HiHFAD Achieves the CHS Certification: A Commitment to Accountability and Transparency
As we near the conclusion of 2023, we are delighted to share the exciting news! After over a decade of dedicated efforts and unwavering commitment to our mission, we are proud to announce that Hand in Hand for Aid and Development (HiHFAD) has been certified against the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability by the independent auditing body HQAI for our humanitarian, development, and advocacy endeavors. This monumental milestone symbolizes our steadfast adherence and dedication to upholding accountability, transparency, and, most importantly, our mission of improving the lives of those we serve.
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Our Remarkable Journey
Explore the Impressive Milestones Below
At HiHFAD, we have always upheld the values of accountability and transparency as the cornerstones of our work. These values are not just buzzwords for us; they are deeply ingrained in every facet of our organization. We believe that accountability and transparency are non-negotiable when it comes to working toward a better world. It all started when we looked at ways to improve our Accountability to Affected Populations and accountability to Partners and Donors. We immediately thought of CHS certification and HQAI in particular for the feedback we heard from the NGO Community. The organization’s aim was to be more efficient, improve systems, policies, and mechanisms, and move to the next level when it comes to the service we provide.
While obtaining CHS certification was not an easy feat but involved a comprehensive process, the Core Humanitarian Standards Audit is conducted through independent verification and certification against the CHS by an accredited, third-party auditor – currently this service is offered by Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative (HQAI) and authorized by CHS Alliance. HQAI’s support was tremendous, including the grant we received, we worked closely with the HQAI Team and Auditors, who were very helpful and accessible and explained the whole process and the stages. The audit itself motivated the team, who saw it as a challenge to see the scores, and they were proud of their achievements so far; they also set themselves the task of working on any comments or areas for improvement as set by the auditors.
The depth of the audit, ranging from documents and desk review to staff, stakeholders and beneficiaries’ interviews, brought new aspects and dimensions, enabling us to see what we do from different angles and understand the commitments in depth as the latter are somehow interrelated and have some level of complexity in differentiating what exactly each commitment cover. The Verification Framework that was utilized through the audit is designed to ensure a consistent, systematic approach to assessing and verifying how the CHS is applied. It sets out indicators for the requirements (Key Actions and Organizational Responsibilities) under each CHS Commitment and Quality Criterion and contains guiding questions to inform each of those indicators. “CHS is about supporting local communities and local actors; working with local auditors made our job easier, given the level of awareness of the context and working environment.” quoted Mr. Essam Abdely -The HiHFAD Program Development & Grants Manager-.
This certification marks a significant stride in bolstering our commitment to delivering high-quality humanitarian interventions while firmly embedding Core Humanitarian Standards across our entire organization. It signifies our unwavering dedication to continually enhancing our accountability mechanisms and cultivating a culture of efficiency in humanitarian response.
We anticipate that this achievement will not only strengthen our partnerships and interventions but also reinforce our ability to provide humanitarian assistance with utmost accountability. Furthermore, it will empower us to develop a more holistic approach to elevate the organization, encompassing systems, policies, staff, and resources, thereby “will be an additional driver and motivation for us as an organization and as humanitarian workers to enhance and strengthen our humanitarian interventions and further scale up the conformity with CHS to the next level,” said Mr. Abdely.