How the Core Humanitarian Standard can contribute to humanitarian effectiveness

David Loquercio

by David Loquercio

Former Head of Policy, Advocacy and Learning at the CHS Alliance

The CHS Alliance’s 2015 Humanitarian Accountability Report looks at the relationship between effectiveness and accountability across a variety of perspectives; decision making, national NGOs and government, humanitarian principles, verification and people management are some of the lenses that are taken by the 13 authors of the publication.

The CHS Alliance will launch the 2015 edition of its Humanitarian Accountability Report on 1 September. The report looks at the relationship between effectiveness and accountability across a variety of perspectives; decision making, national NGOs and government, humanitarian principles, verification and people management are some of the lenses that are taken by the 13 authors of the publication. This 2015 report contains concrete suggestions to the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) on how it can help to make humanitarian response more effective.

In the coming months, the WHS secretariat will turn its attention from the global consultations it is currently undertaking to preparing its final synthesis report, which will be issued prior to the global consultation due to take place in Geneva on 14-16 October 2015.

One of the areas that has caught the most attention and provided the greatest challenges during consultations is the discussion on humanitarian effectiveness, and the ways in which humanitarian response can become more appropriate, timely and impactful. The relevance of this discussion has a lot to do with the growth in humanitarian need at a time when the countries contributing the majority of humanitarian funding have been affected by a protracted economic crisis.

The humanitarian community has therefore been challenged to deliver more impact with fewer resources. In addition to finding innovative ways to respond to crises, humanitarians have also been charged with doing more to help prevent them, and mitigate their impact when they do occur. What is new in this discussion is the consensus among stakeholders that any approach we take needs to put people affected by crisis at the centre. This position, which was first championed by the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) over 10 years ago and will be continued by the CHS Alliance, is also the foundation of the recently launched Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS), and is why the launch of the CHS is so timely.

By providing a comprehensive framework to a quality-focused approach, the CHS addresses in a structured way a considerable number of the effectiveness-related recommendations emerging from the WHS consultations. With its impact-related indicators derived from the feedback of affected communities, the CHS will offer a measurable way to assess the impact of applying the standard on programme quality. The 2015 Humanitarian Accountability Report will make such a link explicit, and will underline the necessity of the work of the CHS Alliance in supporting its members and other stakeholders to apply the CHS.