Statements of support for the Core Humanitarian Standard
Many individuals, organisations and institutions have expressed their support for the Core Humanitarian Standard since it was launched on 12 December 2014. You can find the comments received to date by scrolling down.
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EU/ECHO: The EU/ECHO welcomes the consolidation of the core humanitarian standard, following intensive work and consultation among key partners. The commitments reiterate the importance of principled and evidence-based humanitarian programming and the centrality of populations and communities in humanitarian work. ECHO supports initiatives that serve an increased professionalisation in humanitarian aid and the efficiency of the humanitarian aid system. We highly value the commitment of organisations subscribing to the core humanitarian standard to provide high quality assistance and the determination to be held accountable to that.
Lise Grande, Resident Humanitarian Coordinator, UN Assistance Mission for Iraq: Because of the efforts of many organisations and members states and people, the accountability agenda is moving. One of the best examples of this are the nine commitments which make up the Core Humanitarian Standard. These commitments are a manifesto of how we should be working, and it’s great it features in the Grand Bargain.
The Standard is a very clear statement that humanitarians must see accountability to the people we serve as our fundamental responsibility – something all of us are obliged to do. The Standard is a way of concretising our ethical commitment and putting it literally at the centre of everything we try to do.
Global Cluster for Early Recovery, UNDP: The Global Cluster for Early Recovery fully endorses the Core Humanitarian Standard. It is a critical effort to engage people not as "beneficiaries" or "victims," but as actors, participants and change agents in the recovery and resilience-fostering process. We aim to subscribe by adjusting Early Recovery policies, trainings and guidance. We also commit to promoting them among our partner and donor networks. We would like to thank all individuals and agencies who contributed to the formation of these standards over the last several years.
United Nations Industrial Development Organization: UNIDO commits to comply with the Core Humanitarian Standard and International Aid Transparency Initiative Standard.
Danida: Danida commits fully to the Core Humanitarian Standard and supports the elaborations of the Steering Commitee for Humanitarian Response (SCHR)’s verification and certification initiative. Danida will in close cooperation with its Danish humanitarian partners support the implementation of the CHS in their organisational framework. Danida will also support its Danish partners in the verification and possible certification process. Danida sees the Core Humanitarian Standard as an important tool for improving the overall quality of the humanitarian sector.
Kristian Jensen, Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs: Improved response is not only about increasing funding, it’s also about efficientness, quality and accountability. Denmark will in close cooperation with its humanitarian partners support the implementation of the Core Humanitarian Standard.
Stephan Schønemann, Director for Humanitarian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark: With the attempt to raise the bar and setting the standard, a new quality and accountability tool - the Core Humanitarian Standard - was launched one and half years ago in Copenhagen. The Standard places people affected by crisis at the centre of humanitarian action, and it sets out nine commitments that organisations and individuals involved in humanitarian response can use to improve the quality and effectiveness of the assistance they provide.
With the recent adoption of the Core Humanitarian Standard by the Global Clusters to complement existing international technical standards, and with the support this common standard has garnered as a baseline for organisational accountability from NGOs to actors such as the European Commission, we have a real opportunity to strengthen a framework which puts people at the center of humanitarian action. When response plans, common priorities and collective goals are informed by evidence and analysis against internationally recognised standards – significant shifts in practice can be seen. To make this happen requires strong leadership at country level.
The German Federal Foreign Office: The German Federal Foreign Office highly welcomes the Core Humanitarian Standard as an essential tool that has been developed at the right time: The massive increase of humanitarian crisis worldwide makes professionalism imperative in humanitarian assistance and emphasises the urgent need for a sound and solid humanitarian system that is capable of dealing adequately with the growing challenges. Quality and effectiveness are core issues of the World Humanitarian Summit. In the summit process and beyond, the Core Humanitarian Standard will ensure the required high standard of principled humanitarian action. At the same time, the Core Humanitarian Standard constitutes a substantial contribution to the humanitarian assistance quality concept that we are currently developing for the cooperation with our humanitarian partners in Germany. Therefore, we will encourage and support our humanitarian partners in implementing the Core Humanitarian Standard.
