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Strengthening accountability in Chad

Par Alexandra Warner and Guillaume Pocard 27/03/2019
Alexandra is leading Ground Truth Solutions’ projects in West Africa and is responsible for capacity development and learning, while Guillaume is GTS's Programme Analyst.

In a tucked away country, often out of sight of international media, not one but three major humanitarian responses are underway. With the continued presence of refugees from Sudan, more recent displacement due to threats from Boko Haram and the arrival of people fleeing conflict in Central African Republic, Chad is one of the most challenging humanitarian contexts in Africa.

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Exploring the CHS Verification Data: why commitment 5 is scoring low?

Par Adrien Muratet 27/03/2019
Adrien is the CHS Verification Manager at the CHS Alliance

In recent months we have communicated several times about an important finding from our verification data: commitment 5 of the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) is systematically scoring low, meaning that populations associated with the delivery of aid do not have access to functioning, responsive and safe complaints mechanisms. What does a closer look at the data tell us?

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Debriefing toolkit for humanitarian workers

Par Dr Debbie Hawker 15/01/2019
Dr Debbie Hawker is a clinical psychologist with over 25 years of experience in the humanitarian sector. She has worked in over 30 countries. She offers debriefing and therapy for humanitarian workers, and training for humanitarian organisations.

Nowadays many humanitarian workers request debriefing. However, when debriefers do not follow appropriate steps, debriefing may be ineffective or problematic. Therefore, it is extremely important that debriefing is offered to humanitarian workers by trained debriefers and good practice is followed.

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"Shelter is more than just walls and roofs, it is vital for maintaining human dignity" - Coffee with Jose De La Cruz, ShelterBox

Par Jose De La Cruz 21/11/2018
Jose works as the Institutional Fundraiser for ShelterBox and specialises in bilateral and multilateral donor engagement and proposal programme development. He spent three years living with displaced communities near the crater of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines, for which he received a distinguished service citation.

A recently published research report by ShelterBox found that in 2017, only one in five families worldwide received appropriate shelter support. We had a coffee with Jose De La Cruz to hear more about the unmet needs and how the sector can improve.

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World Mental Health Day: The Wellbeing Cluster – embodying CHS commitments, delivering locally

As Mindfulness & Wellbeing Adviser, Hitendra has led a three year pilot project for the Start Network’s Transforming Surge Capacity programme, funded by DFID. Joining Action Against Hunger UK in 2009, his most recent role was Partnerships & Programmes Manager, until taking up the current wellbeing role in January 2015.

In this blog, celebrating the World Mental Health Day, Hiten reports on the developments around the Wellbeing Cluster in the Philippines and on its role in the response to Typhoon Mangkhut. He argues that the cluster model can be a driver of change, especially for Commitment 8 of the CHS.

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People management at the CHS Alliance - Coffee with Samantha Wakefield

Par Samantha Wakefield 22/09/2018
Samantha Wakefield was CHS Alliance's HR and People Management Thematic Lead

In the past two years Samantha Wakefield led the Alliance's people management and HR initiatives, and recently many of them have come to an end. We had a coffee with her just a few days before her last day with the Alliance to review some of her main achievements.

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What is inclusive security risk management?

Par Adelicia Fairbanks 20/09/2018
Adelicia Fairbanks is Research Advisor at the European Interagency Security Forum (EISF), where she is responsible for producing original research papers, articles, blogs and guides that help share and promote best practice in security risk management within the humanitarian sector, with the aim of building the capacity of security practitioners.

In this blog, Adelicia summarises the main findings and recommendations of EISF's new research paper, which explores the security needs of aid workers with diverse profiles and the challenges aid organisations face managing these needs.

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Running a coaching network - Coffee with Lauren McWilliams

Par Lauren McWilliams 30/08/2018
Membership and former Project & Events Officer at the CHS Alliance.

Lauren McWilliams joined the CHS Alliance in July 2016 as the Alliance’s Events and Projects Officer responsible for managing the coaching component of the Start Network’s Talent Development Project. We caught up with her over a coffee to hear about her experience.

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Do languages have a low priority in development work?

Par Dr Angela Crack and Dr Wine Tesseur 28/08/2018
Angela specialises in NGO accountability and has a long-standing interest in how NGOs seek to be downwardly accountable by communicating with their beneficiaries. Wine’s PhD focused on the translation policies and practices of Amnesty International, which piqued her interest in how these issues play out in development NGOs.

Listening Zones, a recently ended research project found that language issues do not tend to have a high profile within I/NGOs. We had a coffee with Dr Angela Crack and Dr Wine Tesseur, to learn why languages are important for accountability and to explore the relevance of the results in humanitarian work.

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A game changer for wellbeing

Par Hitendra Solanki 19/08/2018
As Mindfulness & Wellbeing Adviser, Hitendra has led a three year pilot project for the Start Network’s Transforming Surge Capacity programme, funded by DFID. Joining Action Against Hunger UK in 2009, his most recent role was Partnerships & Programmes Manager, until taking up the current wellbeing role in January 2015.

