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Synthesis of Current Good Practice Towards Inclusive Complaints and Feedback Mechanisms

This synthesis, part 1, provides a review of good practice in the sector in relation to establishing inclusive complaints mechanisms. It examines selected agencies’ approaches to strengthening inclusion of at-risk community groups, particularly those who are discriminated against due to their age, disability, gender, ethnicity and other forms of marginalisation. It focuses on the inclusion of at-risk groups within activities relating to commitments 4 and 5 of the Core Humanitarian Standard and, specifically, the establishment of inclusive complaints mechanisms.

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Lessons from Islamic Relief Worldwide’s inclusive and protective programming approach – the 6As approach – Learning Paper 3

This paper focuses on approaches, lessons and recommendations for Islamic Relief and other INGOs to improve mainstreaming protection and inclusion efforts in development and humanitarian programming. It aims to advance understanding and best practice in protection and inclusion through critical reflection on Islamic Relief’s inclusive and protective programming approach. It draws on the experience of eight countries in addressing issues of inclusion, protection and sensitive approaches to accountable programming and considers learnings and challenges.

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Analysing and documenting learning from South Sudan Integrated Emergency Response in Western Bahr El-Ghazal (WBeG) and Central Equatoria (CE)

The “integrated emergency response in Western Bahr El-Ghazal (WBeG) and Central Equatoria (CE), in South Sudan” is a 1 year project funded by Islamic Relief Sweden and SIDA. This learning paper provides an overview of the project’s protection programming approaches and captures some of the best practices used in programme implementation. It presents some of the key findings on protection and gender mainstreaming in service provision, gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response, and human resources procedures and gender balanced team in Islamic Relief South Sudan. It also provides a set of recommendations for mainstreaming gender and protection in future programming.

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Tigray Refugees with Disabilities in Eastern Sudan Camps

People with disabilities are often left behind during humanitarian assistance. In cooperation with the International Disability Alliance, Islamic Relief Worldwide commissioned a report to document the needs of refugees with disabilities who have been affected by the armed conflict in Tigray, Ethiopia, and are living in camps in eastern Sudan camps. The research, which was carried out by two researchers with disabilities, highlights the persistent exclusion of persons with disabilities across all sectors. The report identifies barriers faced by persons with disabilities and provides practical recommendations to all stakeholders to ensure the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities during armed conflict.

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A Comprehensive Analysis of Inclusive Feedback and Complaint Handling Mechanism among People with Disabilities

People with disabilities face institutional and attitudinal barriers accessing and fully participating in the development and implementation of inclusive programmes including raising their voices, feedback and complaints. Islamic Relief promotes the rights of people with disabilities to fully and safely access and practice their right to complain on an equal basis with others. This report presents a revision of Islamic Relief complaints and feedback mechanism by Palestinian Disabled Persons’ Organisations (DPOs) and provides recommendations that will enhance the inclusivity and effectiveness of those mechanisms.

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Advocacy in Action: Making an Impact Through Social Cohesion

The humanitarian, development and, when appropriate, peace nexus refers to the interlinkages between humanitarian, development and peace actions. One of the holistic approaches that has been suggested is greater synergy and collaboration across humanitarian, development, and peace actors working in fragile contexts. This is termed a ‘triple nexus’ approach. This report highlights those synergies and collaborative efforts in this report.

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Reflection on inclusive health services in northwest Syria

The collapse of the healthcare system in northwest Syria is a direct outcome of the protracted crisis. One of the main protection risks faced by displaced communities living in northwest Syria is associated with reaching and accessing healthcare facilities. Islamic Relief helped in minimising these risks by providing inclusive vehicles to the most in need and at risk communities including children, female-headed households, older persons and persons with disabilities. Reflections on these services are presented in this learning paper, along with recommendations for more inclusive programming.

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Climate Champions

Climate Champions: Islamic Relief’s global climate action “We are in danger of ending life as we know it on our planet” Islamic Declaration on Climate Change Islamic Relief has raised over £26 million in the last three years to address issues related to climate change. This review sets out the challenges and describes Islamic Relief’s most recent interventions. Climate Champions highlights how communities are working with us to adapt to climate change and build resilience, including efforts to reduce the risk from future shocks. It also captures why Islamic Relief is vocal on climate change and climate justice issues, and how we are campaigning to reduce emissions, promote sustainable living and protect the most vulnerable. Download Climate Champions  

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Islamic Relief Global Strategy 2011-2015

How Islamic Relief aims to deliver on our promises and fulfil our duty to mankind, and ultimately, to God. Our Global Strategy 2011-2015 sets out how we are building on our strengths, learning from our experiences and bringing about real social change. Guided by our faith, we work to help vulnerable communities meet the big challenges in their lives. We do this by taking an integrated approach; looking at the wider context and causes of their needs and promoting sustainable development outcomes. We are determined to empower marginalised people with a strong voice that argues powerfully for the change they need to transform their lives.

