The Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) is a globally recognized voluntary standard setting out nine commitments that organizations and individuals involved in humanitarian response use to improve the quality and effectiveness of the assistance they provide. Because accountability is one of Medical Teams’ core organizational values, we strive to integrate each of the nine commitments into our delivery of humanitarian assistance. Here is a brief overview of Core Humanitarian Standard Commitment 1 and a video providing insight into how Medical Teams incorporates CHS Commitment 1 into our global operations.

Commitment 1: Communities and people affected by crisis receive assistance appropriate to their needs

Organizations must understand the context, needs, and capacities of the different people affected, acknowledging gender and diversity in the response, in order to respond effectively. In practice, this means that humanitarian organizations must commit to the following key actions, including any policies and procedures needed to support implementation:

  • Conduct a systematic, objective, and ongoing analysis of the context and stakeholders
  • Design and implement appropriate programs based on an impartial assessment of needs and risks and have an understanding of the vulnerabilities and capacities of different groups
  • Adapt programs to changing needs, capacities, and contexts

Communities must be consulted about their needs, and special efforts are needed to assess needs of people in hard-to-reach locations, such as people who are not in camps or are in less accessible geographical areas. The same applies to at-risk people — such as those with disabilities, older people, housebound individuals, children and adolescents.

So, for example, when we collect data, we should be able to disaggregate it — meaning that we should be able to look at information by gender, age, and other relevant groups to provide evidence of impartial assistance and whether aid is reaching the groups for whom it is intended. Finally, in order to ensure that our response is appropriate and relevant, we have to continue to adapt our programs in consultation with affected people and through regular monitoring of the context and available public health data.

In the following video, we discuss how Medical Teams integrates CHS Commitment 1 into our program in northern Ethiopia.


Learn more from the Core Humanitarian Standard and CHS Alliance websites as well as our other posts on CHS commitments. The information on Core Humanitarian Standard Commitment 1 and its key actions in this post are summarized from the Core Humanitarian Standard and CHS guidance notes.

Headshot of Jenny PerryJenny Perry
Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) Advisor

Jenny contributes to the calling of Medical Teams International through the development and implementation of a global strategy, systems and tools for evidence-based monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning programs and supports country office teams to integrate these activities throughout all phases of the project life cycle. Connect with her on LinkedIn.