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The Groupe URD Review

Methods and tools

Quality & Accountability COMPAS Quality & Accountability COMPAS
CHS Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS)
Pictogrammme Sigmah Sigmah Software
Pictogrammme Reaching Resilience

Reaching Resilience
Pictogrammme brochure Environnement Training
Pictogrammme brochure Participation Handbook
Pictogrammme globe terrestre The Quality Mission
Pictogrammme PRECIS Humatem PRECIS Method

The Quality of Aid

It is a continual challenge to improve the quality of humanitarian response and meet the needs of crisis-affected people more effectively. This involves anticipating risks, anticipating and avoiding negative impacts, understanding and monitoring needs, adapting activities, monitoring and evaluating the quality of programmes, etc.

Since its creation, Groupe URD has worked on the issue of quality in humanitarian action, providing support to humanitarian actors faced with this challenge. Over the years, funding from institutional donors such as DG ECHO and the French and Spanish Ministries of Foreign Affairs has allowed us to work on the following projects: the Quality project (2000-2004), the Dynamic COMPAS (2005-2006), Quality assurance in practice (2007-2008) and CAP Qualité (2008-2009).

The aim of these projects was to understand what humanitarian actors needed with regard to quality and to produce analysis, tools and training.

All the evaluations carried out by Groupe URD constitute a major source of learning to improve quality.

We regularly publish articles on quality and our newsletters (Aiming for Quality and Humanitarian Aid on the Move) have sections on ‘Quality’.

Groupe URD developed the Quality COMPAS, the first ever Quality assurance method for humanitarian projects. The Quality COMPAS Companion Book helps actors to manage the different phases of the project cycle on the basis of quality criteria.

We are also part of the Quality and Accountability initiatives working group which involves a number of different international quality initiatives for humanitarian action.

For a number of years, we have also been involved in the integration of new technologies into the humanitarian sector; we have facilitated the collective development of Sigmah, open source software for the shared management of international aid projects.

We also run a series of training courses on Quality in humanitarian action. This series includes the "Quality Mission", an introductory self-training module on the basic principles of quality, an advanced module on quality management and a training of trainers course.

For more information, contact Véronique de Geoffroy

Groupe URD’s projects related to this theme:


Read more

More than the Money – Localisation in practice, Final report, July 2017, in English
Good practice guide, ESF, 2015, in French
Humanitarian Aid on the move # 15, special issue: The Quality of Aid
Bibliography: the Quality of Aid, Humanitarian Aid on the move n°15, April 2015, in French
Post-earthquake Haiti changes in aid for the better? , Blog & articles - The Humanitarian Space - Humanitarian Practice Network, François Grünewald, 15 janvier 2015
Quality in humanitarian actions: Key messages, Autumn School on Humanitarian Aid, September 2014
Out of the box: key messages , Groupe URD’s 20th anniversary, 30-31 May 2013
The Community-based Approach in Haiti, Alice Corbet, November 2012
L’humanitaire se convertit au libre - Altermondes, Altermondes n°31, septembre 2012
« New Quality assurance method for humanitarian projects: summary of meeting », Field Exchange, Emergency Nutrition Network, March 2006, issue 27, pp. 17.
« L’accréditation, menaces ou opportunités pour les ONG humanitaires ? », Véronique de Geoffroy, Domitille Kauffmann, Médecine tropicale, 2005, volume 65.
Different quality approaches in the Afghan health system, Dr Hugues Maury, LRRD project, Afghanistan, 2005
« Leçons apprises, leçons oubliées, leçons appliquées : quel apprentissage ? », François Grünewald, GREF infos, juin 2004, n° 1, pp. 2-3.
The quality project - Afghanistan, mission 1, 2002 (in French)
NGO Responses to Hurricane Mitch:Evaluations for Accountability and Learning, by François Grunewald, Véronique de Geoffroy and Sarah Lister, HPN, november 2000