How can we make the verification scheme more fit for purpose?
In March this year the CHS Alliance commissioned KPMG to conduct a review of our CHS verification scheme. The scheme created four years ago, offers four options for organisations to measure their performance against the CHS. This scheme has been used by more than fifty organisations since 2016, undergoing self-assessment or third-party evaluation with our partner HQAI. It’s received very positive feedback over the years, with users claiming it helped them make progress on the quality and accountability of the assistance they deliver to people affected by crisis. Unsurprisingly, this scheme has met challenges in meeting some of its original objectives, such being accessible to all types of organisations and gaining wider recognition from donors.
Through this review, the CHS Alliance aims to analyse the performance of the scheme and revisit the assumptions made four years ago when it was launched. Doing so will ensure that it is still fit for purpose and gains deeper buy-in for the CHS from organisations, both international and national and the donor community.
The humanitarian sector is rapidly changing. We are facing increasing competition for access to limited funding coupled with the increasing demands of institutional donors to comply with various legislation and standards. The CHS has the potential to relieve some of this mounting tension by replacing the various due diligence systems, and demonstrating good value to tax payers, because it is a comprehensive standard encompassing the main elements of quality and accountability. Bridges exist between these donor requirements and the CHS indicators being measured through the verification scheme. HQAI and the CHS Alliance will continue advocating for them to be recognized, while maintaining the necessary space for learning and improvement.
We are confident that the review conducted by KPMG will support our efforts moving into the right direction and improve the scheme. Naturally this will not be possible without the involvement of our members. We hope to be able to share the report shortly with you. We will finalise a process with our Board for moving forward, keeping you updated along the way. We want to hear your views – and this will be a central point for discussion at the General Assembly. We need to make sure that these efforts we are making to promote the CHS remain a collective movement for better quality and accountability in our sector. In the meantime, we always welcome ideas on how to make the verification scheme more fit for purpose, more accessible to diverse actors, and more widely recognized by the donor community.
 Self-assessment, peer review, independent verification and certification.