In this blog, Hiten gives some insight on the recently launched Wellbeing Cluster in the Philippines, which he believes can catalyse a shift in the way the humanitarian sector addresses and manages the wellbeing and mental health support for aid workers.

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Thriving humanitarians make a greater impact! - Coffee with Leanne Kennedy, Co-Founder and CEO of Thrive Worldwide

Par Leanne Kennedy 24/07/2018
Leanne, Co-Founder and CEO of Thrive Worldwide is working with organisations in the provision of staff care from HQ, regional and country perspectives. Prior to setting up Thrive, Leanne worked with InterHealth Worldwide.

Following InterHealth’s sudden closure in August 2017, Leanne and a group of former colleagues mobilised to set up Thrive Worldwide. Their vision at Thrive is to continue InterHealth’s legacy of supporting humanitarian and development workers around the world to be healthy and resilient.

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Overcoming HR challenges in surge response - Coffee with Justine Tordoff, HR Consultant

Par JUSTINE TORDOFF 19/07/2018
Justine has worked in the humanitarian and development sector for over 18 years, including 11 years with Oxfam GB and six years with RedR UK. She has a HR specialist background and is now an independent consultant for the sector.

Last year, together with Justine the CHS Alliance produced a set of HR guidelines for the Start Network’s Transforming Surge Capacity Project. We caught up with her over a coffee to chat about the HR component of the Project and the development of these tools.

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Tracking humanitarian surge response: from the Nepal earthquake to the Rohingya crisis

Par Glenn O'Neil 20/06/2018
Glenn, founder of Owl RE consultancy, is a researcher and evaluator with over 20 years of experience in the humanitarian sector. He is a co-researcher for the Transforming Surge Capacity Project.

Over three years, the Transforming Surge Capacity Project tracked six crises to see how surge practices were changing. The last tracking report, 'The Rohingya Crisis' has been recently published, and on this occasion this blog reviews and highlights the main surge trends.

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How can mindfulness improve humanitarian aid? - Coffee with Hitendra Solanki, Action Against Hunger UK

Par Hitendra Solanki 22/05/2018
As Mindfulness & Wellbeing Adviser, Hitendra has led a three year pilot project for the Start Network’s Transforming Surge Capacity programme, funded by DFID. Joining Action Against Hunger UK in 2009, his most recent role was Partnerships & Programmes Manager, until taking up the current wellbeing role in January 2015.

On the occasion of Mental Health Awareness Week, we caught up with Hitendra to talk about why it is crucial to pay attention to the mental health of humanitarian staff, and how mindfulness and stress management can improve their wellbeing. As the Mindfulness & Wellbeing Adviser for Action Against Hunger UK and the Start Network, Hitendra has led a three-year pilot project for the Start Network’s Transforming Surge Capacity programme, funded by DFID.

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#humtech - a brief introduction

Par Balint Hudecz 11/04/2018
Balint Hudecz is the CHS Alliance's Communications Officer.

#Tech, a buzzword which stands for our recent ongoing technological revolution, steadily finds its way to the humanitarian sector. The aim of this blog - the first of a series that will explore possible innovation and new technologies to align with the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) - is to give a general overview of the state and history of humanitarian technologies.

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Never has it been more important to apply the Core Humanitarian Standard

Par Judith Greenwood 15/02/2018
Judith F. Greenwood is the Executive Director of the CHS Alliance.

In the last few days news reports of sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitarian aid workers in Haiti have shocked our sector. These reported cases show just how vital it is to apply existing standards and use all available tools. For the CHS Alliance it underlines yet again how essential it is to continue to promote and apply the Core Humanitarian Standard and support our members and the wider humanitarian community to do so.

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Training is not the “magic” formula but the line manager is

Par FAYE EKONG 08/02/2018
Faye Ekong is the Director for Human Resources, Learning & Development at Action Against Hunger USA. She is a SHRM Senior Certified Practitioner committed to learning, professional development and continuous improvement and dedicated to advancing the HR profession in the non-profit sector to play a stronger role in shaping organizational strategy and contributing to organizational success.

What actually makes training stick after the curtains have closed, the certificates are issued and the participants have departed? How come some trainings have more of an impact than others? Faye shares the magic formula in this blog.

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In 2018 take care of yourself and your staff - and achieve (even) better results!

Par Katy Murray 24/01/2018
Katy Murray is the co-founder of Catalyst Collective, creating inspirational resources for world changing women. Her work supports you to thrive while leading at your best and getting the best out of your people.

Stress, exhaustion and burnout are preventable, and as a leader it’s a key part of your responsibility and commitment to the Core Humanitarian Standard, particularly commitment 8, which recommends that ‘staff are supported to do their job effectively and are treated fairly and equitably’. In order to live up to this commitment, it is important to pace yourself and model healthy working practices for your teams.

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