Commitment 1.3:
We support people affected by crisis.

Compliance Indicators

The Indicators and Verifiers under this Commitment are only relevant to Members that support or undertake humanitarian assistance.

Compliance with the Commitments will be assessed against the following Compliance Indicators. All of the applicable Compliance Indicators must be met by every ACFID Member to be considered compliant with the Code. Each of the Compliance Indicators has one or more compliance Verifiers. Verifiers are the description of evidence that is required to substantiate compliance with each Compliance Indicator. Guidance is also provided.

1.3.1 Members that support or undertake humanitarian initiatives are guided by the four Humanitarian Principles

Policy, statement or guidance document that commits the member to the Humanitarian Principles of Humanity, Impartiality, Independence and Neutrality  

Guidance

The principles of humanity, impartiality, independence and neutrality are defined in the Core Humanitarian Standard.  They provide the foundations for humanitarian action and are central to establishing and maintaining access to affected people, whether in a natural disaster or a complex emergency, such as armed conflict.

An example of a statement that would satisfy this indicator is: “When responding to humanitarian emergencies, Agency ABC will apply the principles of humanity, impartiality, independence and neutrality as defined in the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS).”

1.3.2 Members that support or undertake humanitarian initiatives work towards application of the Core Humanitarian Standard.

Policy, statement or guidance document that commits the member to working towards application of the Core Humanitarian Standard: 

  • aiming to fulfil all nine Core Humanitarian Standard Commitments 
  • working to continuously improve systems, structures and practices to improve the quality and accountability of humanitarian initiatives, acknowledging where difficulties are encountered in fulfilling the Core Humanitarian Standard Commitments

Guidance

The Core Humanitarian Standard can be downloaded in the Resources Section below.

An example of a statement that would satisfy this indicator is “Agency ABC is guided by The Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS).” Larger agencies or those with a predominant and significant focus on humanitarian assistance may choose to be formally audited/reviewed against the CHS by the Humanitarian Quality Assurance initiative.

1.3.3 Members that deploy personnel for humanitarian initiatives participate in the Misconduct Disclosure Scheme.

This indicator and verifier are relevant to members who are engaged in the deployment of personnel for humanitarian initiatives. 

Evidence of participation in the Misconduct Disclosure Scheme.  

Guidance

The Misconduct Disclosure Scheme aims to prevent perpetrators of sexual misconduct moving between organisations undetected. The Scheme complements other vetting processes, such as police checks, as it picks up perpetrators who have had disciplinary processes completed against them, or who are subject to ongoing investigation, but who may not have committed crimes or been investigated by the police.

The Scheme is facilitated by the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response and hosted by the CHS Alliance. The Scheme holds no information on specific cases of abuse. Rather, it facilitates the systematic bilateral sharing of misconduct data between recruiting organisations and previous employers.

Members who deploy personnel for humanitarian initiatives are required to join the Scheme. Personnel include people employed by the Member, engaged by the Member on a subcontract basis, or engaged by the Member on a voluntary or unpaid basis. All other Members are encouraged to join the Scheme.

In May 2024, the ACFID Safeguarding COP hosted a dedicated event for agencies preparing to implement the Misconduct Disclosure Scheme, with guest presenter Elena Bezzolato, Misconduct Disclosure Scheme Coordinator.

Download the slides from this session.

For more information on participating in the MDS, see the resources in the Resources Section below.

Good Practice Indicators

The following Good Practice Indicators describe a higher standard of practice than that set out in the Compliance Indicators. While Members do not need to meet the Good Practice Indicators to be considered compliant with the Code, they will self-assess against these indicators once every three years. This provides a clear pathway for Members to strengthen and improve practice over time.

  • Staff and volunteers working on humanitarian initiatives have expertise appropriate to the nature and scale of response. 
  • Seeking understanding of how partners approach the Core Humanitarian Standards’ Nine Commitments and do whatever they can to work with them to implement the CHS commitments. 
  • Members pursue verification for compliance with the Core Humanitarian Standard 
  • Information and training for staff and partners on Standards for Child Protection in Emergencies is provided, and related compliance mechanisms established. 
  • Evaluation and reflection on the effectiveness of supported humanitarian responses is undertaken. 
  • Results of evaluations and reflections of humanitarian responses are shared with partners and external stakeholders. 

Good Practice Guidance

Here are some practical suggestions for your organisation to further deepen and improve practice over time.

