Wednesday, 22 January 2014


The revised version of the draft certification model is now available for your feedback. (Translated versions are being prepared and will be shared as soon as possible).

The Certification Project Team are grateful for the considerable written feedback that we received on the previous draft version of the model. It has been invaluable in shaping this version, which attempts to address and clarify some of the issues and concerns raised by your organisation and other stakeholders.

In this version, we have responded to the feedback to the extent possible and have aimed to keep the model as simple yet rigorous as possible. Accordingly, we have organised the proposed core assessment criteria around three pillars: 1) Humanitarian Principles 2) Accountability to Affected People and 3) Quality, Effectiveness and Learning, with a limited number of key indicators.

Much more consultation is needed to refine and improve these indicators, but we hope that this gives organisations a more concrete idea on how an organisation could be assessed as part of a potential external verification and certification process.

We intend to use this version as the basis for the upcoming field research and piloting phase of the project. We aim to get the views of stakeholders in four different crisis contexts on how certification can improve (or not) the quality of humanitarian assistance, as well as assessing the usefulness and relevance of the proposed core requirements and indicators.   

The pilots are not intended as a full-scale testing of the model of an assessment of participating organisations against certification criteria. Instead, the purpose is to test and validate the key assumptions of the model, review the assessment criteria, and gather more detailed information on the potential costs and benefits of the proposed model in order to improve it.

Please feel free to share this with your colleagues, and to provide any additional comments, feedback or critiques. The next round of feedback will continue until March 31. In particular, we would like your views on the following questions:

1. Is this revised version closer to your vision of a successful, sustainable certification model?
2. Does it address your concerns? If not, what is missing?
3. How useful and relevant are the proposed indicators and assessment process?
4. Do you have any specific suggestions on how the indicators or assessment process could be improved?
5. Are there any critical issues that are missing or need further clarification?Please get in touch if you have any other questions or would like additional information.
Bethan and Philip

Friday, 10 January 2014


SCHR members and the Certification Review project team recognise that a prerequisite for any successful certification model is a widely agreed set of standards and criteria against which to assess an organisation. Accordingly, the project will continue to consult and engage with stakeholders on identifying the most appropriate and relevant criteria for external reporting, verification and certification on how organisations apply their commitments.

The certification review project is currently reviewing its draft model, following written input received from some 50 organisations. The revised version of the model, to be released mid-January, will be proposing criteria and some 15 to 20 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to assess a humanitarian organisation’s capacity, performance and accountability, drawn from Humanitarian Principles and existing commitments and standards, including SPHERE, the recently released draft Core Humanitarian Standard and other appropriate standards.

The revised model, including the proposed KPIs will be field tested in four different contexts, by the end of May 2013, to get feedback and inputs from affected populations, community-based organisations, local and national authorities and field staff from international organisations and donor governments  and concrete ideas on how to improve it. Field-testing is intended as an exploration of critical assumptions underlying the model, to assess how useful, relevant and appropriate it is to help a humanitarian organisation improve the quality, effectiveness and accountability of its programmes.

Following this, findings and recommendations from the field testing and consultations will be shared widely for further review and input from humanitarian organisations, UN and governments from affected countries as well as from donor countries.

The certification project will continue to work with SPHERE, HAP, People In Aid and other Quality and Accountability Initiatives to ensure that its work is grounded in and informed by current knowledge and experience.