Quality and Accountability
Quality and Accountability Hub

Humanitarian standards related to Quality and Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) have brought humanitarian actors one step forward in terms of principles and commitments towards the people they seek to assist. However, humanitarian field practitioners acknowledge confusion in the knowledge and the application of standards, and the sector recognizes the need for cultural and systemic changes to enhance Quality and AAP, including Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA)

As we shift towards a collective inter-agency approach to Quality and AAP – including PSEA, with common frameworks and more systematic measurement and verification at national or response-levels, it needs to be integrated into programming cycles, at both inter-agency and organizational levels, through a people-centered lens. 

The Quality and Accountability for Project Cycle Management Booklet and training materials have been designed for field practitioners. Through these resources, we aim to enhance the quality and accountability of humanitarian and development programming to ensure the best interest of the communities we seek to assist.

The Booklet and the associated training materials will promote shared decision making at all phases of the programming cycles.

3 day Training on QA for PCM TRAINING PACKAGE Jan 2020
3 day Training on QA for PCM TRAINING PACKAGE Jan 2020
Size: 10.8 MB
Version: Jan 2020



Sphere recently published a new resource that offers hands-on guidance to practitioners looking to consider environmental issues in their humanitarian programmes. The guide, called “thematic sheet”, is the first in a series that will discuss some of the core issues in humanitarian response and the Sphere Handbook’s relevance to them. 

To understand what a thematic sheet is and how it will be helpful to humanitarian practitioners, Sphere interviewed sustainability expert and Sphere Handbook co-author Amanda George.

Read more

Share your Feedback on this third Edition: Consultation is opened until 4th December 2019!

This third Edition is opened to a wide audience for consultation through various platforms. We welcome any comments and inputs until 4th December 2019. This Edition will then be finalized, designed and published by the end of 2019.

We would also greatly appreciate any contribution in the format of stories or case studies related to the implementation of Quality and Accountability throughout the Project Cycle Management/ Humanitarian Programme Cycle.

Please share your feedback and contributions to both:

Sylvie Robert, Booklet Author, Independent Consultant
Email: sylvierobertconsulting@yahoo.fr

Shama Mall, Booklet Publisher, Community World Service Asia
Email: shaprograms@communityworldservice.asia

Thank you in advance!

Note: A 3-day Training package on Quality and Accountability for Project Cycle Management – composed of 10 training modules – is being tested and finalized to accompany this publication.

Click here to download the Booklet

Community World Service Asia, ACT Alliance, OCHA, ICVA, ADRRN, Act Church of Sweden, CHS Alliance, Sphere, and the Q&A Hub are hosting a collaborative event on strengthening accountability to the communities. A revised version of the new and updated booklet on Quality and Accountability for Project Cycle Management (PCM) will be introduced at this event which will be followed by a stimulating panel discussion that will be led by experts on accountability towards affected populations.

Click here download Event Agenda


The impact of humanitarian work on communities depends greatly upon the quality of services and accountability of actions both during emergency and non-emergency times. However, the impact of our activities depends as much on behavioural and professional standards of individuals who work for our organisations. Humanitarian agencies therefore have a duty of care to affected communities and a responsibility to ensure that right-holders are treated with dignity and respect and that certain minimum standards of behaviour are observed. The goal is to create an environment free of sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment and other unacceptable behaviour in humanitarian crisis and development work.

Course Aim and Objectives

The objective of this course is to gather professional humanitarian workers from (I)NGOs, UN, donors and government agencies who aim to become experts in complaints handling. It will allow participants to understand the linkages between quality & accountability and handling complaints, from reception to investigation and implementation of the learning. More specifically, at the end of the course, participants will have acquired the following skills:

  • Understand the different Q&A initiatives and how they complete each other
  • Explain and apply the 9 Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) commitments and identify how they contribute to improved humanitarian interventions
  • Explain terminology related to sensitive complaints
  • Understand the global investigative framework including specific skills to conduct interviews
  • Demonstrate a robust knowledge on how to handle complaints, from communication to reception of complaints and subsequent investigations
  • Able to support and manage an ongoing investigation and its follow-up action


The methodology will be very participatory, allowing participants to be involved in a dynamic way at all times through presentations, debates, experience sharing, group work, learning parts, videos. The course will be conducted in English.

