The Core Humanitarian Standard and the Sphere Core Standards
Launched on 12 December 2014, the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) describes the essential elements of principled, accountable and quality humanitarian action. The CHS was developed by Groupe URD (Urgence, Réhabilitation, Développement), the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) International, People In Aid and the Sphere Project. It draws together key elements of several existing humanitarian standards and commitments, including the Red Cross/Red Crescent and NGO Code of Conduct, the Sphere Handbook Core Standards and the Humanitarian Charter, the 2010 HAP Standard, the People In Aid Code of Good Practice and Groupe URD’s Quality COMPAS. The Core Humanitarian Standard (available at CoreHumanitarianStandard.org) is a voluntary code which humanitarian organisations may use to align their internal procedures. The full CHS will include guidance notes and key indicators that are currently being developed through a collaborative process. Once completed, the CHS can be used as a basis for performance verification, assessment, evaluation or other aspects of accountability. The Sphere Project has committed to fully integrate the CHS into the Sphere Handbook, replacing its Core Standards (CS) upon finalisation of the full CHS in 20151 (the CS are available online at SphereHandbook.org). The CHS will not change or replace Sphere’s Humanitarian Charter, Protection Principles or the minimum standards pertaining to the Handbook’s four technical chapters (WASH; Food security and nutrition; Shelter, settlement and non-food items; Health action). The purpose of this document is to assist humanitarian practitioners, trainers and other stakeholders to gain a quick understanding of the similarities and differences between Sphere’s Core Standards and the CHS during this interim period, particularly as the CHS guidance notes and indicators are in development.