Policy

  • Develop humanitarian response and disaster preparedness strategies that incorporate and reflect international humanitarian response standards
  • Formally adopt the Core Humanitarian Standard
  • Formally adopt the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief
  • Formally commit to the Sphere humanitarian principles and standards
  • Inform key stakeholders of the international standards to which you are committed through a full range of means, such as your website, partner agreements, donor requests, reports and staff induction and training
  • Develop formal emergency relief guidelines that incorporate and reflect international humanitarian response principles and standards

Procedures

  • Train humanitarian response staff in sector codes and standards and legal obligations, and communicate with them on a regular basis to ensure these are upheld.
  • Provide information and training for staff and partners on the Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action and establish mechanisms to monitor compliance.
  • Ensure humanitarian responses do not contribute towards the unnecessary institutionalisation of children and any programs working directly with unaccompanied children will prioritise family tracing and reunification to prevent the prolonged separation of children from their families
  • Invest resources in building the capacity of partner organisations to providing humanitarian assistance according to internationally agreed standards and principles of ethical practice through training, knowledge sharing and accompaniment
  • Develop monitoring and evaluation systems to assess compliance with humanitarian response principles and standards
  • Establish systems for beneficiary communication and accountability, including feedback and complaints mechanisms
  • If you are sending funds, undertake due diligence to ensure that the party who receives them has committed to the relevant humanitarian response standards.

Drug Donations

If your organisation provides pharmaceuticals or other forms of material relief, demonstrate your adherence to relevant guidelines, that could include but is not limited to:

  • Donations are based on the express wishes of the recipient and not distributed without prior consent
  • Donated drugs must be on the list of essential drugs of the recipient country, or if no such list is available, the WHO Model List of Essential Drugs
  • Donated drugs must comply with the quality standards of the recipient country and be authorised for use in that country
  • All donated drugs should have a shelf-life of at least 12 months upon arrival in the recipient country

ACFID Resources

Code of Conduct for Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief

This resource is Red Cross / Red Crescent's Code of Conduct. This is suitable for all organisations as an example. This is relevant to the Code because Members working in humanitarian contexts need to show evidence of maintaining high standards of independence, effectiveness and impact in disaster response.

Other Resources

Becoming CHS verified

This resource is about how to become CHS verified and includes a template for self-assessment against the CHS. This is suitable for all organisations working in humanitarian contexts. This is relevant to the Code because it is a requirement to fulfil all nine Core Humanitarian Standard Commitments.

Core Humanitarian Standard Alliance Membership

Membership to the CHS Alliance allows for auditing to meet CHS verification, and CHS Alliance complaints mechanism. This is relevant to the Code as Members apply towards the CHS.

Core Humanitarian Standard Certification

Independent verification and certification are two different approaches to achieving verification against the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS). Currently, the Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative (HQAI) is the only organisation permitted to undertake independent verification and CHS certification audits. This is relevant to the Code because Member must be working towards the application of the CHS.

Core Humanitarian Standard Commitment Tracker

The CHS Commitment Tracker shows you how and where the CHS is being applied, and the impact it’s having on improving the quality and accountability of aid across the globe. This is relevant to the Code to support Members in applying the Core Humanitarian Standards.

FAQ: Misconduct Disclosure Scheme

Frequently asked questions about the MDS. This is suitable for all organisations working within a humanitarian context. This is new requirement for Members in the ACFID Code of Conduct.

IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings.

This resource is addresses people’s mental health and psychosocial well-being in the midst of an emergency. This is suitable for all organisations. This is relevant to the Code to ensure that polices are translated into actions. This resource is also available in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Ukrainian, and other languages (scroll down to the bottom of the web page).

Misconduct Disclosure Scheme

The Misconduct Disclosure Scheme (MDS) stops perpetrators of sexual misconduct moving between organisations undetected. The Scheme facilitates sharing of misconduct data between employers. This is suitable for all organisations working within a humanitarian context. This is new requirement for Members in the ACFID Code of Conduct.

Resources: Misconduct Disclosure Scheme

This resource provides templates, policies and human resource (HR) forms required by the MDS. This is suitable for all organisations working within a humanitarian context. This is new requirement for Members in the ACFID Code of Conduct. Some resources are also available in French and Spanish.

Sphere for Assessments

This resource is a short guide to help humanitarian staff embed a people-centred approach into the humanitarian programme cycle. This is suitable for small to medium organisations. This is relevant to the Code to ensure that polices are translated into actions. This resource is also available in Arabic, French, and Spanish.

Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response

This resource sets out the universal minimum standards for the delivery of quality humanitarian response. This is suitable for all organisations working with a humanitarian context. This is relevant to the Code in adhering to best-practice. This resource is also available in multiple translations, and training for partners.

The Core Humanitarian Standards (CHS)

This resource is about the Core Humanitarian Standards. This is suitable for all organisations working within a humanitarian context. This is relevant to the Code as it is a requirement for Members to provide services that align to best-practice. This resource is also available as an interactive handbook and in French, Arabic, and Spanish.
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