Humanitarian standards describe what help and protection crisis affected people are entitled to and are therefore the minimum desired outcomes of humanitarian response. All people affected by crisis are entitled to the right to life with dignity and, therefore, the right to protection and assistance.
Humanitarian standards are developed by practitioners of different backgrounds, based on available evidence and their own practical and management experiences. Because standards reflect what the humanitarian community identifies as the current best practices, they are revised regularly to incorporate new developments, global trends and learning across the sector.
Humanitarian standards are a useful resource for anyone involved in providing assistance and protection. They can be used to prepare before crises occur, to identify basic needs and to plan, implement and evaluate inclusive humanitarian responses. Affected communities can refer to humanitarian standards to understand their own rights, demand better assistance and hold organisations accountable. Humanitarian organisations and individuals make a commitment to quality when they apply standards in their work and they are accountable to the populations they serve.
The Africa Humanitarian Standards Network (AHSN) is an informal network of practitioners from Focal Points, Trainers, academia, NGOs, CBOs, FBOs, National Disaster Management Authorities, Local Governments and individual consultants that are voluntarily come together to work collectively on specific programmatic and technical deliverables of promoting the Humanitarian quality and accountability initiatives in Africa. AHSN supports quality and accountability in humanitarian action by promoting the harmonised development and cross-sectoral use of standards. It supports practitioners with training opportunities, technical guidance and advocacy.
The AHSN collaborates with the Humanitarian Standards Partnership (HSP) to promote the field application of HSP’s nine sets of humanitarian standards that were all developed in a similarly inclusive and consultative manner. The Centre for Humanitarian Analytics based in Harare, Zimbabwe, is the host agency for AHSN Secretariat coordinating the Network.
Field application of humanitarian standards
Quality and Accountability in humanitarian action
Harmonized development and cross-sectoral use