2020 CHS Alliance Annual Report

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2020 was a year of great upheaval. The year will be recorded in history for the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic which swept the globe causing overwhelming humanitarian and economic devastation in its wake.

Across the world, the pandemic exposed and exacerbated so many existing challenges, inequalities and injustices. Addressing the power imbalances present in humanitarian and development work has always been at the heart of the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS). The CHS aims to shift the focus of aid work to the priorities of communities and people affected by crisis by amplifying their voices and ensuring they can hold organisations accountable.

We must acknowledge that the pandemic did not diminish, but in many ways further highlighted the issues at the heart of the CHS. Who holds power over decision making? How do we get access to communities to listen to their concerns? What can we do to better recognise and support the leadership of local and national actors? In what ways can the CHS be applied to ensure inclusive organisations and to challenge racism within the sector? How do we ensure we protect people in vulnerable situations from sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment? How do we create cultures of compassion and accountability within our own organisations?

These burning questions meant that 2020 only served to increase momentum for the mission of the Alliance. With the vast encouragement, energy and support from our members, donors and partners we met the challenges head on. Read on to explore the difference our Alliance of more than 150 committed organisations made last year to improve aid for people affected by crisis.

Despite all the challenges Covid-19 presented, CHS Alliance members and partners undertook huge efforts to make aid work better and apply the CHS throughout 2020. Whether through undertaking verification to show how we are meeting our CHS Commitments, or via individual practices that shift the culture in our daily work, we all know things can – and must – be better for the people we serve.