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A humanitarian certification mechanism as a way of improving the quality of aid – under what conditions?

In partnership with Coordination Sud’s Humanitarian Commission, Groupe URD is organising a discussion workshop on humanitarian certification.

The Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response’s ‘Certification Project’ is currently exploring the potential benefits and limits of a certification mechanism to improve the quality, effectiveness and accountability of humanitarian action. An initial review was presented and discussed at the Humanitarian Standards Forum in Geneva in June 2013. An outline of what this mechanism might be is beginning to emerge. Groupe URD, Coordination Sud and certain French NGOs like Handicap International have been following this process closely. Requests for clarification have been made and questions have been raised about how potential risks have been taken into account, about the objectives and about the methods used.

In order to look in more detail at these very topical questions which are of great importance for the future of the sector, Coordination Sud’s Humanitarian Commission and Groupe URD will be running a one-day workshop bringing together representatives of French humanitarian organizations. The aim of this workshop will be to discuss these issues and consider French positioning on this subject.

Three questions seem to be particularly crucial:
  • The relevance of certification: how could a quality certification mechanism for the humanitarian sector be used and what advantages could it bring?
  • What reference framework should this mechanism use? What factors would make it possible to qualify humanitarian organizations accurately while at the same time respecting diversity? What place would be given to humanitarian principles, performance criteria for activities, management issues, etc?
  • What mechanism could be put in place that would be legitimate and credible to provide certification? What place would humanitarian organizations have in this mechanism? How can the independence, and therefore the credibility of the system be guaranteed? Who will pay for it? Though these questions may seem premature, we feel that they determine whether the overall approach will be useful or feasible.

This is not a public event. Participants will receive a personal invitation
20 September 2013, 9am to 5pm
Paris – location to be confirmed

For more information, please contact Véronique de Geoffroy