Igniting passion: a CHS journey shaped by experience

26 February 2024
Jordi Capdevila,

by Jordi Capdevila,

Head of Quality Assurance, CHS Alliance, Barcelona

Do you remember the moment when your passion ignited, propelling you towards a cause greater than yourself? For me, it was a realisation that fighting injustice was not just a concept; it was a fundamental necessity. The need to help those that are in need. At the centre of all humanitarian and development work, accountability is key, and the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) is an excellent roadmap for upholding it. From my early days in peacekeeping missions to my current role at CHS Alliance, my professional journey has been defined by a steadfast commitment to quality assurance and accountability. Join me as we navigate across a key moment for the CHS movement and unveil key initiatives on the horizon.

My journey to this accountability moment

My path to CHS Alliance began amidst the complexities of peacebuilding and humanitarian affairs. With over two decades of experience spanning places like Kosovo, the Philippines, and Afghanistan, I have had the opportunity to work with people affected by crisis in many different settings. Each experience, each encounter with communities affected by crises, fuelled my determination to ensure aid reached them with dignity and respect.

My passion for CHS verification stems from a profound belief in the transformative power of accountability. Whether delivering humanitarian assistance in remote areas in Afghanistan or conducting CHS audits in Bangladesh with the Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative (HQAI), I witnessed first-hand the impact of solid standards and monitoring mechanisms for people in vulnerable situations. Over the last decade, the CHS has emerged as the global reference for how we must work —a framework that not only measures organisational performance but focuses on upholding the rights and dignity of those in crisis.

Now, as part of CHS Alliance, I stand at the forefront of a crucial moment in the CHS movement. With a record number of organisations actively engaged in CHS verification, the momentum is palpable. This moment signifies a collective recognition of the importance of accountability and quality assurance in humanitarian and development efforts. It is a testament to the tireless efforts of individuals and organisations committed to driving positive change.

Transitioning to the updated CHS

Looking ahead, there are several exciting initiatives on the horizon for the CHS Alliance network. From the global launch of a strengthened CHS in March, to the upgrades coming to the CHS Commitment Tracker, we are about to roll out an exciting suite of tools and resources to  better support your accountability work.

After publication of the updated CHS in March, there will be a transition period allowing organisations time to change to this edition. During this transitional phase, it’s important to keep in mind that while the structure of the updated CHS has changed, the core elements remain.

In light of the improvements made to the Standard, CHS Verification tools will be updated, including a new Verification Framework and Guide. Similarly, the CHS Self-Assessment will also be reviewed. By the end of November 2024, these will have been transitioned to the CHS 2024 edition.

Organisations currently in self-assessment or starting the process before November will continue using the current CHS until the next renewal.

CHS Alliance has also been working closely with HQAI to manage a smooth transition for the organisations they audit. To ensure enough time is given to all partners for adjusting to the updated standard, and to upgrade HQAI processes, both initial and renewal audits undertaken before end of March 2025 will continue using the current CHS.

These initiatives will not only streamline the verification process but also empower organisations – and the aid sector as a whole – to better track progress and foster data-driven insights.

Working together for accountable aid

As I embark on this journey with CHS Alliance, I invite you to join me in championing accountability and driving positive change in the aid sector. Whether through verifying against the CHS, attending an event, or advocating for accountability within your organisation, your involvement is crucial.

Together, we can uphold the highest standards of assistance and make a tangible difference in the lives of those most in need. As we navigate this transformative moment together, let us seize the opportunity to amplify the voices of crisis-affected communities, challenge existing paradigms, and pave the way for a more accountable and equitable aid.

Find out more about using the CHS to measure and improve your work.