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How to Make Sure Humanitarian Response is Appropriate and Relevant

The Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) can be used as a voluntary code with which to align humanitarian organizational guidelines, or as a basis for verification of performance. The CHS consists of nine commitments, this article highlights the first: making sure humanitarian response is appropriate.

Guidelines for Humanitarian Response

The CHS is a set of nine commitments for humanitarian organizations, communities and people affected by crisis. It states what people can expect from organizations and individuals delivering humanitarian assistance. The contents of the CHS are based on nine commitments, each supported by a quality criterion that indicates how humanitarian organizations and staff should be working to meet it.

The first commitment is about making sure humanitarian response is appropriate. Like every other commitment in the CHS, it consists of supporting quality criteria, key actions which should be undertaken to fulfill the commitment and organizational responsibilities to support the consistent and systematic implementation of the key actions throughout the organization.

Communities and people affected by crisis should receive assistance appropriate and relevant to their needs. That’s something every humanitarian can relate to. Ideally, you don’t want to waste resources. You want to absolutely make sure you’ve got enough resources at your disposal to help the people who need it most. But how do you make sure your humanitarian response is appropriate and relevant? By implementing these key actions and organizational responsibilities:

Key actions for organizations

  • Conduct a systematic, objective and ongoing analysis of the context and stakeholders.
  • Design and implement appropriate programs based on an impartial assessment of needs and risks, and an understanding of the vulnerabilities and capacities of different groups. This may refer to, for example, women, men, girls, boys, youth, and older persons, as well as individuals with disabilities and specific minority or ethnic groups without any such distinction.
  • Adapt programs to changing needs, capacities and context.

Organizational responsibilities to help support the key actions

  • Policies commit to providing impartial assistance based on the needs and capacities of communities and people affected by crisis.
  • Policies set out commitments which take into account the diversity of communities, including disadvantaged or marginalized people, and to collect disaggregated data.
  • Processes are in place to ensure an appropriate ongoing analysis of the context.

“The members of the CHS Alliance - over 240 national and international organizations, including NGOs such as Oxfam, World Vision and many others, commit to adopting, using and monitoring the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS), with the objective of making humanitarian action more appropriate, effective and responsive to the needs of people and communities affected by crises.”

We are thrilled every time we see compassionate humanitarian organizations functioning to the best of their abilities. Helping those who need it most. We’re ready to help them in every possible way.

The Core Humanitarian Standard is a great tool for improving your aid-giving capabilities. Do you want to know more? Feel free to take a look at our previous CHS article.