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Christian Aid awarded humanitarian accountability standard

Christian Aid has become the largest development agency in the UK, and the first in the Republic of Ireland, to be awarded the Humanitarian Accountability and Quality Management Standard (HAP) for its humanitarian, development and advocacy work in developing countries.

The certification process saw the agency undergo audits in its British, Irish, Indian and Burkina Faso offices where policies, procedures, management processes and relationships with partner organisations and communities were scrutinised.

The audit, which looked at the organisation from a grassroots level right up to top management, has enabled Christian Aid to develop a three year plan to improve its existing accountability. As a result a new formal complaints procedure and response policy has been implemented, at both field and head office level, to improve feedback and Christian Aid’s accountability to partners working with some of the world’s poorest communities.

Nick Guttmann, Christian Aid’s head of humanitarian, said: ‘Christian Aid recognises the challenge to the charity sector when it comes to being accountable to the people we are trying to help. It is part of our ethos to give a voice to the voiceless and these new procedures will help us to redress the power imbalance by helping poor communities to hold us to account.’

The cornerstones of the HAP accountability process includes ensuring there is adequate participation, information sharing, complaints procedures and representation built into all our work with poor communities.

Guttmann continued: ‘Going for the HAP certification involved a lot of work and reflects our commitment to improving our accountability to the people we are trying to help. Emergency work is especially difficult as we need to balance a speedy response with including communities in the decision making process. Working towards the HAP certification forced us to really scrutinise our work, it was a positive step and will inspire us to strive towards continually improving our work with poor communities worldwide.’

In 2007 Christian Aid was named the top non-governmental performer in a Global Accountability Report produced by The One World Trust. The HAP certification is a demonstration of Christian Aid’s ongoing accountability commitment to both donors and beneficiaries.


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For further press information please contact Karen Hedges on 020 7523 2404

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid is the third aid agency in the UK to be awarded the HAP certification after Tearfund and CAFOD
2. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the life they deserve.
3. The Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP – International) runs the leading global quality assurance scheme for humanitarian agencies.
4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_