Global CHS Exchange Virtual Conference

28-30 September 2021

Raising the Standard for people in crisis: Holding ourselves to account

Please read carefully the below guidelines before submitting your
session proposal form

The CHS Exchange 2021 online conference will be an innovative and interactive virtual gathering for a growing global community of humanitarian practitioners, researchers, experts and people leaders collaborating to reflect, learn from each other and develop practical solutions.

As humanitarians, we have committed to the CHS, based on Nine Commitments to the people affected by crisis. It is based on a premise that by knowing what to expect, people could better hold us to account. Commitment 4, in particular spells out that the people we serve know their rights and entitlements.

However, the power structures that govern humanitarian response still engage people affected by crisis as passive recipients, rather than a force in shaping thier own priorities and plans. Achieving our commitment for people affected by crisis to hold us to account, will require uncomfortable—but overdue— changes to the humanitarian system’s incentive structures and power dynamics.

In this Exchange we will tackle this question of people knowing their rights and how, as humanitarians, we are held to account, exploring the question through three perspectives:

CHS Exchange Perspectives:

  1. Leadership of people affected by crisis – We will focus on how people affected by crisis influence decisions that affect them.
  2. Shifting the power – We will consider how donors and aid actors can address current imbalances.
  3. Collective action– We will look at how actors come together to collectively assess and address gaps in quality and accountability.

Online session formats

Oral presentation: Presentation of a specific topic related to the overall theme followed by moderated discussions with a duration of 45 min. The session is structured to enable in-depth exploration of one topic and should have a moderator to steer the discussion with the audience (at least 20 minutes at the end of the session).

Panel session or debate: 45-minute live and moderated discussion with a self-formed group of two or three panelists. In this session type, the speakers each provide a very short introduction on the topic at hand. With the help of the moderator, they then will guide an open discussion. Most of the session time is dedicated to an active discussion between the audience and the speakers.

Workshops are action-oriented, hands-on 45 minutes sessions. These sessions could take the form of a demonstration, or a participatory how-to-session. Workshops are intended to train participants and engage participants in practice.

New and interactive session formats are encouraged and highly welcomed.

To make sessions more interactive and have sufficient time for discussions, session organisers are invited to pre-record their presentations in advance. Attendees can view these pre-recorded sessions on their own time and submit questions before the live session.

Since late submissions cannot be considered, it is recommended that proposals be submitted well before the deadline.

Submission guidelines

Session proposals must be submitted via an online form by 16 August 2021 CoB. Proposals will be reviewed by the CHS Exchange Conference Manager and Alliance secretariat staff. Only proposals submitted through the online portal can be considered.

The CHS Exchange conferences are conducted in English, but participant-led sessions could be held in different languages.

To ensure broad participation in the CHS Exchange Online Conference, individuals are limited to submitting one session proposal and are limited to the role of EITHER a session moderator OR a speaker. If you are selected as a session moderator, you may NOT submit a proposal to be a speaker on other sessions. We will also give priority to sessions where the moderator and speakers are not all male or female and include perspectives from different countries and contexts.

Each Session Chair and Speaker is expected to take care of all arrangements to participate in the conference. Session Chairs and Speakers are required to join the CHS Exchange and register for the conference.

Session review criteria

The selection process will be rigorous with feedback provided to all proposals. Proposals will be selected on the basis of merit and the need to create a well-balanced program. We encourage proposals that are original, engaging, significant, of high quality, clear and relevant.

Original: the proposal explores a new idea, project, or issue; discusses new research; or presents new ways of considering existing information. We encourage proposals that offer different perspectives on a topic to promote more constructive critique and debate.

Engaging: presentation format will involve the audience in some way or has high potential to attract conference attendees by addressing the needs of the community. Involve a committed and skilled moderator to guide speakers from the conception to the conclusion of the session at the conference.

Significant: the proposal raises and discusses issues important to people management, and its contents can be broadly disseminated and understood

Supported: claims are backed by sufficient data; claims draw upon relevant literature and/or multiple perspectives; and limitations are described honestly (research papers only)

Clear: think of the purpose of your session, define your audience and what they will be getting from your session. Make your session title short and appealing and outline clear outcomes and describe session format in the session proposal form.

Relevant: Your session topic is aligned with the CHS Exchange 2021 theme and perspectives.

Theme: Raising the Standard for people in crisis: Holding ourselves to account

Perspectives: Leadership of people affected by crisis; Shifting the power; Collective action