Irish Aid: Irish Aid has long supported efforts to improve accountability to affected populations and the Irish people when delivering effective, timely and principled humanitarian action. A key component of this engagement has been support to initiatives which enhance professionalism amongst humanitarian actors. Over recent years, Irish Aid has actively supported the Joint Standards Initiative which culminated in the development of the Core Humanitarian Standard. Irish Aid requires that all partner humanitarian organisations adhere to best practice and standards and will encourage adoption of the CHS by our partners. Irish Aid is consulting with partners on how best to support verification and certification on the basis of the outcomes of the ongoing SCHR initiative in 2015.
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation: Switzerland believes that accountability towards affected populations goes hand in hand with the promotion of standards; in this respect, we welcome the CHS and believe it is a valuable contribution to the empowerment of affected people. Beneficiaries deserve to have an influence on the type and the effectiveness of the humanitarian assistance they receive; the CHS encourages more efficient humanitarian aid while putting beneficiaries in the centre of the response. We also wish to congratulate HAP, People In Aid and Sphere for putting their forces together: this joint effort was key to the success of this initiative.
The UK Government: The UK Government welcomes the launch of the Core Humanitarian Standard, an important tool that the humanitarian sector can use to improve the quality, effectiveness and accountability of humanitarian assistance. We appreciate the collaborative effort that has contributed to the Standard to strengthen humanitarian action. The UK also supported the SCHR Certification Review Project. This produced useful findings on the pros and cons of applying a system-wide certification process. The UK would like to thank the Danish Government for hosting this important conference to discuss the Standard. We hope the forum will allow participants to reach agreement on implementation, potential impact and ownership. We also hope that discussion will review how complementary initiatives can improve the effectiveness and accountability of humanitarian aid being pursued through the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) initiative in the build up to the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016. The UK looks forward to continued engagement with relevant stakeholders in the UK and globally to identify how best we may provide support.
Pauliina Parhiala, Director, ACT Alliance: As ACT Alliance our mission is to seek transformation which results in full life and dignity to all. In all we do, we mobilise the power within the individuals and communities themselves. Doing this we are accountable to the individuals and communities with whom we work, to each other, to our partners and donors. We want to be held accountable as it builds our relationship with those whom we serve and engage with. As a global alliance of churches and church-related organisations we seek to strengthen quality and accountability and to maximise the impact of all work undertaken by ACT Alliance members, individually and collectively. That is why we will take action to roll out the Core Humanitarian Standard within ACT Alliance. The Core Humanitarian Standard, rooted in the needs and rights of the communities and people affected by crisis and founded in humanitarian principles, will inspire energy and action for improved quality and accountability within the ACT Alliance and beyond.
ADRA Denmark and the international ADRA network: ADRA Denmark together with the international ADRA network welcomes the Core Humanitarian Standard. We see it as a unifying tool for improved quality and accountability. ADRA Denmark and the ADRA network are committed to include the standards in our own Country Operation Review for Excellence (CORE), which is an internal certification process. It will have direct influence on our preparedness planning, and other preparation for and involvement in humanitarian responses. ADRA is also committed to follow closely the further development of the certification process, and as it develops to consider if certification is the way forward for ADRA.
Mihir Bhatt, Managing Trustee, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute: The potential value of the new Core Humanitarian Standard is far reaching. On the one hand the standards will improve quality of response by humanitarian system and on the other hand the standards will improve accountability to communities. And jointly both will improve performance of humanitarian systems on the ground. As the nature of international aid changes worldwide, and so do the aid givers, these standards are even more timely for all. It is good to know that HAP International and People In Aid are joining forces by forming a new organisation in 2015. I congratulate HAP and People In Aid for this merger. I hope the new organisation would continue their good work as usual in the humanitarian and development sector.
Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD)-Legal Aid: ARDD-Legal Aid commits to and fully supports the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS). ARDD-Legal Aid is a Jordanian independent non-governmental organisation founded in 2008, with a mission to actively contribute as a civil society organisation to a just and stable society, free of inequity and conflict. We empower marginalised groups, specifically refugees, migrants, and women, to acquire and enjoy their universal rights and freedoms by representing their needs and mobilising relevant duty bearers to conform to human rights, good governance, and the rule of law. Given ARDD-Legal Aid’s beneficiaries, we are familiar with work in humanitarian crisis situations and welcome the comprehensive CHS so as to further improve the quality of assistance provided to affected people and communities.
Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN), Chair, Manu Gupta: “Putting people in centre is central to the strategy of ADRRN, the civil society network of Asia I currently chair. Friends, our idea of localisation is centred around local leadership, regional partnership and international support. It is an approach that helps get to the root of the problem rather than just treating the symptoms. ADRRN’s commitments in this regard reiterate … the Core Humanitarian Standard.”
The Bioforce Institute: The Bioforce Institute considers that the CHS constitutes a relevant initiative towards increased accountability and accountability on humanitarian action and can be used by organisations to improve their standards and processes in an harmonised manner. As a capacity building institute, we do intent to use the CHS in our training programmes, among other initiatives also dedicated to similar objectives. Recognising that the CHS has been developed through extensive consultations among the sector, conducted by renowned organisations, we think that the setup through which the process is conducted should be formalised and worded in an explicit manner notably on the relevant websites, including the decision-making process through which organisations may participate at various degrees of involvement, thus providing legitimate representation of the professional community. Public information should also include detailed information on the funding process for the standards initiatives. The Bioforce Institute will remain actively engaged on the improvement and convergence of standards, and mindful on the process that will ensure full legitimacy in the humanitarian community, all the more so as standards will be considered as a step toward forms of recognition or certification in the future of humanitarian organisations.
Jann Sjursen, Secretary General, Caritas Denmark: Caritas Danmark welcomes the development of the Core Humanitarian Standard and sees it as an important tool to further strengthen quality humanitarian action that is accountable to disaster- and conflict-affected communities. Caritas Danmark undertakes to implement the Core Humanitarian Standard across its humanitarian policy and programmes. Caritas Danmark likewise welcomes efforts by SCHR to identify an independent and appropriate model for the verification and eventual certification of organisations committing to the CHS.
The CHS Alliance: The members of the CHS Alliance - over 240 national and international organisations working in more than 160 countries - commit to adopting, using and monitoring the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS), with the objective of making humanitarian action more appropriate, effective, and responsive to the needs of people and communities affected by crises.
COAST Trust, Bangladesh: COAST welcomes the CHS as a global standard for humanitarian and development organisations to ensure accountability and quality management in its works and is agreed with its standards. COAST believes CHS can resolve the growing debate in the development and humanitarian community about organisations’ own accountability to their constituencies and stakeholders and first of all to the communities they work with.
Being a HAP-certified organisation, COAST has in place policies and procedures for ensuring accountability and quality management in its organisational culture. COAST will share the CHS and its values to programme participants, staff and stakeholders through outreach activities, leaflets distribution, orientation, feedback workshops etc. COAST will revisit its accountability framework in line with the CHS standards through meeting with all levels of staff and will consider feedback from programme participants and recommendations of CHS guided testing. In the final stage COAST will again revisit its framework based on upcoming CHS implementing guidance from the CHS authority.
Birgitte Qvist-Sørensen, Acting General Secretary, DanChurchAid: Powered by input from humanitarian actors — small and large, and lessons learned from years of humanitarian response where people working with conflict- and disaster-impacted communities have demanded simplification of standards, the global humanitarian community has developed a Core Humanitarian Standard which has rights-holders centre stage.
DanChurchAid/ACT alliance and its more than 140 partners have played our small part in making this happen. We look forward to implementing the Core Humanitarian Standard and will document the improvements in our humanitarian and development work as we use it. We invite the external certification body to test us on our delivery. We can get this right. And must!
Danish Red Cross: The Danish Red Cross welcomes the development of the Core Humanitarian Standard. Following the Red Cross principles and code of conduct, the Red Cross in Denmark considers the Core Humanitarian Standard as a positive supplement and set of tools to further strengthen quality in humanitarian action that is accountable to disaster- and conflict-affected communities.
Danish Refugee Council: Certified against the HAP Standard since 2007, the Danish Refugee Council welcomes the Core Humanitarian Standard, which we hope will enjoy broad and global support. We remain committed to seek trustworthy certification of humanitarian action against the Core Humanitarian Standard.
G. Nayeem Wahra, Founder Convenor, Foundation for Disaster Forum, Bangladesh: We the Foundation for Disaster Forum (FDF), a network of 63 humanitarian and development agencies working in Bangladesh, hail the initiative of drafting the CHS as a global standard for humanitarian and development organisations to ensure accountability, transparency and value based management and maintaining standards.
