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«Core Humanitarian STANDARD Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability Published by: CHS Alliance, Group URD and the Sphere Project. ...»

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6.6 Work with partners is governed by clear and consistent agreements that respect each partner’s mandate, obligations and independence, and recognises their respective constraints and commitments.

Including local actors, humanitarian organisations, local authorities, private companies and other relevant groups.

Where authorities are a party to the conflict humanitarian actors should use their judgment vis-à-vis the independence of the action, keeping the interests of communities and people affected by crisis at the centre of their decision-making.

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delivery of improved assistance as organisations learn from experience and reflection.

Quality Criterion: Humanitarian actors continuously learn and improve.

Key Actions

7.1 Draw on lessons learnt and prior experience when designing programmes.

7.2 Learn, innovate and implement changes on the basis of monitoring and evaluation, and feedback and complaints.

7.3 Share learning and innovation internally, with communities and people affected by crisis, and with other stakeholders.

Organisational Responsibilities

7.4 Evaluation and learning policies are in place, and means are available to learn from experiences and improve practices.

7.5 Mechanisms exist to record knowledge and experience, and make it accessible throughout the organisation.

7.6 The organisation contributes to learning and innovation in humanitarian response amongst peers and within the sector.

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8. Communities and people affected by crisis receive the 8b assistance they require from competent and well-managed staff and volunteers.

Quality Criterion: Staff 11 are supported to do their job effectively, and are treated fairly and equitably.

Key Actions

8.1 Staff work according to the mandate and values of the organisation and to agreed objectives and performance standards.

8.2 Staff adhere to the policies that are relevant to them and understand the consequences of not adhering to them.

8.3 Staff develop and use the necessary personal, technical and management competencies to fulfil their role and understand how the organisation can support them to do this.

Organisational Responsibilities

8.4 The organisation has the management and staff capacity and capability to deliver its programmes.

8.5 Staff policies and procedures are fair, transparent, non-discriminatory and compliant with local employment law.

8.6 Job descriptions, work objectives and feedback processes are in place so that staff have a clear understanding of what is required of them.

8.7 A code of conduct is in place that establishes, at a minimum, the obligation of staff not to exploit, abuse or otherwise discriminate against people.

8.8 Policies are in place to support staff to improve their skills and competencies.

8.9 Policies are in place for the security and the wellbeing of staff.

Staff are: any designated representative of the organisation, including national, international, permanent or short-term employees, as well as volunteers and consultants.

Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability

9. Communities and people affected by crisis can expect that the organisations assisting them are managing resources effectively, efficiently and ethically.

Quality Criterion: Resources are managed and used responsibly for their intended purpose.

Key Actions

9.1 Design programmes and implement processes to ensure the efficient use of resources12, balancing quality, cost and timeliness at each phase of the response.

9.2 Manage and use resources to achieve their intended purpose, minimising waste.

9.3 Monitor and report expenditure against budget.

9.4 When using local and natural resources, consider their impact on the environment.

9.5 Manage the risk of corruption and take appropriate action if it is identified.

Organisational Responsibilities

9.6 Policies and processes governing the use and management of resources are in

place, including how the organisation:

a. accepts and allocates funds and gifts-in-kind ethically and legally;

b. uses its resources in an environmentally responsible way;

c. prevents and addresses corruption, fraud, conflicts of interest and misuse of resources;

d. conducts audits, verifies compliance and reports transparently;

e. assesses, manages and mitigates risk on an ongoing basis; and f. ensures that the acceptance of resources does not compromise its independence.

The term “resources” should be understood in its broader sense, encompassing what the organisation needs to deliver its mission, including but not limited to: funds, staff, goods, equipment, time, land area, soil, water, air, natural products and the environment in general.

18 www.corehumanitarianstandard.org viii. Glossary

For the purposes of the CHS, the following definitions apply:

Accountability: the process of using power responsibly, taking account of, and being held accountable by, different stakeholders, and primarily those who are affected by the exercise of such power.

Communities and people affected by crisis: the totality of women, men, girls and boys with different needs, vulnerabilities and capacities who are affected by disasters, conflict, poverty or other crises at a specific location.

Document: any form of record of discussions, agreements, decisions and/or actions that is reproducible.

Effectiveness: the extent to which an aid activity attains its objectives.

Efficiency: the extent to which the outputs of humanitarian programmes, both qualitative and quantitative, are achieved as a result of inputs.

Engagement: the processes by which organisations communicate, consult and/or provide for the participation of interested and/or affected stakeholders, ensuring that their concerns, desires, expectations, needs, rights and opportunities are considered in the establishment, implementation and review of the programmes assisting them.

Humanitarian action: action taken with the objective of saving lives, alleviating suffering and maintaining human dignity during and after human-induced crises and natural disasters, as well as action to prevent and prepare for them.13 Organisation: an entity that has the management structure and power to apply the CHS.

Partners: organisations working jointly within a formal arrangement to achieve a specific goal, with clear and agreed roles and responsibilities.

Policy: a documented statement of intent and rules for decision-making.

Protection: all activities aimed at ensuring the full and equal respect for the rights of all individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnic, social, religious or other background.

It goes beyond the immediate life-saving activities that are often the focus during an emergency.

Quality: the totality of features and characteristics of humanitarian assistance that support its ability to, in time, satisfy stated or implied needs and expectations, and respect the dignity of the people it aims to assist.

Resilience: the ability of a community or society exposed to hazards to resist, absorb, accommodate and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner.

Staff: any designated representative of an organisation, including national, international, and permanent or short-term employees, as well as volunteers and consultants.

As defined in the ALNAP Evaluation Humanitarian Action Pilot Guide, 2013, p.14.

Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability The Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) 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. It also facilitates greater accountability to communities and people affected by crisis: knowing what humanitarian organisations have committed to will enable them to hold those organisations to account.

As a core standard, the CHS describes the essential elements of principled, accountable and high-quality humanitarian action.

Humanitarian organisations may use it as a voluntary code with which to align their own internal procedures. It can also be used as a basis for verification of performance.

The CHS is the result of a 12-month, three-stage consultation facilitated by HAP International, People In Aid and the Sphere Project, during which many hundreds of individuals and organisations rigorously analysed the content of the CHS and tested it at headquarters and field level.

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