CHS Story of Change: International Blue Crescent’s commitment to appropriate aid (Commitment 1)

15 September 2020

by Nalan Üker (interview)

In the run up to the launch of the Humanitarian Accountability Report 2020, we have spoken to different organisations who have achieved certification against the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS), to learn more about how this process is driving changes in policy and programmes. And ultimately, how it is helping aid work better for the people affected by crisis.

Here, International Blue Crescent shares insights into what they are doing to meet Commitment 1 of the CHS which states that people receive assistance appropriate to their needs.

International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation (IBC), a Turkish INGO, became certified against the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) in 2019. The organisation’s leaders were motivated to take this step because the CHS framework aligns with its mission to ensure humanitarian response is appropriate and relevant and that its beneficiaries to be at the heart of its humanitarian actions, and because it is a globally recognised standard.

The CHS sets out Nine Commitments made to affected communities and people, and Commitment 1 sets out that people should receive assistance appropriate to their needs.

2019 Istanbul, Turkey © IBC

The audit process revealed some challenges IBC faced, including the need for IBC to adapt its programmes and activities to changing needs, capacities and contexts.

These findings prompted the organisation to make changes to their programming to ensure an appropriate ongoing analysis of context. Nalan Üker, Programmes Director for IBC, says: “IBC developed systematically analysed program context and stakeholder forms. This task was included in Program Managers’ and Project Coordinators’ job descriptions.

“We started developing disaggregation of beneficiary data refers to breaking down data about IBC beneficiary population into smaller groupings, based on quantities or characteristics such as gender, nationality, location and disability.”

These groups reports are uploaded to IBC Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system where authorised IBC staff can access to them, and they are regularly updated.

As a result of these studies, IBC benefited from a systematic process for better analysing contexts and stakeholders and assessing its risks in programme designs and implementation to adapt to the evolution of the context. Nalan Üker credits these steps with improving the organisation’s institutional policies, guidelines, feedback mechanisms and CRMs.

“We increased the level of community participation, promoted a culture of open communication, evaluated and learned from its practices and experience” she says. “We recorded knowledge and experience and made it accessible throughout the Foundation.”

Other benefits of certification include the adoption of policies for the wellbeing and support of staff, considering the environmental impact when using local and natural resources, and mitigating risks on an ongoing basis.


The Humanitarian Accountability Report (HAR) 2020 will highlight eight more stories of CHS change, as well as providing an evidence-based overview of how accountable the aid sector is today. To attend the virtual HAR 2020 launch event and be one of the first to access the report’s results, sign up to the free virtual Global CHS Exchange, 6-8 October 2020.

Read more stories of change here.