How Danish Red Cross improved their support to local and national partners by using the CHS

The Danish Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which assists people in need all over the world, aiming to bring hope to the lives of thousands of people every day.

About 35,000 volunteers from 204 local Red Cross branches across Denmark work to alleviate social distress and make a humane difference based on local needs and the individual’s life situation.

Danish Red Cross started their CHS certification journey in 2018. As part of the initial CHS certification audit in 2018, Danish Red Cross was found to have limited formal procedures in place for identifying unintended negative effects (CHS indicator 3.6).

To address this and responding to other recommended actions from the audit on strengthening partnerships with local actors, Danish Red Cross began to scale up support to their partners, these being the Red Cross Red
Crescent National Societies in the countries where Danish Red Cross operates.

Danish Red Cross started to ask that their partner organisations all have dedicated and anonymous complaints mechanisms, and pressed the need for responsive feedback mechanisms.

To help their partners overcome barriers to creating and running sustainable accountability systems, Danish Red Cross provided dedicated funding for community engagement and accountability (CEA) activities. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Danish Red Cross developed and supported the creation of a wealth of guidance and tools that were then shared with partners to build up technical skills.

They also gave briefings on the CHS and offered a support system of focal points who could advise and train partners on which accountability tools were best to use for each context. This cross organisational group of in-house experts were highly trained in CEA and protection, including trainers of trainers to support strengthening the longer-term abilities and knowledge of partner organisation staff.

Danish Red Cross have sustained these efforts to train and strengthen their local partners, so that they could provide local support and increasing meaningful participation with the communities. By their CHS certification audit in 2020, there were more procedures in place to avoid unintended negative effects. This contributed to Danish Red Cross resolving the corrective action on CHS indictor 3.6 in the 2020 audit.

Read more about the difference organisations using the CHS to measure and improve are making for the people they serve.