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new director

Director of Network and Resource Development

Adnan joined Islamic Relief in 2004 as a regional fundraiser in the UK. He worked in multiple roles over 10 years at Islamic Relief UK, including setting up the first digital team and leading the growth of digital fundraising and engagement. Adnan also led numerous fundraising and marketing campaigns, which played a significant part in the growth of Islamic Relief UK.

Having moved to Islamic Relief Worldwide in 2014, Adnan has held different roles that have helped grow Islamic Relief’s global digital footprint into new geographic territories, supporting Islamic Relief members with their digital and marketing growth as well as developing new products and initiatives for the Islamic Relief family.

Adnan graduated in Industrial Design and Technology from Loughborough University. He has since completed an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration from Durham University and a Diploma in Digital Marketing from the Institute of Data and Marketing.

Nadeem Azhar

General Counsel

Nadeem joined Islamic Relief Worldwide in September 2022. He has worked in the charitable sector for over a decade.

He studied Modern History and Politics at Manchester University, and at the University of Law in London before qualifying as a solicitor in 2011.

Nadeem is an experienced corporate, commercial and governance lawyer, having worked with various faith-based and grant making charities as well those in health and education settings. He was a partner at a law firm in London before moving in-house where he focused on setting up and restructuring charities and social enterprises.

Most recently, Nadeem was Lead Counsel at Mind, a leading mental health charity, where he co-authored a new federation agreement, revamped legal processes, and played a major role in developing its strategic and fundraising partnerships.

Nadeem has been a charity trustee for the Seafarers Charity, as well as many grant-making bodies and theatre companies.

Adnan Hafiz

Director of Network and Resource Development

Adnan joined Islamic Relief in 2004 as a regional fundraiser in the UK. He worked in multiple roles over 10 years at Islamic Relief UK, including setting up the first digital team and leading the growth of digital fundraising and engagement. Adnan also led numerous fundraising and marketing campaigns, which played a significant part in the growth of Islamic Relief UK.

Having moved to Islamic Relief Worldwide in 2014, Adnan has held different roles that have helped grow Islamic Relief’s global digital footprint into new geographic territories, supporting Islamic Relief members with their digital and marketing growth as well as developing new products and initiatives for the Islamic Relief family.

Adnan graduated in Industrial Design and Technology from Loughborough University. He has since completed an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration from Durham University and a Diploma in Digital Marketing from the Institute of Data and Marketing.

Board of Directors
Javed Akhtar

Director of Finance

Javed Akhtar has more than a decade of experience at Islamic Relief, having worked in a similar role between 2003-2014. In that role he strove to implement wide-ranging financial and accounting processes which aided in the transparent nature in which Islamic Relief now operates.

Javed also has diverse experience across the private sector, having worked at American chemicals and pharmaceutical giant DuPont, shipping firm FedEX and technology consultancy company Accenture. In all his roles, he prioritises using the latest technologies to improve monitoring and reporting at every level. Javed’s commitment to embracing digital end-to-end technology, enhancing accountability to our stakeholders and promoting financial transparency is ensuring that we remain at the forefront of financial developments in the sector.

By training, Javed is a chartered accountant with a Master’s degree in NGO Management with Charity Accounting and Financial Management from Cass Business School.
Board of Directors
Affan Cheema  

Director of International Programmes

Affan Cheema is an experienced leader who has spent 25 years working in the international aid sector on poverty eradication in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. He has worked in fast onset emergencies, protracted crisis and development environments whilst working for Islamic Relief Worldwide and Care International. He is also a trustee of South West International Development Network (SWIDN).

Through his career Affan has held numerous roles including institutional fundraising, programme and grant management, and programme quality assurance.  Affan’s leadership has helped Islamic Relief Worldwide secure the highly coveted Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS), seen as the sector’s premier benchmark for operational excellence.

