Spreading the word – a global discussion on the value of the CHS

25 June 2024

The Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) as, a set of commitments aid actors make to people in crisis, will only reach its intended impact if all organisations adhere to it. This is why it is essential to maintain the momentum seen during the revision process and keep the conversation going on the value of all organisations adhering to the commitments; to do more and go further to change how we work to better meet affected people’s needs.

The CHS Alliance network is based on the premise that accountability and local leadership are essential for quality humanitarian and development action. Centred on the needs and preferences of crisis-affected people, the CHS can be used by everyone providing support to ensure respectful, dignified aid that puts affected people in the driving seat.

After updates made by over 4,000 contributors across 90 countries, the CHS is now even more people-driven and people-centred, reinforcing the leading role of communities and local actors in shaping and influencing actions and decisions that affect them, helping address power imbalances in the aid system.

To ensure people affected by crisis can use the CHS to stand up for their rights and that aid groups of all sizes use it to improve their work, CHS Alliance members and allies worldwide are calling for greater uptake to increase the reach of the stronger Standard.

Engaging discussions, webinars and events in Australia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Indonesia, Niger, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Spain and Yemen demonstrate how working together can create greater commitment to meeting the expectations of the updated CHS, in the places it’s most needed.

CHS Global Launch Events

In a time of critical needs, its heartening to see the many diverse aid actors gathering at these events, forging ahead on finding solutions to drive greater accountability. .

Here’s a roundup of some recent launches:

In Niamey, Niger CHS Alliance member Concern Worldwide gathered more than 50 national and international NGOs together.

Hanane Adamou Issaka, WHH Niger MEAL expert, participating to the CHS launch in Niamey/Niger, May 2024.
Credit: 2APROD

Panellist, Dr. Idé Yacouba Abdoul Aziz, representing the national NGO Développement Harmonieux du Niger (EDHN), shared that the CHS self-assessment that his organisation carried out supported them to readjust their projects to better place affected communities at the centre of their activities. EDHN is in the process of joining CHS Alliance and aiming to become the first national organisation in Niger to achieve CHS Certification.

Country Director of Concern, Francesco Tropea reflected, “The launch of the CHS was a success in terms of the content of the exchanges and the interest of the participants. In a context like Niger, which is regularly affected by multidimensional crises, a response that respects the rights and dignity of people and communities in crisis situations is essential.”

See how the day unfolded in Concern’s short video of the launch:

In Yemen, CHS Alliance local member Building Foundation for Development curated two launches in Aden and Marib, attracting nearly 100 national and international NGOs.

NGOs gather for a CHS launch in Yemen, organised by BFD. Credit: BFD

Abdullah Ahmed Al Asri of BFD said, “Emphasising standardised guidelines and collaboration, the launches highlighted the new CHS edition’s significance for our collective accountability work. Each event sparked active discussions on how we can make the most of this more accessible CHS, including the importance of INGOs and donors supporting local groups to access verification, demonstrating a strong interest in adopting its principles.”

Over in Spain, The Institute of Studies on Conflicts and Humanitarian Action (IECAH), with the Spanish Cooperation Agency and Caixa Bank Foundation held launches in Madrid and Barcelona with more than 50 participants drawn from NGOs, academia, and public officials.

Speaker at the Madrid CHS Credit: IECAH

Camille Nussbaum, Institute of Studies on Conflicts and Humanitarian Action shared “The potential for applying the CHS now clearly extends well beyond emergency and humanitarian crises to development programmes, advocacy as well as broader social causes. We appreciate the quality translation into Spanish, with attention to cultural nuances that ensures it is both comprehensible and relevant across diverse contexts. We welcome the updated Standard’s adaptability for local organisations and that the crucial role of donor recognition is highlighted.”

CHS Alliance’s national member Community World Service Asia with UN OCHA, Tearfund, IFRC, REEDS and Acted hosted a series of launches across Pakistan in Islamabad, Dadu and Jacobabad and online.

Discussion at the Islamabad CHS launch. Credit: Community World Service Asia

Tooba Siddiqi, Community World Service Asia said “The updated CHS will drive institutional strengthening for local organisations beyond capacity building, enhancing policies and operations alike. Participants embraced the stronger emphasises on communities, inclusivity, and collective action for quality and accountability. Overall, it was felt that more organisations must endorse and implement the CHS, so we can extend its benefits to local communities faster than ever.”

Oxfam and the Humanitarian Advisory Group held a packed launch in Melbourne, Australia.

See a clip of CHS Alliance Board member & Accountability Adviser at Oxfam, Carly Sheehan explaining how the updated CHS is more accessible and adaptable:

Upcoming CHS country launches will take place soon in Ethiopia, India, Somalia and Zimbabwe.

Join your local event, or host your own.

These gatherings represent just a handful of the many ways the updated CHS is being shared and applied worldwide to improve our collective accountability work.

Many more CHS Alliance members and supporters are promoting the CHS everyday through their networks for a more accountable aid system

Hundreds of organisations that place people affected by crisis at the centre of their work have already signed on to the Statement of Commitment to the CHS. Show your organisation’s public commitment to accountability and sign up now.