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The CHS: Nine commitments to people affected by crises

The CHS sets out nine commitments to ensure that organisations support people and communities affected by crisis and vulnerability in ways that respect their rights and dignity and promote their primary role in finding solutions to the crises they face.
The CHS is a globally recognised, measurable standard. It promotes equitable and collaborative relations between people and communities and those working to support them. It aims to address power imbalances. It is relevant and applicable for all those who individually or collectively work to support people and communities. It can be used 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.

To successfully meet the nine commitments and accompanying requirements, organisations must have the enabling environment to support the systematic application of the CHS. 


The CHS: Nine commitments to people affected by crises

Launched in 2014, the CHS was born out of an extensive consultation process that involved people and communities affected by crisis, aid workers and experts, national and international aid organisations and networks, and governments. 
To ensure its relevance, the standard was revised during 2022-23 and strengthened following a global consultation that spanned the globe, involving more than 4,000 contributors, including 500 community representatives, in 90 countries.
In the decade since its original launch, the CHS has become a key reference in the aid sector. 
Hundreds of organisations use the CHS to guide and orient their work with growing evidence that it has driven improvements for those organisations that consistently apply it as part of their work. The CHS continues to shape and influence global efforts to strengthen and improve quality and accountability in the sector.

What people say

“I have learned today that access to support, and assistance is a right – not charity – and should be available without discrimination because of where you come from”

CHS revision focus group participant, Colombia

What people say

“We utilised CHS verification to increase trust with the communities we serve. Measuring against the CHS, we found out that community involvement was a key area for improvement… In response to what we hear, we change how we work. Communities tell us they now feel more valued and empowered, leading to a stronger sense of ownership of our humanitarian work and better outcomes in helping people rebuild their lives.”

Abdullah Al Kaff from Building Foundation for Development in Yemen

What people say

"The stronger CHS, with its absolute emphasis on giving voice to those affected by crises and taking community-based approaches, stands as a beacon of hope amidst global turmoil.”

Matthew Carter, CEO, Depaul International, Co-Chair of the CHS Steering Committee

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© ActionAid Kenya, caption: A CHS revision community meeting in Voi District, Kenya, in September 2023

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