Affan completed his BA in Economics and Geography from University of London (School of Oriental and African Studies) and his MSc in Development Administration and Planning from the University of Bristol. He is PRINCE2 qualified, is a keen sportsman and recently co-edited a book entitled -Islam and International Development: Insights for working with Muslim Communities-.
Board of Directors
Dr Hossam Said

Managing Director, Humanitarian Academy for Development (HAD)

For nearly three decades Dr Hossam has provided the strategic vision to manage, lead and develop a range of international humanitarian interventions around the world.

At the start of his career, Dr Hossam served on the Board of Directors of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate, before moving to Islamic Relief Worldwide to manage the core global business activities as International Programmes Director.

During this time the organisation increased its global reach, gaining both domestic and international repute and credibility. Dr Hossam has also served on the Islamic Relief Worldwide Board of Management and Executive Committee for the past 15 years; sharing responsibility for strategic organisational development and the change management process, whilst forging strong relationships with many other charities.

Dr Hossam gained an MBA from Aston Business School in 2004 and graduated as a Medical Doctor from Cairo University in 1981.
Board of Directors
Martin Cottingham  

Director of External Relations and Advocacy

Martin Cottingham joined Islamic Relief in 2012 as IRUK Media Relations Manager, and was appointed Head of Communications in 2015 before taking up his current position as Director of External Relations and Advocacy for Islamic Relief Worldwide.

Martin has helped Islamic Relief to increase its mainstream media profile and expand its campaigning work, producing hard-hitting advocacy reports on floods in Pakistan (2011) famine in Somalia (2012) disaster risk reduction (2013) and aid to Afghanistan (2014). He has over 20 years’ experience working in media, communications and marketing roles for international development and environmental charities.

Martin graduated from the University of London with a degree in English and Drama (1982-85) then trained as a journalist with a postgraduate diploma at City University (1986-87). He has previously worked for Christian Aid as Editor of Christian Aid News and Media Relations Manager (1988-97) for Oxfam as Regional Campaigns Manager (1997-2000) and at the Soil Association as Marketing Director (2001-2006), as well as working for a wide range of organisations as a freelance writer, researcher and communications consultant.

Tufail Hussain

Director of Islamic Relief UK

Tufail Hussain has 17 years’ experience in the humanitarian and development sector, leading on marketing and fundraising campaigns for several organisations before joining Islamic Relief UK in 2016 as Deputy Director. Tufail was appointed Director of Islamic Relief UK in 2019 and in 2021 provided valuable leadership as interim CEO of Islamic Relief Worldwide.

Tufail is driven by a passion for empowering disadvantaged youth and mentors a number of young people. He also works to strengthen engagement between British Muslims and wider society. Under his leadership, Islamic Relief UK has significantly increased its income and developed successful partnerships with communities across the country. He has travelled around the world to raise awareness of major emergencies such as the Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan crises and the floods in Pakistan and Sudan.

A father to 5 daughters and a son, Tufail is also a sports enthusiast and passionate Liverpool FC supporter. Tufail has run the London Marathon twice, raising over £35,000 for humanitarian causes.

Before joining Islamic Relief he was CEO of Orphans in Need, where he oversaw a new strategy that increased income from £2 million to £9 million in 3 years and opened up new UK and international offices. Tufail is also a trustee of the Muslim Charities Forum and a Director of TIC International (Islamic Relief Worldwide’s clothes recycling and trading arm).
Waseem Ahmad

Chief Executive Officer

Waseem Ahmad joined the Islamic Relief family over 24 years ago, serving as Programme Officer in the Balochistan province of south-western Pakistan before becoming Head of Programmes in Pakistan. Waseem then moved to Oxfam and Tearfund before returning to Islamic Relief to establish our mission in Malawi. Later serving as Head of Programme Funding and Partnerships, Waseem led the response to major crises across the globe, including the East Africa drought, Pakistan earthquake and the Indian Ocean Tsunami.

Waseem then served for nearly 6 years as our Director of International Programmes, during which time the charity secured and retained the coveted Core Humanitarian Standard certification in recognition of the quality of our programming. He was appointed CEO of Islamic Relief in May 2021.

With a special interest in community mobilisation and infrastructure, Waseem received an MSc in Project Planning and Management from the University of Bradford, as well as an MSc in Economics from Arid Agriculture University in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Waseem has also worked for Lepra Health in Action and is a member of the International Civil Society Centre’s Board of Trustees. The father-of-3 enjoys walking and playing football, and is a keen birdwatcher.