is not deleted when the browser is closed. Persistent cookies are used where we need to be able to recognise your device for more than one browsing session. Persistent cookies used on this website have a maximum storage period of twelve months, please see below for further details. 
  • First party cookies: First party cookies are set by the website you are visiting and they can only be read by that site. 
  • Third party cookies: Third party cookies are set by a different organisation than the owner of the website you are visiting. For example, advertisers and other third parties may use their own cookies when you click on an advertisement or link on our website or we might engage a third party analytics company who will set their own cookie to perform this service. The website you are visiting may also contain content embedded from, for example, YouTube or Twitter, and these sites may set their own cookies. 

Categories of cookies

The different types of cookies set out above can be further categorized as follows: 

  • Strictly necessary cookies: These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site might not work then. These cookies do generally not store any personally identifiable information. 
  • Performance or analytics cookies: These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site and gather information on error messages. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance. 
  • Functional cookies: These cookies enable the website to provide enhanced functionality and personalisation. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies then some or all of these services may not function properly. 
  • Targeting cookies: These cookies record your visit to our website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We will use this information to make our website and the advertising displayed on it more relevant to your interests. We may also share this information with third parties for this purpose. These cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store personal data, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising. 

How we use cookies on our website

We will use cookies which are not strictly necessary cookies only based on your consent. You may choose to withdraw given consent at any time without affecting the lawfulness of the use of cookies based on consent before its withdrawal. You can withdraw consent here.  

ActionAid International uses cookies to ensure your privacy and security when you visit secure areas of our website, such as donation pages and registration forms. 

ActionAid will also collect information such as your Internet Protocol (IP) address for monitoring and improving the effectiveness of our website services (legal basis: legitimate interests in improving our services) as well its security (legal basis: legitimate interests in ensuring security of our website services). 

Third party cookies on our website

ActionAid International uses Google Analytics to compile statistics on how our website is being used, which can help us to improve our website and online services. 

Our website also uses Google Analytics advertising features to enable us to better understand the interests of our audience and to tailor our communications to be more relevant to you. 

If you do not wish to see these adverts, you can: 

  • opt out of Google’s use of cookies through Google’s Ads Settings 
  • refuse the use of cookies by downloading and installing Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on. 

Controlling your cookie preferences

All Internet browsers allow you to control which cookies you accept and which you delete. For more information about cookies, please see

Third party cookies and our social media and web advertising

You may also see our advertising online and on some social media sites if you have supported us before, or if your use of these channels suggests that you would find our campaigns relevant. 

We use cookies to ensure that any investments we make in online advertising are as cost-effective as possible, by tracking how well individual adverts perform. These cookies are issued by third party service providers that we have assessed as secure. 

If you do not wish to see these adverts, you can do so by managing the privacy settings on your social media accounts including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter 

Depending on your settings or the privacy policies for social media and messaging services, you may have given these services permission to share your details with us. For example, if choosing to register for an activity using a ‘Sign up with Facebook’ link, Facebook may share information such as your name and email address with us. 

Our Social Media Pages such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter may also use ‘live chat’ services to allow ActionAid International representatives to offer you assistance or the opportunity to engage with us in a manner relevant to you. 

These services may involve the use of cookies and the transfer of information about your site navigation, such as your IP address, to secure networks for the purposes of storage and analysis. This information will only be used for the purposes of administering these live chats. 

ActionAid International does not perform direct marketing with any data that they collect from you. 

List of cookies in use




Third party provider 

Retention term 


Performance or Analytics cookie 

used to analyse how visitors interact with our website so we can improve functionality and the visitor experience 

Google LLC; 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway in Mountain View, California, United States 

30 days 

How your data is kept secure

What ActionAid International does to keep your data secure 

ActionAid International (also “AAI”) uses industry-standard tools to safeguard the confidentiality of your personal data. We make every effort to protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our control. ActionAid International takes the care of your data very seriously and we use a combination of organisational and technological security measures to protect your personal data to the highest possible standards. This includes the use of secure servers, firewalls, virus & malware protection, secure socket layer (SSL) encryption and secure file transfer protocol for our work with third parties. We follow payment card industry (PCI) security compliance guidelines when processing credit card payments. 

