History of the Core Humanitarian Standard

Bringing greater coherence to standards

A move towards greater coherence began in 2006 with the creation of the Quality and Accountability Initiatives Complementarities Group, which helped to build links between the 2010 HAP Standard, People In Aid’s Code of Good Practice and the Sphere Project’s Core Standards. The need for greater coherence in humanitarian standards became even more important as the disasters in Haiti and Pakistan highlighted once again the gaps between the aid that was needed and that which was provided, and illustrated the need for greater effectiveness, impact, accountability and quality in humanitarian action.

The Joint Standards Initiative

The Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP), People In Aid and the Sphere Project, came together under the Joint Standards Initiative (JSI) with the common goal of making it simpler and easier for aid workers to implement standards.

The JSI consultation in 2013, which received feedback from more than 2,000 humanitarian and development practitioners, found that there was a desire for:

  • More harmonisation among standards, with common terminologies
  • More awareness of, and guidance for standards
  • An architecture that links the various standards together
  • Putting communities and people affected by crisis, and humanitarian principles at the heart of standards in the sector.

Working towards a Core Humanitarian Standard

As a result of the JSI process, HAP and People In Aid committed to develop a Core Humanitarian Standard, with a view to replacing the 2010 HAP Standard and the People In Aid Code of Good Practice once it is launched in December 2014, to support the harmonisation process. The Sphere Project team also contributed to the development of the CHS, and the process greatly benefited from their input. In 2014, Groupe URD became a partner in the CHS development process.The Quality COMPAS, managed by Groupe URD, has also committed to replacing their reference framework with the CHS.

>> Find out more about the Joint Standards Initiative

>> Read this page in Arabic

Guided testing - Turkey
Guided testing - Turkey

Zeynep M. Turkmen Sanduvac from Turkey, Mavi Kalem Social Assistance & Charity Association, delivered a CHS testing process orientation workshop with staff from Support To Life in Sanliurfa. Zeynep coordinated guided testing of the CHS between Mavi Kalem and Support To Life.

Credit: Zeynep M. Turkmen Sanduvac, Mavi Kalem

The CHS is our standard; the tool we will use to show that we build quality processes into our work; to minimise the efforts we put into reporting and upwards accountability and maximise the time we have to build relationships with affected people.
Richard Cobb, Evidence and Impact Advisor, Merlin/Save the Children
CHS Alliance
Groupe URD
Sphere Project