Making the CHS more accessible and relevant for people facing situations of vulnerability and crisis.

Standards need to be reviewed regularly to adapt to a changing environment, drawing on learning and new developments and innovations. The CHS is no exception. This is why CHS Alliance, Sphere and Groupe URD have launched an 18-month process to consult with multiple stakeholders for their views on how to update and improve the standard. 

The revision is an opportunity to hear from individuals and organisations across the world on how to make the standard more accessible, relevant and user-friendly tool to drive better quality and accountability.

Get involved!

There are different ways in which to engage in the CHS revision: 

If you would like to organise a consultation event, please read our Consultation Guidelines!

We have developed these Consultation Guidelines and a reporting template specifically for this first phase of the CHS revision process. It will help you plan and carry out your CHS consultations, for example within your organisation, among organisational consortia or with thematic experts.

Online platform to review the standard

If you are interested in commenting the CHS, please use our digital platform where you can directly input your feedback and suggestions on the current text of the standard.

Scope and expected outcomes of the revision

It is important to underline that the CHS revision process does not aim to replace the existing standard but to update and improve it. This means building on what works and adjusting the existing content and presentation to make it more relevant, accessible and user friendly for different stakeholders – particularly by the people vulnerable to and affected by crisis. It also means ensuring international best practices on standard development and revision are followed so that the CHS continues to enjoy trust and credibility as a global standard grounded in local realities.

The revision process will prioritise listening to and understanding what vulnerable people need and value. It will include the perspectives of community-based and civil society actors working with vulnerable people and communities. It will also be an opportunity to explore how an updated standard can support system-wide changes in the aid sector and beyond, building on the achievements and lessons learned so far. This includes wider take-up of the standard by UN agencies, donors and policymakers, and making links to emerging issues facing the aid sector.

The outcome of the process should be a widely used strengthened and improved standard that supports more effective and accountable relationships between vulnerable people and communities, and local, national and international actors.

Approach and Methodology

The process intends to maximise participation and engagement of different actors and stakeholders. To do this, Groupe URD, CHS Alliance and Sphere are leveraging their respective networks and partners to reach as many individuals and organisations as possible. Any individuals and organisations with an interest in quality and accountability are welcomed and encouraged to participate!

The revision team has will be setting up different methods and tools for stakeholders to engage, including key informant interviews, focus group discussions and community meetings, surveys, online and in-person meetings, and country and regional level consultation workshops.

The revision will also reach out to non-traditional humanitarian actors and other stakeholder groups operating in the humanitarian space to gain insights on how the standard can complement and support their work. Examples include domestic civil protection agencies and social assistance programmes, climate change adaption, resilience, poverty reduction and development efforts, and other initiatives supporting civil engagement, equity, diversity and inclusion, and accountability outside of the humanitarian sector.

Who is responsible for the revision process?

The CHS Management Group and the CHS Steering Committee will provide overall oversight of the process. The Management Group is a 6-member team made up of the Executive Directors and CHS focal points of the copyright holders of the CHS: Sphere, CHS Alliance, and Groupe URD. The Steering Committee is comprised of 12 individuals representing users and stakeholders of the standard.

The process is facilitated by two CHS Revision Managers hosted by the CHS Alliance: Philip Tamminga and Aninia Nadig. Both Aninia and Philip have extensive experience working with development and promotion of quality and accountability standards in the humanitarian sector.

The Management Group and Steering Committee will support the CHS Revision Managers to ensure the process and outcomes are transparent, inclusive, rooted in the voices of affected people, reflects the latest knowledge on quality and accountability, and adhere to international best practices on standard development and revision. 

Contact Aninia and Philip here:

Aninia: anadig@chsalliance.org  Philip: ptamminga@chsalliance.org

Timeline

The revision process takes place over 18 months, beginning in May 2022 and ending in November 2023 with the presentation of the updated standard. The process will be iterative, with different rounds of consultation providing inputs that will be analysed and presented back to stakeholders for feedback, leading to continued refinements and improvements to the content and presentation of the standard.

An indicative timeline is presented below:

  • 1st Consultation Round: Feedback on the current CHS (May-Dec 2022)
  • 1st draft of updated standard written, based on feedback received (Jan-Feb 2023)
  • 2nd Consultation Round: Discussion of Draft 1, including regional workshops (Mar-June 2023)
  • Preparation of Draft 2 (Jul-Aug 2023)
  • Validation consultation with people who contributed to previous consultations (Sep-Oct 2023)
  • Finalisation, sign-off, production (Nov-Dec 2023)
  • Launch of revised and updated standard (Dec 2023)
  • Regional launches and roll-out (Jan-Jun 2024)

Stay informed!

Sign up to CHS Alliance, Sphere or Groupe URD’s newsletters for regular updates on the revision process, as well other work around quality and accountability.

 

Why is the revision needed?
Why is the revision needed?

The global context has changed significantly since the standard was created. The climate emergency, the COVID-19 pandemic, protection and safeguarding concerns and growing awareness of unequal power dynamics in the aid sector are all elements to be considered as we strive to reaffirm our collective commitments to people that are vulnerable to and affected by crisis.

The policy environment has also changed. Several important initiatives have emerged that build on and contribute to the aims and objectives of the CHS. Examples include efforts to strengthen safeguarding and protection from sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector, promote greater localisation and participation in the design and implementation of aid programmes, and updated technical standards and guidance covering different programming areas.

For the CHS to reach its full potential, we need to take stock of the lessons learned over the past seven years, consider and integrate new developments, and reach increased awareness, endorsement and use of an updated standard by wider set of stakeholders.

CHS Alliance
Groupe URD
Sphere Project