Access to all ActionAid International data is protected by complex passwords, including letters, numbers and characters: in some cases, more than one method of authentication is used. We make sure that only staff that need to access your personal data can do so. Any member of our staff who has access to your personal data is given training to make sure that they understand the importance of keeping your information safe and secure at all times. 

We always use a secure connection when collecting personal financial information from you and conform to PCI standards. All forms which request credit card or bank details use Secure Sockets Layers (a security protocol that provides communications privacy over the Internet in a way that is designed to prevent eavesdropping, tampering, or message forgery) for encryption. Most web browsers support Secure Socket Layers. 

The link between your web browser and the server is secure if your web browser displays a small padlock or key symbol somewhere in the frame, or the address bar shows a web address beginning https:// (rather than http://) 

We endeavour to keep all supporter data inside the European Economic Area (EEA), and ensure that any time data is transferred outside the EEA appropriate safeguards on data security and processing are applied. 

Who has access to your data?

  • Within ActionAid International

Within ActionAid International, only those authorised to process your data can access your data. We work hard to ensure our staff and volunteers can only see the data they need to perform their tasks. Our staff are trained to understand Applicable Data Protection Law requirements and what they need to do to keep your data secure. We review our data awareness training regularly to ensure it is up to date. We ensure volunteers are given appropriate data awareness and protection training where they are responsible for handling data, for example, if they are collecting petition signatures at an event. 

  • Working with Third Parties 

We will never sell or swap your details with other organisations 

We do use trusted companies like fundraising agencies, fulfilment houses and software platform providers to administer some activities, in which case they will use your details only for that purpose – for example, applying your name and address to a mailing of Connect magazine. In this case, we will ensure appropriate contracts are in place with the third party service provider. 

Where possible, we transfer your personal data to service providers which have been engaged by us as so-called data processors that process your personal data only on our behalf and in accordance with our instructions. Furthermore, we may transfer your data to the following categories of third parties: 

  • Fundraising agencies 
  • Consultants (auditors, lawyers) 
  • Governmental authorities 
  • Courts 

Data retention

Data collected by ActionAid International will be retained only for an appropriate length of time; we have a data retention policy which sets out how long we will keep information according to the type of record. In some cases, the retention periods are governed by law, while in others we are guided by best practice and our operational needs. 

When we no longer need to retain your personal data, we will ensure it is securely disposed of. 

You have the right to ask us to delete personal data we hold about you in some circumstances, for example, if we are processing the data on the basis of consent and you wish to withdraw that consent. 

Understanding your rights

It is important that you understand your legal rights around your personal data and how we may use it. If you would like to discuss or exercise any of these rights, please do get in touch with our Data Protection Team using the contact details at the end of this notice. 

  • Right of access: You have a right to ask for a copy of the information we hold about you, which we will supply to you within one month. We will ask for proof of identity and may charge a fee should any request be unusually complex or time-consuming. If you would like to request a copy of the personal information ActionAid holds on you, please contact our DPO. 
  • Right to withdraw consent: Where the processing is based on consent, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time, without affecting the lawfulness of processing based on consent before its withdrawal. 
  • Right to rectification: You have the right to request correction of personal data related to you that is inaccurate and/or completion of such data which is incomplete. 
  • Right to erasure: You have the right to request the deletion of your personal data in certain circumstances, including where (i) it is no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which it was collected or otherwise processed, (ii) you objected to the processing and there are no overriding legitimate interests for processing, (iii) your personal data has been unlawfully processed or (iv) your personal data has to be erased for compliance with a legal obligation to which ActionAid is subject. You should know that there are some circumstances where we may need to keep your details nonetheless, for example, if it is necessary to comply with a legal obligation to which we are subject or for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims. If this situation occurs, then we will explain and discuss these circumstances with you. 
  • Restriction of processing: You have the right to restrict our processing of your data if there is disagreement about its accuracy or legitimate usage.  
  • Right to not be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing: You have rights to avoid being subject to decisions based solely on automated processing (including profiling) which has a significant effect on you. At ActionAid International we do not carry out any such processing. 
  • Right to data portability: You have the right to receive personal data concerning you in a structured, commonly used machine-readable format and transmit those data to another controller without hindrance from ActionAid, where the processing is based on consent or a contract and the processing is carried out by automated means; you may also request to have your personal data transmitted directly to another controller where this is technically feasible. 
  • You also have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, in particular in the Member State of your habitual residence, place of work or place of an alleged infringement if you consider that the processing of personal data relating to you infringes the GDPR 

