A person wearing a Diakonia t-shirt talking to a Zimbabwean couple.

Diakonia certified against the Core Humanitarian Standard

2 November, 2020

As the second organization in Sweden and the 23rd in the world, Diakonia has been certified against the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS). The certification acknowledges that our work meets the stringent requirements of CHS on quality, accountability and transparency.

The CHS standard emphasizes the importance of development actors and organizations in the humanitarian sector putting people at the center of their work.

– The certification means that there is a clear framework that rights holders can use to hold Diakonia accountable, which will enable us to continue to grow and get better, says Julle Bergenholtz-Foglander, humanitarian advisor at Diakonia who has coordinated the certficiation process.

High marks for Diakonia’s context analysis and coordination

The certification shows that Diakonia meets the commitments and indicators of CHS well. The work on human resources, coordination with relevant actors and context analysis achieve high marks. The audit of Diakonia’s work shows that there are areas that Diakonia need to develop further, such as Diakonia’s complaint mechanisms as well as the work of ensuring systems and clarifying agreements with partner organizations regarding prevention of sexual harassment and sexual exploitation.

– CHS contributes to putting the work of prevention of sexual harassment and abuse as a priority on the humanitarian agenda. The certification is therefore an important tool for improving the sector as other organizations can assess themselves based on its criteria, says Secretary General Lena Ingelstam.

Diakonia’s road to certification

During the certification process, 60 staff members in seven countries have been interviewed by external consultants on behalf of the Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative (HQAI). The interviewees answered questions about how they ensure that Diakonia’s work is managed and monitored by quality and accountable systems. Six of our partner organizations were also interviewed to give their views on the collaboration with Diakonia.

– It has been an exciting, developing and challenging process for Diakonia. I am very proud that Diakonia, our staff members and our partner organizations have been able to show that Diakonia meets the requirements of the CHS standard, says Julle Bergenholtz-Foglander.

The certification is valid between 2020 and 2024. In the meantime, additional interviews and evaluations will be conducted with Diakonia to ensure that the organization makes progress in the development areas identified during the certification process.