Commissioned by

Michael Carrier


In 2003, representatives of four initiatives (Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP), 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, and others joined the group (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 ensure greater harmonization and impact in their work. Four of these organisations (HAP, SPHERE, Groupe URD and People In Aid) have also successfully collaborated to streamline their standards initiatives under the Basic Humanitarian Standard (CHS).


Mandate of the working group

The main objectives of this working group are as follows:

  1. Exchange 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 organizations in their work and support others in the sector.
  2. Streamline approaches and initiatives among group members to ensure consistency within the sector, and identify areas where this is necessary to create greater impact within the sector, as demonstrated by work on CHS or certification research conducted by SCHR.
  3. Seek to influence sectoral initiatives and shape international/regional agendas.
    The group can agree on joint positions or collective contributions to have a greater impact when it seems 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 processes.


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