Right to object 

You have the right to object, on grounds relating to your particular situation, at any time to processing of personal data concerning you which is based on legitimate interests of the ActionAid or third parties. 

We then will no longer process an your personal data unless we are able to demonstrate compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override your interests, rights and freedoms or for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims. 

You should know that there are some circumstances where these rights may not apply, but where this is the case, we will always explain this to you. Please do contact us if you have any questions or concerns on how we collect and use your personal data, or on your rights, as we are always happy to speak to you.  

Where we keep your information and when it might be transferred outside of Europe 

ActionAid International is aware that countries outside of the European Economic Area have differing standards of data privacy. You also need to be aware that we work with members in the federation that are located outside the EEA and your data may be shared with them under certain circumstances. 

There is an inter-group data transfer agreement that has been signed by the members of the federation that governs data sharing across the federation.  

Some countries (but not every country in which we work) have been determined by the European Commission to have “adequate” standards of data protection compliance. Organisations we work with who process data in the USA have verified that their data processing standards meet the standards in the EU-US Privacy Shield, which sets out clear safeguards and transparency responsibilities for US-based organisations processing data from EU citizens, or that they otherwise have proper safeguards in place.  

Your data may leave the European Economic Area if you travel with us, for example by signing up to one of our first-hand experiences, or volunteering trips. This will only be information specifically related to your trip, for example to book your travel, or to arrange your visit to one of our sites with our overseas colleagues.  

How AAI protects children’s privacy 

The safety of children is very important to us. If you are aged under 16 and would like to support or get involved with ActionAid International, please make sure you have your parent/guardian’s permission before sharing any personal data with us. 

All applicable laws are followed with respect to data collection from children. Where we have date of birth information, we will not share data collected from children with any third parties at any time under any circumstances. 

People in vulnerable circumstances 

ActionAid International recognises the importance of protecting people in vulnerable circumstances. We do have in place strict SHEA and Safeguarding policies which supports our staff and volunteers to safeguard the privacy of people in vulnerable circumstances. 

Do we disclose your personal information?

No. We do not collect any of Your personal information in order to provide You with the Website, and therefore We do not pass your personal information on to third parties. Our Website is purely a portal to inform You about AAI's activity.

How to find out more or make a complaint

ActionAid International operates in accordance with all relevant GDPR legislation. If you would like to find out more about these laws and how you could be affected beyond this policy, more information can be found here 

If you have any specific questions about how ActionAid International processes your data which are not answered here or you would like to make a complaint about how we have managed your data then please either write, call or email us via the details below. 

  • By Email at  
  • By Phone on   +27 11 731 4500 
  • By Post at: Data Protection Team, ActionAid International, Postnet Suite #248,  Private Bag X31, Saxonworld 2132, Johannesburg, South Africa 

Changes to this notice

From time to time, we may make changes to this Notice and you will always be able to see here when it was last updated. If we make significant changes, such as in how or why we process your personal data, we will also publicise these changes on our website or may contact you directly with more information.  

Please do revisit this notice each time you consider giving your personal data to ActionAid International. 

The last significant updates to this policy were in December 2020.