Accountability and standards

In 1995 an influential review of the response to the crisis of Rwandan refugees in then-Zaire criticized the lack of accountability and standards in the sector. Since that call, the sector has responded with a great number of initiatives, has developed numerous mechanisms to improve external accountability and has agreed to standards of best practice. Yet the sector remains avowedly challenged in this regard, in particular for accountability to the people and communities it serves. Currently, the Core Humanitarian Standard sets out the most widely accepted accountability framework, and the Sphere Handbook defines standards across an important range of aid activities. In addition, the IASC has promoted organizational accountability to affected populations (AAP) and to protection from sexual exploitation and abuse by aid workers (PSEA). Beyond aid agencies themselves, the Good Humanitarian Donorship Agreement sets standards that apply to major institutional donors.
Community appeal committee in a camp
Photo: US Embassy Addis Ababa

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