Charter 2.0

D/U, D/A General Charter

Waltham slide 1900 map jpg

Ratified by the First Congress of the Development Union, May 25, 2015

Amended by the Second Congress of the Development Union, June 5, 2016



In response to the growing series of humanitarian crises abroad and with the understanding that resilience and abundance can be found in the face of hardship and scarcity, we invite you to join an association of members who work toward and are committed to actual social justice and the realization of human rights for all.

We envision a sustainable and prosperous future and believe that we can achieve this future by protecting and assisting each other and our families in our present work.

Our goal is to meet the needs, ensure the quality of life, and support the work of our members. The Association will facilitate the integration of our disparate fields around a theory of change that prioritizes indigenous knowledge and agency, putting development tools in the hands of the people we serve.

Our immediate aim is to foster solidarity and facilitate collective action.

The Development Assocation (501 c 3)is to be an exclusive network for such professions that, “by their very nature, implement an unambiguous public good or civil service, a positive development in achieving greater human rights within the communities they serve.”


Workers in all fields meeting the high standard set above who are dedicated to establishing this vision and adhering to the principles outlined below are invited.

Our Strategy


  1. Emancipatory Development

Emancipatory Development is the utilization of technology, policy, capacity training and management systems to achieve actual human rights on a structural basis for the impoverished and oppressed not dependant on extra-national, multilateral and state actors. Emancipatory development in an explicit challenge to neo-colonialism, neo-liberalism and top down state bureaucracy as its aim is to place democratized, locally operated social services in the hands of the people they serve.   


Emancipatory development is not an ideology or series of social policies. We reject the false necessity of selecting a monolithic ideological paradigm or imposing one on others, however any ideology incompatible with broad investments in social services and reduction of elimination of extreme wealth and poverty is at odds with E/D. 


  1. Human Rights Defense

Human Rights defense is the willingness to combat escalating human rights abuses with all means of non-violent direct action and or passive resistance as defined but not limited to the 198 Tactics of Nonviolent Resistance.  Human rights defense is explicitly non-violent to persons and to property as the taking of life is in itself a total human rights violation, and the property is ours, build on our labor.


Human RIghts are just the initial and immediate baseline list of our ultimate demands on the state system.


  1. Consciousness Building

Consciousness Building is the understanding that without popular education to raise the social awareness of the people throughout the world to know their rights and act in solidarity against their oppressors, then we will be divided against ourselves from the beginning.  Consciousness building through popular education is a direct challenge to the false consciousness division of our identities by gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and nationhood.


Consciousness Building has no fixed paradigm or practices it is a combined regimen of teaching and learning to broaden the feeling of collaboration, empathy and solidarity with one’s fellow humans as well as the planetary environment in which we live.



  1. Social Enterprise

We must use personal economic buying power to pull our money out of institutions and corporations that exploit us and ruin our environment. We must establish our own businesses and services based on work self-management, high standards of labor protection with positive impacts on the social and environmental spheres.


Any Social Enterprise started up by or invested in by our members must adhere to rigorous controls to ensure the positive nature of its practices and regulations.


Immediate Objectives


  • Establish a global network that embodies true solidarity and unity of purpose that enables collaborative activity;
  • Develop a unified international strategy with horizontal leadership and decentralized global operations through local enlistment.
  • Advance of auto-centric development methodology with explicit restoration of control of the means of development to be restored to the developing world generally and the local community specifically.
  • Direct & Maximal transfer of tools, skills, and training to the peoples of the developing world, as well as all poor and oppressed communities to build their capacity to act as agents of their own development.
  • Unite into a broad union all segments of the progressive, non-violent community centered development enterprise with front line providers of the change making, socially useful professions. Focus educational efforts on raising the collaborative capacity and social awareness of all communities in which we serve.
  • Develop a unified and evolving framework of principles via a Practitioners Code of Conduct as to better define who is/ an is not by their actions and ethics promoting emancipatory development;
  • Establish a uniform system of development measurement rooted in actual local needs, tangible human rights, and the solicited perspectives of the poor and oppressed;
  • Engage and actively enhance the indigenous capacity of local Community Based Organizations, local Civil Society Organizations, Social Movement Organizations, Social Enterprises, and Civil Service Enterprises in the developing world to take further control of the means of development.
  • Advance human rights entitlements in a tangible, measurable way in each and every community in which we serve;


  • We will utilize the 58 human rights entitlements of the 17 core U.N. treaties as both a list of demands and basis for monitoring and evaluation of our own operations.
  • We will invest our personal economic buying power in indigenous responsible social enterprises, local commerce, and civil service enterprises as well as utilize personal and collective economic buying power to support businesses and corporate entities that are fully compliant with our human rights entitlements, as well as do no harm to social, economic or environmental spheres.




 Mass proliferation of useful and needed training accompanied by the the systems of management for local people to be agents of their own development.

We will establish an open source database and a training methodology for the mass proliferation of development technology. We will regularly work to transfer skills that enhance dignified livelihoods to the communities in which we serve.

 Ongoing improvement of Indigenous capacity for human rights defense and administration of social services.

We will engage and enhance the indigenous capacity of local Community Based Organizations, local Civil Society Organizations, Social Movement Organizations, Social Enterprises, and Civil Service Enterprises.

