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Donor due diligence

The simplification and harmonisation of reporting requirements across the humanitarian sector is on many tables. HQAI works with donors, governments, funding bodies and the CHS Alliance to achieve alignments of donor due diligence requirements using the CHS as reference.


The CHS is the result of a global consultation process, drawing together key elements of existing humanitarian standards and commitments. The CHS Verification scheme allows to measure its application and thus brings valuable insights in the quality and accountability of humanitarian and development programmes. Tanya WOOD, CHS Alliance, October 2019


We’ve seen the progress and improvement of independently verified organisations and we can only invite other donors to come on board. Mille DØLLNER FJELDSTED, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (DANIDA), October 2019

HQAI audits are being increasingly recognised and recommended by donors

Independent quality assurance against the CHS is a prerequisite for humanitarian organisations looking to obtain funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (DANIDA) and the UK’s Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC). Also, organisations verified against the CHS can have streamlined access to Framework Partnership Agreements from the German government (GFFO), the Dutch Relief Alliance (Dutch Relief) and the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). UK’s FCDO is looking at the level of convergence between its due diligence requirements and HQAI’s CHS audits “to explore the scope for economies of scale by avoiding duplication of assessments,” says Mary Thompson, Safeguarding Unit, FCDO.

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From a perspective of domestic accountability it is a better bargain for us as a donor to engage with the CHS Alliance and HQAI instead of doing it ourselves in terms of efficiency, relevance and effectiveness. Philippe BESSON, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, SDC, October 2019


Independent audits (...) are absolutely essential to ensuring appropriate safeguarding standards and misconduct procedures are delivered. (….) One only has to read any of these inspection reports [HQAI audit public summaries] to appreciate their objective value. Hugh DAVIES QC, Aid worker passport steering committee, legal review, final report ( , April 2020


The CHS Certification helped Act Church of Sweden meet ECHO's Framework Partnership Agreement requirements


Harmonising Donor Assessments through Verification against the CHS.

Stronger together

HQAI's strategic and financial partnerships.

Contributing to the Grand Bargain agenda

HQAI’s ability to tailor audits to donor requirements by proposing bridges from a CHS audit to another system is spearheading the drive for greater simplification and harmonisation of reporting requirements.

This contributes to the Grand Bargain agenda (work stream 4).

But we don’t stop here: HQAI’s services can also facilitate funding of local responders by providing assurance to donors that these organisations work under international standards. Hence contributing to the localisation agenda HQAI expects that over the years about 40% of its audited organisations will be national organisations. In 2017 this proportion was 18%, in 2020 35%.

ECHO: a milestone in harmonisation

The CHS audit helped Act Church of Sweden meet the requirements for ECHO funding.


HQAI answered approximately 80% of the ECHO questions with information collected during the CHS certification audit. By extending the audit by only 20%, all ECHO questions were covered.

Access interviews with Coleen (Act Church of Sweden), Pierre (HQAI) and Tanya (CHS Alliance) on the recent acceptance of HQAI's report by ECHO.

Donor round table

Support and recognition for CHS and independent quality assurance.

Read report
The process builds trust

Anne de Riedmatten from the Swiss Mission to the UN about her trust in independent audits.

Reducing duplication

Donors and aid organisations commit to harmonise partnership agreements.