4 July 2019, a seminar was organized on Quality and Accountability in Humanitarian Response: HQAI Approach at the capital’s BRAC Center Inn. National and international NGO representatives were present there and they emphasized ensuring the quality and accountability in humanitarian response programs. They said Government and NGOs take emergency programs instantly to ensure the dignity, rights and security of the people affected by crisis. As it takes in a hurry, there could be mistakes or negative impact to the people. If so, then the people affected by crisis could put at more risk or be affected. So, it is important to ensure quality and accountability in humanitarian response programs.
Panel discussants of the seminar were Md. Harun-Or-Rashid Mollah, Additional Secretary of the Department of Disaster Management, Government of Bangladesh, Khadadad Hossain form NIRAPAD Network, Dr. Ehsanur Rahman from NAHAB, Kazi Sahidur Rahman from UNRC, Khodadad Hossain Sarker, Advisor from NIRAPAD, AKM Musa from CONCERN Worldwide, Seakeb Nabi from Christian Aid, KAM Morshed from BRAC, Gowhar Nayeem Warha from Disaster Forum Bangladesh and Sajid Raihan from Start Fund Bangladesh. Pierre Hauselmann from Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative- HQAI gave the key speech of assuring quality and accountability in humanitarian response. HQAI, based in Geneva, is an independent audit organization that verifies worldwide the Core Humanitarian Standards-CHS in humanitarian response and issues certification. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury from COAST Trust moderated the seminar where Md. Iqbal Uddin shared COAST experience in certification process. Francis Atul Sarker from Caritas, Rafiqul Alam from Dwip Unnyan Sangstha and Fazlul Haue from Sajida Foudation also took part the discussion.
Pierre Hauselmann said, CHS has a 9 set of commitments, we, the humanitarian practitioners can use these as standards. HQAI has up to 90% subsidy option for conducting audit or small organizations can jointly apply for certification which will reduce the audit cost. Khodadad Hossain said, HQAI brings what benefits to the organizations, if we know we will be proactive more to go for certification. Fazlul Haue said achieving of certificate should be for strengthening the organizational capacity. Francis Atul Sarker said, we should show our accountability not only to our donors or government but also to the people, we work for. Sajid Raihan said, there are many certification system on standards but it would be good if one common standard is available and accepted by all.
Gowhar Nayeem Warha said, we should consider the environment while conducting the audit on CHS 9 commitments. Kazi Sahidur Rahman said about the legal acceptance of audit, accountability and transparency and GO-NGO Coordination. Dr. Ehsanur Rahman said, all NGOs are busy in Cox’s bazar Rohingya response but we should also be careful if any natural disaster happen. Shaken Nabi said, we should be more careful so that we could keep the HQAI certificate live. AKM Musa said, certificate is the motivation that recognizes we work for people affected by crisis. KAM Morshed said, we should consider the certification process as the means of efficiency, capacity building and achieving organizational mission.
Md. Harun-Or-Rashid opines about reduction of the audit fees so that more NGOs can come together under this certification. COAST Trust in cooperation with Sphere Community Bangladesh, NIRAPAD, NAHAB and Disaster Forum organized the seminar.
Please download related paper [Bangla Press Release] [English Press Release] [Presentation-Iqbal]