Core Humanitarian Standards

The Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) is a voluntary code of conduct that describes the essential elements of principled, accountable and high-quality humanitarian action.

CHS together with the guidelines contained in the “Sphere Handbook” are the internationally recognized standards of humanitarian interventions which ensure quality and accountability.

CHS contains 9 commitments that improve humanitarian assistance:

When working with a community to help them respond to a crisis,  it is important to respect nine general commitments towards those we are helping, explained below in easy-to-understand, plain language.

We will do our best to:

  • Understand and meet your needs.
  • Give support when you need it.
  • Provide support that helps you to recover and prepares you to respond to a similar emergency in the future. We should not harm you.
  • Inform you about the support you can expect and how you should be treated. We will do our best to give you a say in decisions about the support provided.
  • Ensure that you can report problems if you are unhappy with the support we provide or with the way our staff treat you. No one should harm you if you make a complaint. We will take action in response to complaints.
  • Work together with other organisations that provide support. We try to combine our knowledge and resources to better meet your needs.
  • Learn from experience so that the support we give you improves over time.
  • Ensure that the people who work for us have the skills and experience to support you.
  • Manage resources in a way that is responsible, limits waste and has the best result for you.

Note: “resources” refers to all of the things, such as materials, money, and medical care, that we use to support people affected by the emergency.

Emergencies can bring problems for us too. So although we always try to follow the commitments, sometimes we might not be able to. But we want to learn and improve over time, so it is good and necessary to encourage those we are assisting to feel safe in giving feedback.

Here you can read more about the Core Humanitarian Standards