Since 2012 FDF along with other national and international humanitarian focused organisations engaged in the consultation process in Bangladesh and actively participated in translating the draft documents and encouraging member organisations to take part in guided testing of the draft document.
Deep in our heart we do believe that the CHS will be able to make a qualitative change in establishing a long lasting but easy to operate system of accountability in humanitarian and development initiatives.
According to its mandate FDF is committed to promote and protect the culture of accountability and quality management with all member and sister organisations. FDF will continue to share the spirit of CHS and its values with all member organisations through all possible means and training workshops.
François Grünewald, Executive Director, Groupe URD: The good thing about the Core Humanitarian Standard is that is is not a technical solution, it’s about asking questions. At Groupe URD, we like being confrontational and asking (the right) questions. At the end of the day, we need to avoid just coming with a recipe book and using standards as such. Accounting for context is not an easy task and it requires more than a book. It requires engagement with local actors if you don’t want to end up doing by the book things that are totally stupid.
Habitat for Humanity International: Habitat for Humanity International supports the newly created Core Humanitarian Standard, and appreciates the substantial effort of all those who have led the recent revision process. The CHS will provide Habitat, along with all our colleagues in the humanitarian sector, with clear and valuable guidance for how to conduct our work and will help us all improve the lives of those affected by crises. Habitat will work toward achievement of the CHS by integrating it into our training materials, and incorporating it into our internal assessment and evaluation processes. And we look forward to working with beneficiaries, communities, colleagues and funders to fulfill the aspirations of the CHS: to alleviate human suffering and to support the right to life with dignity.
Humanitarian Initiative Just Relief Aid (HIJRA): HIJRA recognises the importance of operating within the framework of internationally accepted standards on humanitarian action. We appreciate the impact that has been achieved through the Joint Standards Initiative (JSI) in which HAP, People In Aid and the Sphere Project joined forces to seek greater coherence and harmonisation for users of standards.
It is a privilege for HIJRA to have been able to participate in the CHS consultative and testing process for Uganda. We feel that the nine commitments of the new standard will not only help participating organisations, including HIJRA, to focus more on their primary stakeholders but also immeasurably improve the levels of efficiency and effectiveness in global humanitarian response.
HIJRA joins others in applauding the launch of the Core Humanitarian Standard, a worthy culmination to a beneficiary-centred global participatory and consultative process.
International Commitee of the Red Cross (ICRC):
On the outcome of the SCHR Certification Review Project, as a SCHR member, we believe
that independent third-party verification and certification of organisations engaged in humanitarian action against an over-arching standard agreed upon by the sector, will over time will help distinguish principled, effective and accountable organisations from others;
that third-party verification and certification of organisations will lead to more consistent action and better accountability to populations affected by crises;
in sum, that independent external verification improves the quality and accountability of an organisation’s assistance by reinforcing internal quality assurance processes, promoting good practices and identifying areas for improvement.
More specifically as ICRC
- From the onset, the ICRC has supported the SCHR Certification Review Project, its underlying vision and is fully supportive of the results achieved.
- ICRC stands behind the ambitions put forward by the SCHR to set up an independent, professional organisation with the mission on external verification and certification services which will be accredited by a recognised accreditation organisation and member of one or more international certification coordinating bodies (e.g. IFA, ISEAL and so forth).
- ICRC realises that this model, if implemented through such an independent, third party verification and certification organisation, has the potential to significantly improve future principled, accountable, efficient provision of aid to populations affected by crises.
- The model is designed for NGOs, and, therefore, does not apply per se to ICRC.
- However, ICRC is committed to review its own existing quality and accountability mechanism and to draw out potential improvements and changes based on the extensive work that has been done by the SCHR Certification Review Project.
On the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS),
- We see the CHS has the clear potential to become an influential framework to set out a common set of commitments and expectations for organisations engaged in principled humanitarian action, based on humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence.
- In order to aspire to its potential, we believe that more work is needed on indicators and guidance for organisations to consider integrating it.
- As CHS progresses further, ICRC remains committed to review its own existing quality and accountability mechanism and to draw out potential improvements and changes based on the current and also future work of CHS.
