Core Humanitarian Standard: Guidance Notes and Indicators launched

25 November 2015 | Sphere Project

[This article was updated on 24 February 2016]

CHS and Sphere Handbook

With the now available guidance notes and indicators, the Core Humanitarian Standard is ready to replace the Sphere Handbook Core Standards. Photo: Introducing the CHS at a Sphere training of trainers in the Philippines. © Subhashis Roy / LWR Philippines

The indicators and guidance notes for the Core Humanitarian Standard have been published in English, Arabic, French and Spanish.

The indicators and guidance notes complete the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS), a voluntary code that describes the essential elements of principled, accountable and quality humanitarian action.

Together with the CHS, the indicators and guidance notes will be useful to humanitarian professionals and organisations involved in planning, managing or implementing a humanitarian response.

The CHS Guidance Notes and Indicators explain why each of the CHS Nine Commitments is important and allow for measurement of progress and, perhaps most importantly, drive continuous learning and improvement.

CHS guidance notes and indicatorsThe 40-page document also provides clarification on the Key Actions and Organisational Responsibilities laid out in the CHS and examines some challenges that may arise when applying it in practice.

The CHS is the outcome of a collaborative process involving the Groupe URD (Urgence, Réhabilitation, Développement), the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP), People In Aid and the Sphere Project.

It draws on and replaces the Sphere Handbook Core Standards, the 2010 HAP Standard, the People In Aid Code of Good Practice and the quality reference framework of the COMPAS method developed by Groupe URD.

You can learn more about the similarities and differences between the CHS and Sphere's Core Standards by reading this short comparative analysis.

The CHS Guidance Notes and Indicators are the result of a broad consultation involving numerous organisations and individuals who tested the document in their work both in the field and at headquarters level.

They are currently being translated into Arabic, French and Spanish. These versions should be available by the end of 2015.

Feedback as well as questions or concerns related to the CHS Guidance Notes and Indicators are welcome at any time.


The CHS is now available in Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Bangla, Khmer, Korean, Nepali, Turkish and Urdu

Several new language versions of the Core Humanitarian Standard have recently been made available on the CHS website.

The CHS was translated into Arabic by a consortium of agencies working in the Middle East with the support of Islamic Relief Worldwide.

The Indonesian Society for Disaster Management (MPBI) translated and published the CHS in Bahasa Indonesia with the support of Oxfam GB.

The CHS was translated into Khmer by HANet Cambodia, into Korean by the Korean NGO Council for Overseas Development Cooperation (KCOC), into Turkish by the NGO Mavi Kalem and into Urdu by Community World Service Asia.

The CHS is also available in English, French and Spanish. Translations of the CHS into other languages are encouraged and welcome.


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