Who Should Apply

This workshop has been designed for those staff members working to establish and handle complaints system in their organizations or staff members involved in the Prevention of

Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) as well as investigating sensitive complaints. Applicants fulfilling the following criteria are eligible to participate:

  • Senior and mid-level managers, including project coordinators involved in complaints handling and Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA)
  • Proficiency in English

How to apply

Kindly fill out the Online Application Form: https://forms.gle/trS5Rf5A1zCtRhqM8 or fill the attached form and send it to qa.support@communityworldservice.asia by October 20, 2019. Applicants will be notified/confirmed about their participation by October 31, 2019. For further information or queries please feel free to contact us: qa.support@communityworldservice.asia

Please make sure you include contact information (postal address, e-mail or phone number) you will access during those dates, at the latest. Space will be allocated on a ‘first-confirmed, first-served’ basis. Payment of the tuition fee will confirm the course registration.

Things you need to know!

When: November 29 – December 2, 2019
Where: Bangkok, Thailand
Registration Fee: US$ 650 (All-inclusive except for dinners and travel cost to & from Bangkok).
Application deadline: October 20, 2019

Please note

  • Participants are expected to arrive in Bangkok on November 28 and depart on December 3 and will be accommodated for maximum 5 nights (on double occupancy basis).
  • All participants are expected to attend the collaborative event on the morning of 29th of November.
  • Two meals (breakfast and lunch), in addition to refreshments will be provided during the training. Participants will be responsible for their own dinner.
  • Participants are advised to please confirm any expense related information from Community World Service Asia to ensure all financial matters are clarified.

Meet the Trainer

Ms. Ester Dross is an independent consultant with over 25 years of experience, specializing in accountability, prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, gender and child protection.

Ester had extensive exposure to humanitarian certification systems and accountability to affected populations while working with HAP International as their Complaints Handling and Investigation Advisor, later as their Certification Manager. She has been closely involved in the Building Safer Organizations Project since 2005, dealing with sexual exploitation and abuse of beneficiaries, particularly focusing on gender and child protection. Over the last 6 years and since working as an independent consultant, Ester has been leading a pilot project for FAO on accountability and gender mainstreaming in emergencies and working with numerous NGOs including ACT Alliance members, supporting and training their staff on gender issues, child protection, accountability, complaints handling and investigations. She is an experienced investigator herself and has conducted investigations in Asia, South America, Africa and Europe.

There’s More

The CHS Exchange

When: 08.30 AM Tuesday, November 19 to 12.00 PM Wednesday, November 20
Where: Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel 8/2 Rangnam Road, Thanon-Phayathai, Ratchathewi, 10400 Bangkok

Organized by the CHS Alliance, the CHS Exchange provides the opportunity to debate and discuss how the CHS can make aid work better for people in crisis. For more detail and registration please visit https://www.chsalliance.org/events/bangkok-chs-exchange/

The CHS Alliance General Assembly (Members only)

When: Wednesday afternoon, November 20 to Thursday, November 21
Where: Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel 8/2 Rangnam Road, Thanon-Phayathai, Ratchathewi, 10400 Bangkok

The physical General Assembly of CHS Alliance members is an important opportunity for the membership to agree on the collective way forward, in our commitment to the CHS and making aid work better for people. For more details and registration, please visit https://www.chsalliance.org/get-support/event/bangkok-chs-exchange-and-general-assembly/


When: Tuesday, November 26 to Friday, November 29
Where: Bangkok, Thailand (Venue to be decided)

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), The International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) and Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN) are holding a range of events, including thematic sessions, in a collaborative manner during the four days. For more details, please be in touch with the organizers.

Launch and Panel Discussion

When: 09.00 AM to 12.00 PM Friday, November 29
Where: Windsor Suites Hotel 10/1 Sukhumvit Soi 20, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, Thailand.

