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Mission Statement & Operating Principles

Our mission statement is our cornerstone and acts as our guide. Our operating principles elaborate on the mission statement by addressing more specific issues about how IDV will operate on the ground. Unlike the mission statement, the operating principles are periodically reviewed to ensure they remain up-to-date, relevant and accurate.

Mission Statement

At IDV we believe that to provide meaningful assistance to disaster affected and at risk communities around the world we have to do more than construct buildings. We need to understand and address the factors that make communities vulnerable to disaster. Our work will be organised with these factors in mind so that we can affect change that far outlives our presence. Furthermore, we will make this information available to all volunteers so that they will be empowered to affect positive, long-term change in their day-to-day lives as well as while volunteering.

Operating Principles

  • We believe that survivor motivation is essential to the recovery of any disaster affected or at risk community. Our operations will always be predicated on the idea that survivors may be traumatised, but they are not helpless. With this in mind, we will encourage our host communities to direct their own recovery. We believe that this empowerment is essential in helping survivors feel a renewed sense of control over their lives which will, in turn, help overcome the feelings of hopelessness that can follow a disaster and inhibit long term recovery.
  • We also believe that social cohesion is of primary importance in any disaster affected or at risk area. No amount of bricks or mortar will bring about sustainable improvement if communities fail to come together or are disrupted by our efforts. Therefore, our operations will always aim to foster communication and cooperation within and between the communities we serve.
  • We recognise that appropriate shelter and education are pivotal areas for the long term recovery and advancement of disaster affected and at risk communities. We set ourselves especially high standards in these areas.
  • We think that transparency is essential and that our actions should be easily replicable by others. With this goal in mind, we will always share information on our systems, technology, deployment strategies, and general lessons learned. Not only will we make our achievements public, but our mistakes as well, in hopes that other organisations and individuals can learn with us along the way.
  • In addition to skills related to their work, we aim to provide a fundamental understanding of disaster contexts, causes and implications so that our volunteers understand the scope of their contributions. We think that with this education, volunteers will be more able to affect positive change in their day to day lives as well as while volunteering. We also believe that this education is one of the best ways to tackle the frustration and burnout that can be a risk in the high stress environment of a disaster zone.
  • We never underestimate or undervalue our volunteers, whatever the scope of their involvement with IDV. It is our belief that each individual has something of value to contribute, whether they are a construction manager working with us abroad for a year, or a stay at home mother working from a laptop for a few hours a week. All contributions will be welcomed and appreciated.