 Strict & Absolute Adherence to Nonviolence; to both persons and property.


We hereby engage in a true and firm commitment to nonviolence in the face of human rights violations. We will offer training in nonviolent strategies to our members as means of achieving and protecting human rights.

Membership will be rescinded from any member who engages in violent action resulting in the death of others, even aggressors or any club, shop, unit or emergency group who by action or defensive compulsion takes up killing or property destruction as valid tactic for change.

Members are to be instructed how to deal with physical threats to themselves and their families via peacefare and evacuation. By every and all means necessary are you to abstain from offensive/ defensive engagement of a human rig   ht violating entity state or non-state.

Remain in groups, evacuate when possible

 Strength in Unity, Strength in Diversity!

The following professional associations, trade unions, factions, ideologies, parties and modalities for change are considered our welcome allies, provided they are not actively or clandestinely using violence as their theory of change.




 Decentralization supports safety and sustainability.

We will establish directly elected shop representation in all our places of work, service and employment. We will not ever encourage a consolidated registry of members

 Solidarity with all poor and oppressed peoples.


 Solidarity with all units of the Association, Union, Movement and affiliated member groups.

We will provide standard benefits such as medical and legal, references, and contractual negotiation. We will want for every member what we want for ourselves and our families; life, liberty, equality and security of all human rights.

 High Levels of Integrity

You will never be off the clock as a member of this movement you are to uphold at all times high ethical standards and be subject to

We will develop via annual Congress a unified and evolving framework of principles that reflect both normative human rights entitlements and rigorous commitment to better the lives of our fellow humans.

 Professionalism of our Conduct

We will develop a Practitioners Code of Ethical Conduct whereby all working in the field of human development can be held to a common standard to be determined by committee.

 Popular Planning and Implementation

Our members will coordinate their projects, programs, and policies in consultation with beneficiaries. Members will be led by the communities they wish to empower.

 Populist Monitoring and Evaluation

We will assist our members in their development of appropriate monitoring and evaluating mechanisms in order to increase the accountability of development agents and ensure the use of best practices.


No one, anywhere on earth should make less than $15 an hour and within our own payrolls and operations there should never be a radical discrepancy between expat & local pay, field and office pay, officer and rank and file pay. We are all equal and entitled to living wages for our work.

 Environmental justice

We view human rights as fully intertwined with environmental justice. In recognition that environmental degradation is a root cause of human suffering, we will support our members in development of environmentally sound practice.

 Human Rights Measurement of progress

 Human Rights Advancement

We will achieve human rights in each and every community in which we serve. These human rights are codified in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. We further stand in solidarity with all people and do not discriminate by race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, or religion.






Please refer to your Union Book for bylaws and procedural protocols.

Shops will be established by 3-10 local members and chartered by the Congress when they submit a local chapter, elect officers and submit a charter request to Congress. This charter may only be amended by ratification of a simple majority by the Congress.




Please refer to your Union Book fo for your benefits entitlement and how to access them.

All union benefits are based on voluntary contribution and free association. They will be managed by the local shop branches through elected local delegates and shop stewards. There will not until amended by Congress be centralized collection of union dues.

  • Benefit 1: (An Internal Emergency Fund)Voluntary cash and supportive service pledges to be activated by delegates in the instance of member, or member family need. Cash will be pledged online and be turned over to local delegate on the basis of qualified, demonstrated member need.
  • Benefit 2:(Medical/Legal Referrals)Preferential access to in house legal and medical services based on availability. Free legal and medical consults and basic referrals. Later to be supplemented by actual medical insurance coverage and legal retention per diem.
  • Benefit 3: (Reference Support for Employment, Study and VISA Applications)Members agree to assist all other members with supportive work references where appropriate. Members agree to notify each other about job openings and temporary contract work.
  • Benefit 4: (Temporary International Lodging)Based on availability and references members of the union, all members are asked to provide up to three days of accommodations to other members traveling on work or holiday to other villages, towns, cities, regions and countries.
  • Benefit 5: (Time Bank)The Time Bank is registry of member skills, abilities, ins, access points, as well as requests and will function as round table system of asks for asks, ins for ins and trades of skill sets on an hourly basis. An example is to request a certain number of hours of car mechanical work for a certain number of hours of barber work.
  • Benefit 6: (Research Support Sharing)access to frontline sources, sharing of contacts and networks, research support in other languages, and in country contacts to support projects or research.
  • Benefit 7: (Module Database Access)ability to contribute to and utilize the development training modules developed by members to proliferate best practices, new technology and skill upgrades. Will also be a repository of development and continuing educational materials.
  • Benefit 8:(Psycho-Social Support)all members will have access to an open and compassionate system of critical stress debriefing to cope with stresses of the field via ongoing confidential counseling and correspondence.
  • Benefit 9: (Jail Support) any member detained for any reason will have their bail raised, legal resources made available and be immediately assigned a working group to secure their release as expeditiously as possible.
  • Benefit 10: (Family Benefits)all benefits will be extended to family as defined by members.



Structure Management/ Governance:

(Please refer to your Union Book for explanations on Association, Union and Movement governance structures.


Ratified: 5 June, 2016




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