IASC refers to CHS as good practice to tackle SEA and SHA

21 June 2018

In a paper summarising actions undertaken to prevent, investigate, and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) and sexual harassment and abuse (SHA), the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) referred to the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) and, more specifically, to the self-assessment tool and its PSEA score.

“One tool that exists is offered by the CHS Alliance which enables organisations to conduct a self-assessment against the Core Humanitarian Standard, using one of the four options (self assessment, peer review, independent verification and certification),” the paper reads. “The self-assessment extracts a detailed PSEA score (taken from 18 of the 62 indicators) and provides a comprehensive picture of different elements contributing to effective work on PSEA in an organisation. The score is fed back to the individual organization and provides a way of tracking progress on PSEA.”

The paper was issued in order to promote good practice and learning within the IASC and identify opportunities for collaboration, where possible, responding among others to external calls for the IASC to “share and promote best practices on preventing, investigating, and responding to sexual harassment and assault.” The intention is to periodically update this document with new good practices.

The actions have been grouped according to the six questions discussed at the IASC Principals meeting that took place on 15 March 2018, namely:

1. Whether we all have clear and appropriate standards, rules and expectations governing PSEA and sexual harassment, and how far they are consistent across the sector. 

2. Whether we have effective means of communicating to our staff what our standards and expectations are, including guidance material, training and other systems to ensure no-one who works for us can credibly claim not to understand what our rules, norms and expectations are. 

3. Whether we have systems and processes staff and others have confidence in through which concerns about non-compliance with our norms and standards are raised. This includes things like our whistle blower systems, help lines, victim support etc. 

4. Whether our investigatory capacities are where we need them to be. This includes both the resourcing level needed, to ensure that complaints or concerns can be investigated promptly, and the skill sets in the relevant functions to ensure that complainants are handled in the right way and that investigations are effective. 

5.  Whether we have the right approaches to sanctioning staff who are found to have acted egregiously.

6. Whether we have the systems we need to ensure that information on staff who have been found to have transgressed is available to others across the sector.