Læger uden Grænser (MSF) / Médecins Sans Frontières Denmark: There is more than ever a need for a humanitarian system, which delivers on its promises, and provides high quality humanitarian assistance. MSF Denmark supports the basic humanitarian principles contained in the Core Humanitarian Standard, which we hope might lift the quality of the humanitarian assistance in the field.
Mission East: Mission East welcomes the Core Humanitarian Standard as a step forward for the humanitarian community towards greater clarity and coherence on quality and accountability standards. As a member of HAP, a People In Aid certified organisation and an organisation committed to upholding the Sphere standards, we will naturally be transitioning towards application of the CHS throughout Mission East and look forward to opportunities for verification. As we seek to assist the most vulnerable, these standards are a vital means of putting these people at the centre of what we do.
Oxfam International, Executive Director, Winne Byanyima: We commit to the Core Humanitarian Standard to make humanitarian assistance more responsive to the needs of people and communities we are serving. It’s time for us to trust first responders and people affected by crisis with their own future.
Save the Children Denmark: Save the Children endorses, and is committed to, the Core Humanitarian Standard as a means of improving quality and accountability in the humanitarian sector. This important effort to harmonise and consolidate principles and standards will help affected communities, children, our staff and civil society partners to better understand, ask for and ensure quality and accountability in all humanitarian responses.
Naseer Memon, Chief Executive, Strengthening Participatory Organisation: The Core Humanitarian Standard is an outcome of a rigorous, inclusive and participatory process spanned over several months. These comprehensive and simple to follow standards will make it convenient to hold humanitarian work accountable and make it efficient at the same time. With the spiraling number and increasing intensity of disasters associated with mindboggling complexity, it is desirable to have a simple and unified set of humanitarian standards that may supplant various standards currently in vogue.
On behalf of the National Humanitarian Network (NHN), I had been closely associated with the process of developing these standards. Once launched, NHN will mainstream these standards in Pakistan through its network of about 200 civil society organisations engaged in humanitarian work. We will also translate these standards into local Pakistani languages to make it understandable for network members. NHN will undertake orientation sessions for its network members and other relevant stakeholders so that these standards can be effectively mainstreamed in humanitarian work in Pakistan.
David Bainbridge, International Director, Tearfund: Tearfund welcomes the launch of the Core Humanitarian Standard as a major step forward in bringing greater clarity and coherence to the standards that we seek to apply to our work. We are committed to keeping quality standards, accountability and care for our staff at the centre of our international work. The proliferation of standards in recent years has made it increasingly difficult for our staff and our partners to keep abreast of the requirements and to integrate them into their work. We are pleased to endorse the new CHS which has been trialed and tested by so many organisations, both north and south, and we have committed to early adoption and audit in early 2015.
World Vision International: World Vision International (WVI) is deeply committed to inter-agency efforts to strengthen the quality of humanitarian action in favour of the children, their families and communities affected by disasters. For this reason we are active participants in relevant networks, projects and member organisations active in promotion of quality and accountability, such as HAP, People In Aid and Sphere. WVI feels strongly that efforts to enhance quality in the sector and within individuals agencies should be as practical, simple and impactful as possible. Consequently we are delighted that the CHS is now being launched, and, as an organisation are committed to utilising the standard ourselves, and, promoting it with our peers and partners. WVI would like to express deep appreciation and thanks to the professionals who have worked on this important initiative.
WVI commits to supporting inter-agency work to develop indicators and guidance materials to enable organisational application of the standard. WVI will include the CHS in training materials and related programmes. We will use the Standard as a frame of reference for the management of our programmes, our real-time learning processes, and, end of programme evaluations of our humanitarian responses. WVI is also fully supportive of the external verification of use of the standard and is committing to participation in the certification model and approach proposed through the Certification Review project.
World Vision International, President and CEO, Kevin Jenkins: As a member of the CHS Alliance, we call on others to adopt the CHS. We will carry out our own self-assessment against this standard by the end of next year.
Dorothea Hilhorst, Professor of humanitarian aid and reconstruction, The Netherlands: The Core Humanitarian Standard is an important step for the humanitarian community, providing a shared and clear vision on issues relating to quality and accountability of humanitarian response. I look forward to seeing the Standard start to function as a the standard against which aid can be evaluated. This is a crucial document which I would recommend to all humanitarian actors, their donors and surrounding networks.