ZOA is proud to announce that we have been granted certification against the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) by the independent auditing body HQAI (Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative). ZOA is the first Dutch based organisation to be awarded CHS certification. The CHS-standard is a measurable and verifiable standard to improve aid. The certificate gives independent assurance of the quality and accountability of our work in responding to the needs of people in crisis areas.
The CHS Alliance is a global alliance of humanitarian and development organisations committed to making aid work better for people. The movement of 150+ organisations aims to strengthen accountability and to put people affected by crisis at the centre by implementing the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS). This is completely in line with ZOA’s strategic priorities. Driven by our values, we want to ensure that our programmes meet the needs of the people we seek to assist. It is our goal that our interventions improve peoples’ self-reliance. The CHS certification is an important recognition of the quality of our work – and a critical tool to asses our daily work. It helps to ensure the quality of our work, reduce the risk of mistakes and continuously improve the way we work.
Learn from the process
Quality and accountability have always been at the heart of our activities. However, the process of getting CHS certification has been very helpful. The independent auditors from HQAI – the certification body – assessed the quality and accountability of our policies and processes and their implementation. The audit involved document reviews, interviews with staff, partners, the direct input of communities and beneficiaries, other stakeholders and direct observation at selected country programmes and project sites.
The auditors interviewed more than 100 people, ranging from our head office to the field. As a result, ZOA now has a clear understanding of where systems, policies and practices are strong and effective, and where further improvements are needed. The CHS certification is valid for four years provided periodic checks (every 12 months) confirm the continuing conformity with the requirements of the standard.
We would like to express our thanks to all those involved for their contributions to the process. The process was an excellent opportunity to put the CHS at the forefront in the organisation and realign our procedures to the quality standard. As the CHS certification is now part of our four-year strategic cycle, we will be held accountable for the progress we make and for resolving the weaknesses identified by the audit. In our view, this is an opportunity to further improve the way we work. We are proud to be part of a community of organisations that strive for quality, accountability and are committed to making aid work better for people.