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Core Humanitarian Standard revision targets greater accessibility

Seven years ago, the Core Humanitarian Standard for Quality and Accountability (CHS) was launched, marking a major milestone for the aid sector. Development of the standard brought together multiple stakeholders, including people and communities affected by crises, to agree on a common set of commitments and good practices to improve the quality, effectiveness and accountability of humanitarian action.

Since then, the CHS has become a key reference in the aid sector. Hundreds of organisations use the CHS to guide and orient their work, and the standard has influenced efforts to strengthen accountability at all levels.

However, 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 examples of the need to revise and reaffirm commitments to people and communities that are vulnerable to and affected by crisis.

Launch of the CHS revision

The CHS is co-managed by three organisations: Sphere, CHS Alliance and Groupe URD. These organisations will jointly launch a two-year consultation and revision process on 12 May 2022 during the Humanitarian Networks & Partnerships Week (HNPW) event in Geneva.

  • 12 May, 11:00 to 12:30 CET: International Conference Centre (CICG), Geneva: “What should the future Commitments to people affected by crisis be? Launch of the CHS Revision”
  • 18 May, 9:00 to 10:30 CET: English, French and Arabic, online
  • 18 May, 16:00 to 17:30 CET: English and Spanish, online

To attend a launch event, please register via the HNPW website.

The participatory two-year process will explore several questions, including:

  • How can we make the standard more accessible and powerful for vulnerable people to hold organisations to account?
  • How can we leverage the standard to support more equitable relationships with vulnerable people and communities?
  • How can we reinforce the key elements of the standard while integrating new issues and global challenges facing the aid sector?
  • How can we expand support and use of the standard beyond the humanitarian sector to better link to other global accountability initiatives?
  • How can we make the CHS simple and accessible?

The process will prioritise listening to and understanding what vulnerable people and communities need and value. We will include the perspectives of community-based and civil society actors. We will explore how the revised CHS can support system-wide changes. This includes looking at wider take-up of the standard by UN agencies, donors and policymakers.

How can you get involved?

We want to hear how you use the standard and your suggestions to improve it.

To get involved as an individual or an organisation, contact the CHS revision managers, Aninia Nadig (anadig@chsalliance.org) and Philip Tamminga (ptamminga@chsalliance.org).

If you are able to attend the HNPW in person, come and meet us at the adjacent Sphere and CHS Alliance stalls in the exhibition space.

For further updates about the revision process, subscribe to the Sphere newsletter or follow us on social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.