Conducting a CHS self-assessment is the first step organisations should take when committing to work in line with the Nine Commitments of the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS). The CHS assessment tool provides guidance and advice for organisations going through such an exercise, as well as through a peer-review exercise. It also provides templates allowing them to collect information, document evidence, and present results. At the end of this exercise, organisations undergoing a self-assessment will have a comprehensive picture of their strengths and weaknesses, and a solid basis to focus resources where they are most needed. After the exercise is repeated, organisations will also be able to measure progress and the impact of capacity development efforts. Self-assessments are meant to identify and recognise good practice as much as they can help identify and address issues, and are intended to be a learning tool.

The CHS self-assessment tool (v2) consists of the following two documents:

Why conduct an assessment? 

There are many benefits for an organisation that conducts a CHS assessment, including: 

  • Engagement and improvement – findings from an assessment provide the basis for planning improvements in policy, systems and practices and the assessment process itself can deliver the buy-in required for the changes that are needed. 
  • Internal awareness of commitments – assessment interviews with staff at both headquarters and field level will build awareness of your commitments to accountability, quality and people management. 
  • External recognition and visibility – every organisation completing a CHS assessment will be given public recognition of the efforts they have made towards implementing the standard. 

In addition, each organisation completing one of the verification options will also assess its performance on key cross-cutting issues. The CHS Alliance has used indicators from the nine commitments to develop indexes that reflect how well the organisation performs across three of these areas:  

  1. Protection against sexual exploitation, abuse or harassment (PSEAH)
  2. Localisation
  3. Gender & diversity

The CHS Alliance’s support to its members

All CHS Alliance members commit to ‘have a documented organisational commitment to quality and accountability’, and the CHS Alliance secretariat strongly encourages its members to fulfil this commitment by evaluating performance against the CHS. The secretariat offers a range of support for the various verification options, including: 

  • training sessions, webinars, helpdesk, bilateral meetings and visits to support self-assessment and peer review 
  • ‘sanity checking’ submitted reports, including in-depth reviews to ensure that methodology is appropriate and that the scores have been consistently allocated in line with narrative answers and the scoring grid 
  • researching and clarifying CHS indicators where further guidance is needed 
  • dashboards and access to CHS verification data on the Tableau platform when assessments or  third-party verifications are complete – allowing Alliance members to benchmark their performance 
  • advocacy at the sector level for collective solutions and initiatives addressing weaknesses identified through the aggregated results. 

The CHS Alliance requires members to provide their CHS assessment or third-party reports for analysis and the identification of solutions to collective problems. The secretariat keeps all reports confidential.

Improvement plan guidelines

To support a process of continuous quality improvement, a self-assessment needs to feed into the design, implementation and monitoring of an improvement plan.

Through the CHS self-assessment you may have discovered that your organisation is already doing well in some areas, but also that there are areas for improvement. The improvement plan guidelines will help you to:

  1. Analyse and understand the results of your self-assessment
  2. Prioritise actions to include in your improvement plan
  3. Write, resource, approve and submit your improvement plan
  4. Implement and monitor your improvement plan.

These four steps are meant to help you develop a CHS improvement plan that is inclusive, realistic and achievable. Download the CHS improvement plan guidelines here.

For more information or for any inquiries please contact our Senior Quality & Accountability Officer Geneviève Cyvoct.​