The Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) was presented to 60 humanitarian actors in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on 29 April 2015. The session raised awareness of the CHS’s development, content and use among Haiti’s humanitarian community.

Participants represented the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), government and donor agencies including the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), UN agencies including the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and national and international NGOs.

Boris Maver, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) Humanitarian Programme Manager, highlighted the CHS as an important step in ensuring community-based effective humanitarian response.

Yolette Etienne, ActionAid Country Representative, spoke on the challenges and lessons learned during past emergency responses in Haiti.

Participants then debated the opportunities and challenges of applying the standard to strengthen the quality of humanitarian responses and accountability to affected populations in the Haitian context.

Opportunities of the CHS:

  • A common language across different regions and levels from international to local.
  • An opportunity for joint planning and evaluations, and greater coordination.
  • A tool to foster a participative approach to humanitarian intervention because of its right-based approach.
  • Better management of resources, including budgeting of projects.

Challenges of the CHS:

  • The need to ensure widespread CHS dissemination and capacity strengthening, in particular among national stakeholders.
  • The need to ensure deeper involvement of governments, not only in Haiti but around the world.

The use of the CHS for disaster preparedness was seen as both a challenge and an opportunity. The CHS is essential to build the capacity of humanitarian stakeholders and equip them with tools before emergencies happen, and to increase the resilience of communities. Using the CHS Guidance Notes and Indicators was seen as a solution to some of the challenges of applying the standard.