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Every day, people from all walks of life around the globe are compelled to take action in response to the humanitarian imperative - the desire to prevent and alleviate suffering caused by crises.

The Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) sets out Nine Commitments that organisations and individuals involved in humanitarian response can use to improve the quality and effectiveness of the assistance they provide. The CHS places communities and people affected by crisis at the centre of humanitarian and development action.

By placing communities and people affected by crisis at the center of humanitarian and development action, the CHS serves as a core standard that describes the necessary components of principled, accountable, and high-quality aid. It is a voluntary and measurable standard that is the result of a global consultation process, drawing together key elements of existing humanitarian standards and commitments.

The CHS ensures that organisations provide support to people and communities affected by crisis and vulnerability in ways that respect their rights and dignity, while also promoting their primary role in finding solutions to the crises they face. This globally recognised, standard promotes equitable and collaborative relations between people and communities and those working to support them, aims to address power imbalances, and is relevant and applicable to all those who work individually or collectively to support people and communities. It can serve as a framework to:

  • Enable people and communities to hold those who support them to account.
  • Improve the quality and accountability of organisations and their work.
  • Assess and verify organisations’ performance and demonstrate their learning journey towards meeting the CHS commitments.
  • Promote collective efforts to ensure quality and accountability.

Tanya Wood, Executive Director of the CHS Alliance, and Pierre Hauselmann, former Executive Director of HQAI, emphasised the importance of the Core Humanitarian Standard.
Our work

What we do with the standard.

Our commitment

HQAI respects and applies the CHS in its work.

Growing recognition

HQAI and the CHS Alliance advocate for alignments of donor due diligence requirements using the CHS as reference.

A success story

Since its launch in 2014, the CHS has reached a number of significant milestones: at the 2015 World Humanitarian Summit, more than 90 stakeholders signed a pledge to adopt the commitments of the standard; the 2018 revision of the Sphere handbook incorporated the CHS as one of its key foundational chapters; at the UK government-hosted Safeguarding summit in 2018, 22 countries committed to "demonstrate adherence to (...) the CHS and (...) look to review and strengthen measures for verification to that adherence."

In 2020 the Humanitarian Accountability Report (HAR) reflects on what has been achieved after five years of application of the CHS. Read the publication here.

In 2024, an updated version of the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) was launched to address complex crises and growing humanitarian needs globally. The CHS Alliance network worked with a strong impetus to push for system change through collective efforts and the updated CHS.

The Standard was strengthened based on community-driven discussions and feedback from over 4,000 contributors across 90 countries. It is now more people-centred, with a simplified structure and clearer language, promoting accessibility to a diverse range of actors who support people in crisis situations.


The CHS Alliance movement has entered a pivotal year. People and communities affected by crises have led the way with the global aid community to successfully strengthen Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS). An even more people-centred and simplified CHS will now be paving the way for broader uptake so that more crisis-affected people can expect principled and accountable aid that respects their rights and dignity. Tanya WOOD, Executive Director, CHS Alliance, January 2024