On the invitation of the German Foreign Office and VENRO, the umbrella organisation for development NGOs in Germany, HAP International facilitated a half-day workshop on the Core Humanitarian Standard. The 25 participants were highly engaged throughout the workshop, highlighting what they like about the CHS, their concerns, and detailing the support they need to implement the standard.

A welcome consolidation for quality standards

“We have been consistent in supporting quality in humanitarian action, a strategy that drives our support for the CHS,” said Anke Reiffenstuel from the German Foreign Office, adding that “quality takes time, but is worth it.”

Christof Ruhmich, coordinator of quality assurance at HELP, explained that his organisation leveraged the consolidation of standards achieved by the CHS to plan its approach to quality management. Several participants confirmed that they considered the consolidation of standards within the CHS its key added value. They also appreciated the fact it remains centred around humanitarian principles and accountability to vulnerable people and crisis-affected populations.

Support needed to roll out the CHS at programme level

While praising the inclusion of practical key actions in the standard, participants underlined their need for a comprehensive package of guidance and tools supporting the roll-out and use of the standard. In that respect, the launch of the CHS guidance notes and indicators was much welcomed and generated a strong interest in participating in the consultation phase. The prospect of an approach similar to the HAP Standard self-assessment was also well received, with Welthungerhilfe sharing its positive experience with the HAP baseline model, which helped it take a more systematic approach to quality and accountability. The need to ensure a strong community of practice facilitating the sharing of CHS-related tools and policies was also a key request from the participants.

Key messages moving forward

As HAP, People In Aid and their partners work towards rolling out the CHS globally, we take the following key messages from this meeting on board:

  • Maintain the centrality of humanitarian principles in the CHS and provide guidance on how they can be better operationalised while applying the CHS.
  • Continue to develop and share practical guidance to facilitate the practical use of the Standard.
  • Help organisations, in particular smaller entities, to minimise the amount of work needed to adapt their processes as they adopt the CHS.
  • Advocate for a sustainable approach to resourcing the work related to quality assurance frameworks such as the CHS.