Commissioned by

Michael Carrier


In 2003, representatives of the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP), the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP International), People In Aid and the Sphere Project began to meet regularly to share common problems and harmonize their activities.

In 2006, they were joined by Coordination SUD, Groupe URD and the Emergency Capacity Building (ECB) project, then later by a number of other organisations (including the CDA Collaborative Learning Projects, the Inter-Agency Network on Education in Emergencies (INEE), and the Enhanced Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance (ELRHA) initiative).

Although they have distinct mandates and structures, all these initiatives share a common desire to harmonise their approaches and increase the impact of their work. Four of these organisations (HAP, SPHERE, Groupe URD and People In Aid) also successfully worked together to rationalise their approaches to standards in order to develop the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS).


Mandate of the working group

The main objectives of this working group are as follows:

  1. Exchanging information, skills and collective reflection on innovations and solutions.
    This central function aims to provide a space for learning, debate and innovative thinking to help organisations in their work and support others in the sector.
  2. Rationalising approaches and initiatives among group members to ensure consistency within the sector, and identifying areas where this is necessary to create greater impact within the sector, as demonstrated by work on the CHS or certification research conducted by SCHR.
  3. Seeking to influence sectoral initiatives and shape international/regional agendas.
    The group adopts a joint position or makes collective contributions to have a greater impact when appropriate. The aim is not, of course, to reach a common position on all issues, and group members may decide not to participate in some collective activities.


Current members

The current members (mid-2018) are as follows:

  • Main standards bodies: Accountable now, SPHERE, CHS Alliance, Groupe URD
  • Coordination bodies: DEC, Coordination Sud
  • Research and learning: ALNAP, CDA, Ground Truth Solutions, Groupe URD, ELRHA, CDAC
  • Capacity building: CDAC, Groupe URD, Ground Truth, CDA, HAP, RedR, Bioforce