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January 2017 Newsletter

Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2017 in which we will update you with our latest news and provide you with some useful resources. 2016 will be remembered as the year of the World Humanitarian Summit where we all committed to playing a part in the implementation of the Agenda for Humanity.  As we face into 2017, we need to ensure that we are on track in the implementation of our respective commitments.  

We are delighted to announce that we have two new members: Danish People’s Aid and Nordisk Hjälp, we wish them a warm welcome, and we look forward to working with them!

This year’s training timetable is now online. We recommend that you make your booking as soon as possible because the sessions are extremely popular - our most recent Training of Trainers on the CHS event in London was fully booked weeks ahead. Bookings for our upcoming Humanitarian Human Resources (HHR) conferences will be opening soon. Our HHRs in 2016 - Europe (Barcelona) and Africa (Nairobi) - were a great success thanks to the high-quality panellists and engaged participants who provided lively and inspiring discussions, and rich learning opportunities for improving humanitarian staff care. We do not expect anything less in 2017!

In close collaboration with our partners, we are committed to enriching our online library with the most recent and relevant publications, and are pleased to share with you the HR Support Package, aimed at improving people management. In addition, the Core Humanitarian Standard is now available in seventeen languages, the CHS Guidance Notes and Indicators in six languages, and the CHS Self-Assessment tool in English. You can grab a copy online. If you have any queries, contact us at

Since its creation in 2015, the Alliance team has been supporting members - and the wider humanitarian and development sector - in applying the CHS and broader aspects of quality, accountability and people management. We are very pleased to continue working together promoting the adoption of the CHS, as a way to improve the quality and effectiveness of humanitarian assistance and play our part in the implementation of the Agenda for Humanity.

So we look forward to engaging with you on these themes and more over the coming months!

The CHS Alliance Team

Latest news

In November 2016, the CHS Alliance and the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation have announced an exciting partnership to create a Human Resources (HR) Support Package to support CHS Alliance members and other humanitarian and development actors across the globe. In December 2016, the Package was introduced and became available for download in our resource library. It provides a series of tips and tools to improve people management in the humanitarian and development sectors. 
On 22-23 November 2016 human resource experts active in the humanitarian sector met in Nairobi, Kenya to discuss how to boost organisational resilience in times of change. The keynote speaker, Henrietta Blyth from Interhealth Worldwide set the tone for the two-day conference by outlining what organisational resilience meant to her. She introduced the participants to the LIVE principles, which are required to enhance organisational resilience.
The START Network Transforming Surge Capacity Project is a three-year project, bringing together 11 Start Network agencies working towards improving the ability of humanitarian agencies to scale up resources for emergency response. The CHS Alliance is leading the Human Resources (HR) good practice component and will explore and pilot new approaches to surge capacity. This includes the development, launch and management of an interactive surge capacity online platform. The platform is intended to help HR practitioners share good practices and learn from each other when involved in a surge response. 

The platform hosts key resources and good practices that support the employee life cycle, useful country-specific information and content on staff training and welfare. It also offers an interactive forum that encourages the sharing of good practice resources, real-time conversations in order to promote greater collaboration and the sharing of good practice. The platform is open to staff from any organisation involved in humanitarian surge responses in any region. It is brought to you by Start Network and CHS Alliance. If you are interested in joining the platform as a user, simply register on the site here.

CHS Alliance members annual report through online survey: preliminary results
More than sixty organisations have already submitted their CHS Alliance annual report through the online survey. The information collected through this annual report will strongly help us in adapting our support to the needs of our member organisations. The first results are encouraging and indicate that 84% have either completed one form of verification (30%) or have planned to do so in 2017 (54%). Amongst those who already passed through one of the verification options, 45% opted for the self-assessment and 34% for certification. Member organisations have until 31st January to respond to the survey. For 80% of respondents, it took less than 10 minutes to complete the survey. The report with final data to be published later this year. For more information, please contact Adrien Muratet.

Working closely with the Steering Group and the CHS Alliance conference organiser, the convenor/facilitator will prepare the agenda for the conference, liaise with speakers and other contributors, prepare briefing papers for participants, as well as facilitate the event to ensure it runs smoothly and achieves its objectives.
Deadline for applications: 5 February 2017

New resources

Staff wellbeing is not enough
Today, duty of care denotes an organisation’s responsibility for staff wellbeing, particularly in regard to physical and mental health at work. Although it is a noble goal, it remains an inadequate goal. Dr Scott Breslin shares his thoughts on why staff should thrive rather than just be physically and mentally safe.