A collaborative event will be organized by Community World Service Asia, OCHA, ICVA, ADRRN, Act Church of Sweden, CHS Alliance and Sphere. It will include the launch of the updated booklet on Quality and Accountability for Project Cycle Management. This user-friendly booklet is designed especially for field practitioners working in the humanitarian and development sector to improve quality and accountability of their projects towards communities. The revised version aims to introduce advance tools to use at each stage of the project cycle, allowing enhanced practical implementation of quality and accountability. The launch will be followed by a stimulating panel discussion by panelists representing a range of experiences on accountability towards affected populations. More information will be circulated soon.

Advancing women leadership

When: November 24 to 29, 2019
Where: Windsor Suites Hotel 10/1 Sukhumvit Soi 20, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, Thailand

Community World Service Asia is organizing a training on Advancing Women Leadership. This training is a holistic approach to leveraging the strength and power of women. We are all unique beings and this course lends itself to that. For more details and registration, please visit: http://bit.do/a-w-l-2019

Training of Trainers on Quality & Accountability to Affected Populations

When: November 23 to 29, 2019
Where: Windsor Suites Hotel 10/1 Sukhumvit Soi 20, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, Thailand

As part of Community World Service Asia’s response to the demands for more support on awareness raising, capacity building and collective learning, we are delighted to announce the upcoming Training of Trainers on Quality & Accountability to Affected Populations. This event is a unique opportunity for all agencies, to equip staff to both disseminate and implement the standards. For more details and registration, please visit: http://bit.do/fbbcU


CWSA reserves the right to cancel or postpone the course if circumstances require. Registered participants will be informed with 100% fee refund. However, if the participant wishes to cancel the registration, he/she requires informing CWSA office at least one month in advance or else the fee will not be refunded.

About Community World Service Asia

Community World Service Asia is a humanitarian and development organization, Registered in Pakistan, head-quartered in Karachi and implementing initiatives throughout Asia. We aim to address factors that divide people by promoting inclusiveness, shared values, diversity, and interdependence. Marginalized communities are assisted Irrespective of race, faith, color, age, sex, economic status, or political opinion. Respecting the right to choose how to live, we work with marginalized communities to overcome the impacts of inequalities and lead peaceful, dignified and resilient lives.

Our focus areas include: Emergencies; Climate Action and Resilience Building; Education; Health; Livelihoods; Water, Sanitation & Hygiene; and, Humanitarian Quality and Accountability. We engage in the self-implementation of projects, cooperation through partners, and the provision of capacity building trainings and resources at the national, regional and global levels.

To strengthen and extend the reach of our commitments to promoting quality and accountability in humanitarian response, we are a member of the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) Alliance and Sphere. We are the Sphere Country Focal Point in Pakistan and the Regional Partner in Asia for the Sphere. Community World Service Asia is ISO 9001:2015 certified and has also received the USAID management standards certification. We have also been certified as a Gender Friendly Organization (GFO) in Pakistan and have undergone the CHS self-assessment. Our commitment and capacities enable us to collaborate with key partners on advocating, building capacity, and enhancing quality and accountability of humanitarian action both within Pakistan and the wider region.


Community World Service Asia shall not be made liable for any damage, loss, illness, injuries or death that may occur to or be caused by the participants during the course of training or travel to and from the training venue.


Click here download brochure and invitation letter.

For further details, please contact:

Mr. Khurram Saeed
Email: qa.support@communityworldservice.asia
Contact: +92 51 2307484
Web: www.communityworldservice.asia

The Perbhat theater group with the team of community World Service Asia.

Sphere Regional Focal Point, Community World Service Asia organized a theater performance on the Sphere standard #6.3 Food Assistance. Two theater performances were conducted in Ratan Bheel and Mandhal Thakur villages of Umerkot district in Sindh, Pakistan on December 6th! A total of 130 men and women participated in the community-level event.

The play highlighted some challenges faced during the targeting, distribution and delivery processes of food assistance. Perbhat, a local theater group and local partner of CWSA, performed an interactive theater play to highlight the food distribution methods or direct cash/voucher delivery mechanisms that are efficient, equitable, secure, safe, accessible and effective and are in line with the Sphere standards. The play emphasized on the guidelines derived from the Sphere Handbook 2018 that guides the CSOs to use the minimum standards to protect the rights of all groups of society to promote their dignity and ensure their inclusiveness and protection.

