Core humanitarian standard (CHS)

CHS Alliance et al. (2014) developed core humanitarian standard (CHS) including the nine
quality and commitment criteria. These criteria were developed to guide response of
organizations, agencies, and communities in times of humanitarian crises. Application of
the CHS can make humanitarian response more focused, effective, timely, and coordinated.
According to the first core standard, humanitarian response should be relevant and
appropriate. Standard #3 states that response measures should avoid negative effects and
strengthen local capacities. Finally, according to the Standard #5, the organizations
involved in response/relief initiatives and actions should welcome and address complaints
of community members (CHS Alliance et al., 2014). It seems that when complex
humanitarian emergencies or natural disasters take place, Standard #3 is often neglected.
In particular, as personal observations of the response actions related to COVID-19
pandemic and recent mass protests demonstrate, local capacities are often inadequate to
avoid negative effects of the pandemic and the protests.
The reason why it may be problematic to follow Standard #3 is that this Standard seems to
be prevention-oriented. In other words, in order to effectively fulfill this Standard under
the emergency circumstances, the organizations involved in humanitarian response efforts
should have knowledge, skills, and resources in advance before the emergency strikes.
However, personal and professional experiences suggest that since one never knows
whether complex emergency will ever take place in the foreseeable future, strengthening
local capacities is not always considered a priority that receives adequate funding and
support.
Typically, complex humanitarian emergencies (such as the pandemic, mass protests, or
natural disasters) have sudden onset, affect a large number of people and a significant part
of a community, inflict considerable damage to local economy, and create risks and
obstacles to providing effective humanitarian response. I think that in the case of COVID-
19 pandemic, Standard #3 was applied effectively for the most part throughout the United
States since the nation was united and in agreement about the need to stop the pandemic.
Unfortunately, in the case of the widespread mass protests, this standard was not applied
consistently across all the states, cities, and communities. As a result, a failure to apply this
standard led to the crises that took place in many communities.
Reference
CHS Alliance, Group URD, & Sphere Project. (2014). Core humanitarian standard on
quality
and accountability.
The Core Humanitarian Standard

Hello Ratab,
I like your post since it is elaborative and clearly explains the relevant standards. You place a
particular focus on standard three and elaborate it deeply. The third standard states that response

THE CORE HUMANITARIAN STANDARD 2
measures should have a proactive approach and strengthen local authority (LaGuardia et al.,
2019). While you look at the downside at the standard, I feel that it is useful to discuss its
strength. Application of the standard provides a platform for local authorities to improve their
capabilities while learning from the best in the field. Strengthening the capacity not only entails
physical resources, but it also includes training and workshops to enhance workers’ aptitude.
The training is essential in equipping local workers with the best practices aimed towards
mitigating the effects of future disasters on a community. Overall, the post is exciting and
insightful.

THE CORE HUMANITARIAN STANDARD 3

References

LaGuardia, D., Rusita, A., Mutua, A., Awad, M., & Osman, F. (2019). Collective Accountability
to Affected Populations (CAAP): From Principles to Action 10 July 2019.

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