Inaugural CHS regional revision workshop sets the stage for an updated Standard

On May 16 2023, an important gathering took place in Jordan to give feedback on the first version of the updated Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS). The event brought together key players in the MENA region to give feedback a draft of the updated CHS. Following extensive community consultations in Jordan and Lebanon, workshop participants explored how a revised CHS could become a more accessible and relevant tool to strengthen the quality and accountability of assistance for people facing crisis.

Community views first

Before the workshop, CHS Alliance held several community consultation sessions in Jordan and Lebanon. People from Jordan, Syria and Lebanon who are supported by CHS Alliance members Danish Refugee Council and Amel Association shared their views on the relevance of the CHS and proposed updates.

CHS Alliance & Danish Refugee Council community consultation on a revised CHS in East Amman, May 2023.

These meetings provided invaluable opportunities to listen to and understand what people affected by crisis need and value in a revised Standard.

Community members were happy to know that organisations should commit to the CHS. They felt that all the CHS Commitments were valuable to them receiving a good level of assistance and thought they belonged together. They welcomed the measurable nature of the CHS to assess how well organisations met their promises.

Community members also emphasised the importance of organisations delivering assistance promptly and effectively, having strong, two-way communication with the people they help and adapting based on feedback.

“We always provide feedback and express what we want but nothing really changes. We will feel listened to when we will see the programmes changed based on our feedback”. Woman receiving assistance in Lebanon.

Exchange to strengthen the Standard

After hearing people affected by crisis’ views on an update CHS, the first revision consultation workshop took place. Drawing on community feedback, the event provided a lively opportunity to exchange ideas and insights on the proposed revised CHS.

Panellists at the CHS Revision MENA regional workshop, May 2023.

The workshop served as a dynamic, collaborative space where participants discussed how well proposed updates met the goals of the revision, to:

  • Reinforce the Standard as a people-centred.
  • Address the most important issues that affect quality and accountability for communities.
  • Reinforce existing quality and technical standards and good accountability practices.
  • Ensure the measurable nature of the Standard.
  • Simplify language and make it more accessible and user friendly for more organisations.
  • Have the potential to increase buy-in and support of key stakeholders.

Group discussions at the CHS Revision MENA regional workshop, May 2023.

Collaboration and appreciation

The success of the workshop and community consultations would not have been possible without the efforts of CHS Alliance’s members and partners. The Danish Refugee Council, Amel Association International and Oxfam International played instrumental roles as co-hosts. Their commitment to creating an inclusive space for regional actors and crisis-affected people underscores the importance local perspectives have had in shaping the updated CHS.

Participants at the CHS Revision MENA regional workshop, May 2023.

A global effort

The MENA workshop was the start of the current phase of the global engagement process for updating the CHS. Recognising the significance of diverse perspectives, a number of community consultations and workshops are being held worldwide, alongside a global online survey on the proposed updates, released in early June.

CHS Alliance looks forward to hearing your views on the revision. Together we can ensure that a revised CHS truly reflects the needs, challenges and aspirations of people affected by crisis.

Find your closest regional CHS Revision workshop.