Voices of the Community:

Savetri from Ratan Bheel village in Umerkot shared, “The play promoted the importance and respect of differently able and children in the community. These two groups are mostly overlooked but today we learnt that the new Sphere Handbook promotes the inclusion of all groups including men, women, children, youth and the differently able members of communities.”

Khatoon from Ratan Bheel village in Umerkot quoted, “The needs of men, women, children, youth and differently able members of the communities were given importance. None of the group was disregarded as all are served equally during emergency crisis.”

Dhano, Ratan Bheel village, Umerkot. “We learnt an important message today stating that the food assistance provided by various organizations should be according to the needs of community members”

Kiran Bashir, Project Manager, Community World Service Asia. “Sphere Handbook 2018 promotes the inclusion of all women, youth, elders and differently able members of local communities. Every voice counts so let us raise our voices together and share the message of equal participation.”

Jai Ram Dhaas, Ratan Bheel village, Umerkot. “We learnt that the Sphere Handbook 2018 caters the needs of all women, children and most importantly of the differently able members in the community who are mostly gone unnoticed.”

Sphere partners, International Council of Voluntary Agencies, Community World Service Asia, Church of Sweden, ADRRN and Alnap, launched the revised edition of the #SphereHandbook in Bangkok on December 11. 150 participants representing the humanitarian community of over 30 countries attended the regional event.

The panel discussion with key experts launched presentations of recent findings and products followed by a debate on hot topics related to Quality and Accountability to Affected Populations (Q&AAP), with a focus on communities and people affected by the crisis as the main target.

The event was concluded with an announcement of a Share Fair on Quality and Accountability to Affected Populations. Participants of the Training of Trainers on Q&AAP, together with some initiatives leading the work and research on humanitarian standards lead presentations and discussions on different tables.

We are excited to share that CHS Alliance has put Community World Service Asia (CWSA) in the spotlight.

As a founding member of the CHS Alliance and a member of ACT Alliance, Community World Service Asia strives to increase the effectiveness of its humanitarian response through improving and strengthening processes for quality and accountability (Q&A) across its programmes. Community World Service Asia also plays an important role in supporting humanitarian and development organisations in the region to introduce quality and accountability mechanisms.

Quality and accountability have always been at the center of all our work that we have carried out not only in the region but at the global level,” says Zainab Raza, Deputy Director for Governance at CWSA. “Community World Service Asia believes that increasing the effectiveness of humanitarian response through enhancing quality and accountability mechanisms for frontline, regional and national organisations should be a priority.

In a video message recorded for the occasion, Zainab talks about how CWSA has benefited from being a member of the CHS Alliance.

Focusing on Commitment 5 of the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS), in this edition, CWSA shares how it has supported 1,900 returnee Afghan families by virtue of three small-scale emergency relief projects.

The CHS offers us continuous guidance to ensure that we streamline quality and accountability throughout our assistance to crisis-affected communities,” says Marvin Parvez, Regional Director, CWSA. “We established completely transparent relationships with the returnee families we assist in order to ensure the welfare and inclusion of returnee families throughout the project life cycle.

CHS Alliance shared some interviews to hear more about our quality and accountability initiatives, how staff streamlines its work with the Core Humanitarian Standard and how training can help to apply the Commitments of the CHS in emergency situations.

“The CHS is increasingly in our DNA” – Coffee with Rizwan Iqbal, CWSA’s Quality and Accountability (Q&A) Specialist

Rizwan Iqbal has been working with the non-governmental sector and businesses in Asia and Europe for over 12 years. Currently, he is spearheading Community World Service Asia’s Quality and Accountability (Q&A) team and its promotion within the Asia-Pacific region. His aim is to enhance his colleagues’ and partners understanding of and capacity to apply the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS), the Sphere Standards and its companions.

“We have incorporated the CHS at all stages of our emergency work” – Coffee with Shahzado, Emergencies Programme Manager with HelpAge

Shahzado Khaskheli is an Emergencies Programme Manager with HelpAge International. He participated in a workshop hosted by CWSA on the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) in April and now shares his experience.