The French Development Agency, the Fondation de France, the Principality of Monaco
What is the COMPASS and how does it relate to the core humanitarian standard?
The COMPASS is a quality and accountability management method for humanitarian and development projects. It has been specifically designed by Groupe URD to help apply the quality and accountability commitments of the Core Humanitarian Standard in the field for any intervention zone, sector or context.
An up-dated version of the quality COMPASS
The COMPAS was first developed by Groupe URD in 2004 and was organised around a quality reference framework, the Compass Rose, made up of 12 quality criteria. In 2014, Groupe URD joined HAP International, People In Aid and the Sphere Project in their efforts to harmonise standards and integrate the Quality COMPAS reference framework into the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS).
The Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS)
The COMPASS is built around the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS). This is a voluntary code that describes the essential elements of principled, accountable and quality humanitarian action. The Core Humanitarian Standard sets out Nine Commitments centred on communities and people affected by crisis that organisations and individuals can use to improve the quality and accountability of humanitarian or development interventions.
How is the compass organised?
The COMPASS – Four “entry points”
The COMPASS is organised around four key and complementary actions of a humanitarian or development intervention:
1. IMPLEMENTING – HOW TO USE THE CORE HUMANITARIAN STANDARD TO IMPLEMENT A PROJECT.
This section describes how project steering mechanisms can help to respond responsibly to the needs of communities and people affected by crisis.
It is aimed primarily at “operators” – individuals and organisations in charge of implementing and supporting projects (particularly project teams and operating partners).
2. FUNDING – HOW TO USE THE CORE HUMANITARIAN STANDARD IN RELATION TO PROJECT FUNDING.
This section describes how the funding process can help to implement high quality and accountable projects.
It is aimed primarily at “Funders” – Individuals and organisations in charge of funding projects or an organisation (such as institutional donors and operators who include a funding component in their operational approach).
3. EVALUATING – HOW TO USE THE CORE HUMANITARIAN STANDARD TO EVALUATE A PROJECT.
This section describes how an evaluation can use the Core Humanitarian Standard’s quality criteria to complement the OECD-DAC evaluation criteria, prioritise areas of analysis and identify relevant evaluation questions.
It is primarily aimed at “Evaluators” – the people and organisations in charge of evaluating projects (notably those who commission evaluations and the individuals who carry them out).
4. IMPROVING – HOW TO USE THE CORE HUMANITARIAN STANDARD TO IMPLEMENT A PROJECT MONITORING, EVALUATION, ACCOUNTABILITY AND LEARNING (MEAL) SYSTEM.
This section describes how to translate institutional demands in terms of quality and accountability into a project Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) system that is adapted to the particular needs, demands and resources of an organisation, consortium or programme.
It is primarily aimed at “Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) Advisors” – individuals and organisations who are responsible for establishing the steering framework for projects (notably MEAL focal points and operational coordinators).
Each of these entry points is explained in a specific section of the COMPASS. A joint section – “Shared Commitments” – underlines the need for coherence, complementarity and coordination between these different entry points.