Core Humanitarian Standard

Accountability is at the very core of everything we do in Concern – at all levels, across our 25 countries of operation. Since 2017, we have been undergoing regular and rigorous independent assessment to maintain certification under the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS). This work is carried out and certified by the Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative (HQAI).

A Concern Worldwide staff member in haiti

As a member of the CHS Alliance, Concern continuously strengthens and expands systems and processes to ensure accountability across its development and humanitarian programs. The CHS is an internationally-recognized standard of nine commitments:

1. Humanitarian response is appropriate and relevant.

Communities and people affected by crisis will receive humanitarian assistance that is appropriate and relevant to their specific needs and circumstances.

2. Humanitarian response is effective and timely.

Communities and people affected by crisis will have access to the humanitarian assistance they need at the right time.

3. Humanitarian response strengthens local capacities and avoids negative effects.

Communities and people affected by crisis are not negatively affected in the long-term. In the event of a future crisis, they will also be better prepared, more resilient, and less at-risk as a result of humanitarian action.

4. Humanitarian response is based on communication, participation, and feedback.

Communities and people affected by crisis will know their rights and entitlements, have access to information, and participate in the decision-making process for issues that affect them.

5. Complaints are welcomed and addressed.

Communities and people affected by crisis will be able to safely make complaints without fear of retaliation, and mechanisms will be in place to respond to these complaints.

a complaints box outside a Concern Worldwide office in Kenya

6. Humanitarian response is coordinated and complementary.

Communities and people affected by crisis receive coordinated, complementary assistance.

7. Humanitarian actors continuously learn and improve.

Communities and people affected by crisis can expect delivery of improved assistance as organizations learn from experience and feedback.

8. Staff are supported to do their job effectively, and are treated fairly and equitably.

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

9. Resources are managed and used responsibly for their intended purpose.

Communities and people affected by crisis can expect that the organizations that are working with them are managing resources effectively, efficiently, and ethically.

A Concern Worldwide staff member in Haiti

In 2022, Concern Worldwide went through a rigorous recertification audit.  This involved a visit by an HQAI team to Concern Türkiye and a remote visit to Concern Sierra Leone, during which 50 staff and partner staff were interviewed along with 149 community participants and documents reviewed.  In addition, documents were reviewed for Concern Chad, Concern DRC, and Concern Malawi.  The recertification audit again confirmed Concern’s ongoing compliance with the CHS and also found that actions had been taken to effectively address the four areas (non-conformities) that required attention from previous audits.  Two new areas for attention were identified by the auditors which Concern will now work on.

A CHS Steering Committee at the Concern HQ level provides oversight and technical advice on the ongoing rollout of, and adherence to the CHS. Specific working groups have been established and these work on the non-conformities identified by HQAI. Concern has such working groups on ‘Unintended Consequences’ and also one on ‘Complaints Response Mechanisms’.

Each Country Program has a CHS accountability improvement plan and they report against this each year.

Concern HQAI cert 2021

Download the Core Humanitarian Standard

Download Concern's 2022 recertification audit