Dhaka, 25 September, 2023. The Core Humanitarian Quality and Accountability Standard (CHS) is a standard developed by and for the humanitarian sector to improve the quality and accountability of aid. Since its launch in December 2014, the CHS has been used by hundreds of organizations to improve their aid work. Now the revision of the standard is ongoing across the globe, and as a part of it, CHS Alliance secretariate based in Switzerland and COAST Foundation in Bangladesh jointly organised the workshop at Lakeshore hotel in the capital. To strengthen the Standard and ensure it remains relevant in a changing humanitarian landscape, humanitarian actors call for more accountability through updating and applying the Core Humanitarian Standard in aid sector. So that the rights and dignity of people and communities in situation of crisis and vulnerability can be ensured. There are number of humanitarian standards, participants raised the need for harmonised action to simply understanding and user-friendly application. Priority should be given of using local resources and reporting system, they added. They also opined that, aid cut is a global challenge and we need to be better prepared and more resilient to future crisis by applying the CHS commitments. Aid response should also be managed with competent, well manged and respectful staff and volunteers, the opined.
The chief guest of the CHS revision workshop was Md. Mizanur Rahman, Director General, Department of Disaster Management, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief and the special guests were Aleyda Valdes, Humanitarian Affairs Advisor, UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, Bangladesh and Trude Strand, Director, Policy Impact and Advocacy of the CHS Alliance and chaired by disaster expert Nayeem Gawher Wahra, the Member Secretary Disaster Forum and vice-chair of COAST Foundation. The event was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Executive Director of COAST Foundation, with Bonaventure Gbetoho SOKPOH, Senior Advisor on CHS Alliance and Outreach of CHS Alliance presenting the keynote.
Bonaventure Gbetoho SOKPOH stressed that the main objective of the CHS revision is to make sure when we revise the Standard it remains relevant in the context. Aleyda Valdes calls for the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence in humanitarian response. She also pressed to ensure gender balancing and accountability to affected populations so that communities are meaningfully included in the decision-making process that affects them. Trude Strand highlighted the significant importance of quality and accountability in aid system. The CHS is based on humanitarian principles and put people at the centre of response. Nayeem Gawher Wahra stressed the wording in the standing order of the government and CHS should be similar. Government should recognise the CHS and the Standard should be made user friendly for the people and communities in situations of crisis and vulnerability. Md. Mizanur Rahman said Bangladesh has made a remarkable progress in all contexts including in humanitarian response. The government is very favorable to the NGOs in development and together we become champion in disaster response. The loss of livelihoods has been reduced significantly. The Core Humanitarian Standard will help us more to strengthen our aid work, he added.
Other speakers included MA Halim from BDRCS, Disaster expert Md. Abdul Latif, Moyen U Ahmed from Islamic Relief, Shafiqur Rahman from USAID, Amir Hossain from NGO Platform, Shahinujjaman from Action Aid, Duke Ivn Amin from Jago Nari, Md. Shamsuzzaman from Christian Aid, Rahat Ara from World Vision, Chowdhury Md. Moin from Sangram, Rokibul Alam from WFP, Shahidul Alam from NGO Forum, Shahida Parvin from BNPS, Subrata Dutta from Cox’s Bazar Coastal Development Foundation, Kazi Abdul Kadir from EDUCO, Sebastian Rozario from Caritas Bangladesh, Subarna Barua from International Rescue Committee, Abdur Rahman from CCDB.
Representatives from BRAC, CARE, CCDB, CDD, Garib Unnyan Sangstha, IFRC, IOM, NAHAB, Need Assessment Working Group, NIRAPAD, Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund, UNICEF also took part in the workshop.
To learn more about the CHS Revision please visit https://corehumanitarianstandard.org/chs-revision.