ACT Alliance, of which DanChurchAid is a member, has become the first alliance secretariat in the world to comply with the 2010 Standard in Accountability and Quality Management by the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) International, a global body that sets accountability standards for aid organisations.
DanChurchAid became HAP certified in 2008 as one of two NGOs in Denmark. The news that ACT Alliance became HAP certified is good news to General Secretary Henrik Stubkjær. “It is certainly good news for us all. The HAP certification is a signal to both the member organisations and the donor community that the ACT Alliance has its focus on the beneficiaries and works for transparency, professionalism and efficiency,” says Stubkjær, himself a member of the governing board of ACT Alliance Established in 2003, HAP promotes the highest principles of accountability through self-regulation by members, linked by a common respect for the rights and dignity of people they seek to assist. Members range from organisations with a mandate for emergency relief and development activities to institutional donors. “We are happy to be recognised as an alliance that takes seriously accountability to affected populations, and that we have tested systems in place to hold the ACT secretariat and our members accountable to our stakeholders,” ACT Alliance General Secretary John Nduna said. “The certification process has also helped us see where we need to improve. We appreciate that it covers all aspects of an organisation and is a challenging process that involves engagement across all departments.” ACT demonstrated compliance with the standard through an extensive process of external auditing. The standard helps establish a commitment to accountability and quality programming through the following six benchmarks: establishing and delivering on commitments; staff competency; sharing information; participation; handling complaints; and learning and continual improvement. To date, 17 organisations have become HAP-certified, demonstrating the increasing international recognition given to accountability in the humanitarian and development sectors.