Humanitarian Accountability Partnership International

Humanitarian Accountability Partnership International

] ] , published by HAP International reviews the progress made over 2007 towards strengthening norms and practices in the humanitarian sector. Also, this year's report details the organisations 'humanitarian accountability opinion survey', an institutional self-assessment of progress made, and case studies of good practice by HAP members.

HAP Standard 2007

Working with its partners, disaster survivors and others, HAP-International produced the HAP 2007 Standard in Humanitarian Accountability and Quality Management. This certification scheme aims to provide assurance that certified agencies are managing the quality of their humanitarian actions in accordance with the HAP standard. [ [] - A Gateway for Capacity Development ] In practical terms, a HAP certification (which is valid for three years) means providing external auditors with access to the organization’s mission statement, accounts and control systems, providing for greater transparency in operations and overall accountability. [ [ The Economist] - Certifying Aid Agencies, "24 May 2007" ]

As described by HAP-International, the HAP 2007 Standard in Humanitarian Accountability and Quality Management is a quality assurance tool for humanitarian organizations. By comparing an organization's processes, policies and products to the Standard's six benchmarks, it is possible to measure how well the organization assures quality and accountability in its humanitarian work.Agencies that comply with the Standard:
* declare their commitment to HAP’s Principles of Humanitarian Action and to their own Humanitarian Accountability Framework
* develop and implement a Humanitarian Quality Management System
* provide key information about quality management to key stakeholders
* enable beneficiaries and their representatives to participate in program decisions and give their informed consent
* determine the competencies and development needs of staff
* establish and implement complaints-handling procedure
* establish a process of continual improvement [ [ HAP-International Website] - The HAP 2007 Standard ]

Certification Process

An agency certified against the HAP Standard means that it has been examined and tested through a formal third party independent system against the benchmarks and requirements contained within the HAP Standard and found to be in compliance. [ [ The HAP Certification Process] - HAP Certification ]

The audit verification process includes:

1. Head Office and Field Site Document Review

2. Head Office and Field Site Verification Interview of staff, partners and disaster survivors.

3. Direct observation of good practice as specified in the agency Humanitarian Accountability Framework.

HAP certification allows agencies to demonstrate their achievements in accountability and quality management in a process developed and recognised by humanitarian peers. It is a commitment - voluntarily made - of the centrality of beneficiaries to an agency's humanitarian work. [ [ Register of HAP Certified Agencies and Audits ] - Certified Agencies ] [ [ HAP's newest certified member DanChurchAid ] - DanchurchAid Accountability Principles ]

Awareness Raising

HAP-International takes a number of measures to raise public awareness of the importance of "Humanitarian Accountability". In addition to HAP-International's [ website] , a [ discussion forum] is maintained on Facebook, addressing topical issues in relation to humanitarian accountability.

exual exploitation and abuse

One of the most problematic areas is related to the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse of beneficiaries by humanitarian workers. In an emergency where victims have lost everything, women and girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse.

Why don't disaster survivors who have been sexually exploited or abused by aid workers complain? Because keeping quiet is normal. On 25 June, 2008 The Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP International) [ [ HAP International ] at] released a ground breaking report into Sexual Exploitation and Abuse entitled, [$file/HAP_To%20Complain%20or%20Not%20to%20Complain.pdf?openelement ‘To complain or not to complain: still the question.’] This report provides the background, purpose and methodology of the consultation. Then follows a detailed report for each of the three countries where consultations were held, including country-specific recommendations. The report concludes with an assessment of challenges facing humanitarian agencies in their efforts to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse, and a set of recommendations for next steps.


External links

[ Humanitarian Accountability Partnership International Official Website]
[ HAP 2007 Standard] - 2007 Standard in Humanitarian Accountability and Quality Management
[ HAP Discussion Forum on Myanmar] - HAP Discussion Forum on Myanmar
[ HAP in Bangladesh]
[ Reliefweb] - Bangladesh: Reflections on the Sidr response - an opportunity for more accountable humanitarian action
[ HAP Certification of DanChurchAid]
[ HAP Certification of Tearfund UK DMT]

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