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Updating the Quality COMPAS - new tools to help apply the CHS

The Core Humanitarian Standard was developed on the basis of numerous existing standards and reference frameworks, including the Quality COMPAS reference framework which was created by Groupe URD in 2004. We are therefore updating the COMPAS tools so that they are consistent with the CHS. These tools will help to apply the CHS throughout the project cycle. Related training courses and other tools are also due to be developed to help organisations adopt a Quality approach.

Groupe URD developed the Quality COMPAS, a Quality Assurance method, based on our analysis of humanitarian action over the years. A number of related tools, training courses and services were also developed, specifically for humanitarian actors, with the aim of improving the service delivered to people affected by crises. The first version of the COMPAS method was launched in 2005, and was revised in 2009 to include a certain number of improvements and modifications in order to integrate feedbacks from practical uses & implementations.

In 2014, on the strength of our experience in developing the Quality COMPAS over more than 10 years, Groupe URD was invited by Sphere, HAP and People in Aid to take part in the process of writing and revising a new humanitarian standard. This collaborative project produced the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS), a new quality and accountability reference framework that includes key aspects of the Quality COMPAS and its reference framework, the Compass Rose. Whereas the Compass Rose was made up of twelve criteria defining the quality of a humanitarian project, the CHS includes 9 criteria that both overlap and complement those of the Compass Rose. We are therefore revising the COMPAS tools to bring them in line with the CHS by replacing the 12 criteria of the former with the 9 new criteria of the latter.

We have therefore begun updating the Quality COMPAS’s COMPAS Dashboard and User Guide. These tools help to steer a project (providing a certain number of reminders and key questions for each phase of the project cycle) or evaluate a project using the indicators related to each of the 9 criteria of the CHS. An initial version will soon be available for consultation. We are also currently developing training courses and other tools to help organisations to adopt a Quality approach.