Find out more.

Listen Learn Act Training e-course
The Listen Learn Act training takes learners through a fictional, scenario-based instructional experience to apply the Ground Truth Constituent Voice™ method to programme quality and accountability, focusing on the CHS commitments and Sphere. The training can be accessed through DCA’s online learning platform

Find out more.

The case study illustrates how Women Support Association (WSA) applies the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) in development interventions targeting vulnerable communities, especially women, in Ethiopia. It demonstrates how WSA has contextualised the Nine Commitments of the CHS in its accountability framework.
  • Checking the heartbeat of humanitarian assistance - Initial reflections from the Listen Learn Act project by DanChurchAid, Save the Children Denmark, Ground Truth SolutionsDownload it here.
  • Best Practice Guide Inter-Agency Community-Based Complaint Mechanisms by the Inter-Agency Standing CommitteeDownload it here.
  • Toolkit on Technologies for Monitoring in Insecure Environments by Secure Access in Volatile EnvironmentDownload it here.
  • Global Standard Operating Procedures - Best Practice Guide Inter Agency Community Based Complaint Mechanisms by the IASC Task Team on Accountability to Affected Populations and Protection from Sexual Exploitation and AbuseDownload it here.
  • Johanniter International Assistance and P-Fim methodology engaged in workshops on meaningful community consultation in Germany and DRC, the results and recommendations were published in a report. Download it here.

Upcoming events

We are delighted to announce our programme of open training workshops for the year ahead. For the full list visit our website, please note we may still add one or two more CHS ToT workshops, but we will keep you informed about that! Currently, the events below are open for booking. For more information on our training programme, please do not hesitate to contact Karen Glisson

Training of Trainers on the Core Humanitarian
4-7 Apr 2017 
Freetown, Sierra Leone
The purpose of this workshop is to build the capacity of organisation staff and consultants to facilitate training on the Core Humanitarian Standard. The workshop will be delivered in English.

Book now

SEA investigations 
21-24 Nov 2017
Geneva, Switzerland
This four-day workshop demonstrates how to conduct fair, thorough and confidential investigations into complaints of staff misconduct, with a particular focus on allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of affected populations.

Book now

Training of Trainers on the Core Humanitarian
16-19 Oct 2017
Geneva, Switzerland
The purpose of this workshop is to build the capacity of organisation staff and consultants to facilitate training on the Core Humanitarian Standard. The workshop will be delivered in English.

Book now

Events by partners

The CHS Alliance will be present at the ALNAP annual meeting on 14-15 February, which will focus on Changing Humanitarian Action. For us, this is an opportunity to identify and highlight factors that help the development, diffusion and adoption of the Core Humanitarian Standard by the sector. It is also a chance to reflect on how to move forward on some of the priorities for CHS Alliance, its membership and the wider sector. If you are planning to attend the event, consider visiting us at our booth to exchange thoughts. This will also be an occasion to highlight our collaboration with Sphere – as the CHS and its guidance notes & indicators become part of the revised Sphere handbook this year.
Agenda Consulting is taking bookings for the Strategic People Conference, 16 March 2017. There will be workshops and expert learning sessions, led by colleagues from a variety of not-for-profit organisations, and a keynote speech from Helen Murley, Global HR Director, British Council. Topics include pay and non-financial rewards, developing people strategies, latest Third Sector research. CHS Alliance members receive special rates until 24 Februarybook now and join others from the sector to network and share ideas.

Latest blogs

Why we need to talk about Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) in humanitarian and development work
By Emma Jones 
In this blog Emma Jones, PhD Candidate at the University of East London discusses how individual characteristics (e.g. gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious identity or disability) may intersect to create specific vulnerabilities for aid workers.

Strengthening people management practices in the humanitarian and development sectors
By Em Lacroix
In this blog, Em Lacroix introduces the Human Resource (HR) Package, which provides CHS Alliance members with resources and tools to improve people management in the humanitarian and development sectors.

How can you improve your organisation’s resilience?
By Lauren McWilliams
In this blog, Lauren McWilliams, CHS Alliance, provides an overview of the main findings of HHR Africa 2016, which was devoted to organisational resilience.

The CHS is now available in 17 languages - Arabic, Bangla, Bahasa Indonesia, English, French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Nepali, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian and Urdu. More languages will follow, thank you for your patience.
Organisations are encouraged to translate the CHS into other languages, to help disseminate the document more widely and support humanitarian and development actors around the world. Those wishing to do so should first contact for more information and approval from the CHS communications team.

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