New report reveals action needed to meet the commitments made to people affected by crisis

  • Five years since humanitarians came together to launch the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS), many dedicated aid organisations are making significant progress on vital accountability and quality issues that the sector has been tackling for decades. Yet the pace of change is slow.
  • CHS Commitment 6 on coordination and complementarity is the closest to being met by verified organisations, while Commitment 5 on welcoming and addressing complaints is the lowest scoring.  
  • Analysis of CHS verification data reveals three multiplier effects that accelerate making aid work better for people affected by crisis.
  • Many more aid organisations must engage with the CHS to accelerate accountability to the hundreds of millions of people affected by crises.

(Geneva, Switzerland, 6 October 2020) – Today the CHS Alliance – a network of more than 150 aid organisations – launched the Humanitarian Accountability Report (HAR) 2020 ‘Are we making aid work better for people affected by crisis?’.

The new report presents an evidence-based overview of how much progress the humanitarian sector is making on delivering accountable aid to people caught up in crises across the world.

Five years after the sector came together to launch the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS), the HAR 2020 shines a light on the current state of adherence to the Standard by the organisations applying it. The report reveals how much progress CHS-verified organisations have made in meeting their commitments to the children, women, men facing disasters globally.

Drawing on information, experience and data gathered from more than 90 aid organisations that have undertaken CHS verification, the report offers insight into the critical question facing the sector in 2020 – are we really making aid work better for people affected by crisis?

“Today we lay down a challenge to the aid sector,” says CHS Alliance Executive Director Tanya Wood. “The HAR 2020 shows that dedicated aid organisations can tackle the toughest barriers to delivering the commitments made to people affected by crisis; but they need the right tool – the CHS – and they cannot do it alone. We need a critical mass of organisations, including NGOs, donors, UN agencies and networks to apply and recognise the CHS in concert to effect real, urgent change. I urge every humanitarian committed to making aid work better for people affected by crisis to read, debate and share the findings of HAR 2020. Together, we can meet our commitments and Raise the Standard of aid.”

“There are many milestones on the road to greater accountability, and this report by the CHS Alliance marks a number of them. It offers valuable insight into the effectiveness of humanitarian responses, which in turn helps to make the sector more accountable” notes Kitty van der Heijden, Director General for International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands in the HAR 2020 foreword.

Report findings:

  • Over the last five years, many aid organisations that were early adopters of the CHS have made significant and successful demonstrable changes to put people affected by crisis at the centre of aid.
  • CHS Commitment 6 on coordination and complementarity is the closest to being met by verified organisations, while Commitment 5 on welcoming and addressing complaints is the lowest scoring.
  • As a collective, CHS certified organisations* have made gains on three vital accountability issues that the aid sector has been trying to tackle for decades:
    1. Strengthening local capacities and avoiding the negative effects of aid (Commitment 3);
    2. Basing humanitarian response on communication, participation and feedback with people affected by crisis (Commitment 4);
    3. Welcoming and addressing complaints from people affected by crisis (Commitment 5).
  • Yet the aid sector has not reached its goals. We are not yet seeing system-wide acceleration towards a transformative approach that gives people affected by crisis strategic influence over aid. Hundreds of millions of people are still waiting for their accountability transformation, their revolution.

Report recommendations:

  • To accelerate the pace of change, committed aid organisations need to harness the power of the multiplier effect; they must intensify their efforts on three cross-cutting actions that raise the standard of aid across the board:
    1. Engage people affected by crisis: strive for the Participation Revolution we committed to.
    2. Maximise knowledge and information: in the information age, the humanitarian system needs to get up to speed.
    3. Adapt flexibly to meet current needs: organisations need to adjust rapidly to changing contexts.
  • Currently, more than 90 organisations have engaged in CHS verification. We need to build on these efforts to achieve a critical mass of organisations – including donors, interagency groups and UN bodies – recognising and applying the CHS to truly make aid work better for people affected by crisis and meet the commitments the sector made in 2015.

Download the Humanitarian Accountability Report 2020 and find out more here: https://www.chsalliance.org/har2020/.

Posted in CHS

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