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Updating of the Quality COMPAS in line with the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS)

The Quality & Accountability COMPASS provides a series of recommendations, processes and tools that have been specifically designed to help international aid projects implement the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) in all sectors, contexts and operational zones. It is an updated version of the Quality COMPAS which Groupe URD created in 2004, and which is now fully built around the criteria and commitments of the CHS. Find out about the different uses of the COMPASS and the dates of the first training course in Paris.

 An overview…

The Quality & Accountability COMPASS

The COMPASS can be used in five autonomous and complementary ways to implement the Core Humanitarian Standard in the field:

STEER – QUALITY ASSURANCE AND QUALITY CONTROL – Are we doing what we are supposed to do to check quality and accountability standards? Do project deliverables meet quality and accountability acceptance criteria?
→ Quality and accountability control points and checklists at key stages of the project cycle, based on the nine commitments of the Core Humanitarian Standard.

MANAGE – QUALITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN RESPONSE WORK - What good practices and tools can effectively help to implement quality and accountability?
→ Good practices and reference tools to help integrate the commitments of the Core Humanitarian Standard in terms of quality and accountability during the implementation of a project.

CHECK – PROJECT HEALTH CHECK – Where are we in our quality and accountability practices? Is it good enough? What else could be done?
→ Analysis of the key actions of the project (existing quality and accountability practices) & organisational responsibilities (institutional support).

EVALUATE – EVALUATION - Have we made a difference? Did we do so in the best way possible?
→ Recommendations for ways to use the Core Humanitarian Standard to support the evaluation process (links with the DAC-OECD criteria, possible evaluation questions, etc.).

CHANGE – QUALITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM - How can we establish a project quality and accountability system within an organisation?
→ Key steps to translate quality and accountability requirements into an appropriate Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (PMEAL) system.


The Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS)

The COMPASS is built around the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS). This voluntary code describes the essential elements of principled, accountable and quality humanitarian action.

It sets out Nine Commitments centred on communities and people affected by crisis that organisations and individuals involved in humanitarian response can use to improve the quality and accountability of the assistance they provide. _ The Core Humanitarian Standard draws on key elements of several existing humanitarian standards and commitments including the Red Cross/Red Crescent and NGO Code of Conduct, the Sphere Handbook Core Standards and Protection Principles, the 2010 HAP Standard, the People In Aid Code of Good Practice and the Groupe URD Quality COMPASS.

Learn more about the Core Humanitarian Standard at: https://corehumanitarianstandard.org/


A collective effort

The COMPASS is part of a collective effort to help put the Core Humanitarian Standard into practice.
Together with many organisations around the world that advocate for the CHS and promote it with humanitarian workers, the three founding bodies behind the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) - the CHS Alliance, Sphere and Groupe URD - play complementary roles:

  • The CHS Alliance assists its members and the wider community to promote and implement the CHS.
  • Sphere brings together a wide range of humanitarian agencies with the aim of improving the quality and accountability of humanitarian assistance. The Sphere Handbook provides a set of common principles and universal minimum standards in life-saving areas of humanitarian response.
  • Groupe URD helps organisations to improve the quality of their programmes through evaluations, research, training, and strategic and quality support.

 Related support materials

  • The whole COMPASS approach is now available in a detailed handbook: download.
  • A dashboard summarises the main elements of the COMPASS, which are also illustrated in a poster: download.

Read more about the project: http://www.urd.org/The-Quality-and-Accountability


The CHS, and the tools to help put it into practice, will be presented in Geneva during the Humanitarian Networks and Partnership Week (HNPW) 2018, where Groupe URD will be taking part from 5 to 9 February. The 3 co-founders of the CHS – the CHS Alliance, Sphere and Groupe URD – will be running a stand, and a workshop will be held on 7 February to explain how to put the CHS into practice.

 Training sessions

A first training session in French will be held in Paris on 26-28 February 2018 in Coordination Sud’s offices.

The specific points that will be dealt with are:

  • Quality and accountability management in the international aid sector: background, issues at stake, methods and tools;
  • Focus on the COMPASS and the CHS;
  • A framework for analysing each organisation/project in relation to the commitments of the CHS;
  • A way of improving existing practices at the operational and/or institutional level.

A few places are still available, and registration is open until 15 February. For more information and to register online: http://www.urd.org/Formation-COMPAS-Qualite