CHS Alliance member hosts successful global Q&A training

9 December 2019

Building on the October 2019 Training of the Trainer on Quality and Accountability for the Syria response, CHS Alliance member Community World Service Asia (CWSA) hosted a Q&A ToT in Bangkok, with contributions from CHS Alliance and Sphere.

Global reach

CWSA’s six-day November Q&A ToT succeeded in bringing together people from a diverse range of organisations and geographical contexts. Participants represented UN agencies, INGOs, and national organisations from countries including the Philippines, Indonesia, China, Myanmar, United Kingdom, Spain, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Ethiopia, Turkey and Germany.

Applying Quality and Accountability resources to the project cycle

Participants looked at wide range of Q&A resources including:

  • Standards: the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS), the Sphere Handbook and the Humanitarian Standards Partnership (HSP).
  • Guidance and tools: the Participation Handbook, the Good Enough Guide, the Compass method, and more.
  • Q&A Reports: the Humanitarian Accountability Report, the ALNAP State of the Humanitarian System, as well as various IASC resources.

The collective processes of a humanitarian response, including the benefit of emerging collective approaches at national level, through the Humanitarian Program Cycle and Project Cycle Management, were explored in practical details.

The latest version of a booklet on Quality and Accountability co-produced by the ToT lead facilitator Sylvie Robert, was a key additional resource to support discussions on a holistic and collective approach.

“The ToT participants proved to be leaders and innovators for upcoming collective initiatives at national levels, to boost implementation on Quality and Accountability to affected population. This in the near future will support learnings and innovation from field to global level.” says Sylvie Robert, lead trainer of the ToT.

Those participating discussed quality and accountability from a range of perspectives, highlighting specific challenges at different levels of the humanitarian response. All attendees collaborated on identifying opportunities to better work together, driven by the need to be more effective for affected people. Three key takeaways are summarised below:

Key learnings

  1. A stand-out training session focused on Accountability Frameworks, where participants shared how their organisations present their Quality and Accountability commitments. Participants realised there are many different models to demonstrate overlapping aims, and therefore it is important that organisations are able to discuss their different approaches at field level to understand different perspectives and better work out how they can fit together.
  2. Another outcome of training discussion was a call for a phase zero in project cycle management. This phase is the intermediate time before implementation, a phase set aside for learning and preparedness, but also to mobilize and ensure advocacy towards the rights-based approach.

    “Yet, this phase is often overlooked as we rush from one project to the other. As a sector we need to push to ensure we have that time and space to talk together and improve, as we risk otherwise repeating the same mistakes again and again.” – Geneviève Cyvoct, AAP Manager, CHS Alliance.

  3. A final interesting observation emerged from participants experiences of remote project management situations, such as in the North Syria response. Here, agencies seem to work better at a collective level, compared to responses with multiple agencies in the field together.

Overall, the training highlighted how the CHS integrates with other sector-specific standards, and the Sphere Humanitarian Charter. Principles such as those of respect, and dignity of the people we serve, are at the centre of our work. The CHS, Sphere, the HSP, and other cross-cutting standards such as those related to gender and inclusion are all important frameworks to help aid workers ensure a people centred approach.

CWSA will publish a full training report shortly. If you’re interested in participating in this type of workshop, keep an eye on our training pages for upcoming Q&A ToTs happening soon.