Core Humanitarian Competency Framework
Building on the seminal work of the ECB Project in 2006-7, in which agencies reached agreement on the essential behaviors for humanitarian response, and the work on professionalizing the humanitarian sector, led by ELRHA (Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance), in which a wide range of humanitarian competencies were identified, these frameworks are now available to download and share.
Under ActionAid’s leadership, People In Aid started with research and a mapping exercise to review existing competency frameworks within the Consortium members, and more widely within the sector. This led to a facilitated interactive consultation process between key humanitarian practitioners and human resource professionals. This process culminated in simultaneous workshops held in Nairobi and London to finalize the framework before it was presented to the CBHA Board for approval.
The Core Humanitarian Competency Framework is a shared resource for all 15 CBHA and ECB agencies, and the wider humanitarian community including national NGOs and partners. It identifies six core competencies essential to all staff in emergency response. Though it does not cover the entire spectrum of possible competencies required to be effective in a humanitarian response, it will be pivotal in guiding the Consortium’s capacity building efforts being led by Oxfam and Save the Children.
Core humanitarian behaviors
- Understanding humanitarian contexts and application of humanitarian principles
- Achieving results effectively, considering the need for speed, scale and quality
- Developing and maintaining collaborative relationships
- Operating safely and securely in high risk environments
- Managing yourself in a pressured and changing environment
- Leadership in humanitarian response
A Leadership Behavior Framework for humanitarian response has also been developed, drawing out aspects of leadership from the Core Humanitarian Competency Framework.
The CBHA Chair, Matthew Carter, (CAFOD) described the frameworks as “a great achievement of consensus building among agencies” and CBHA board member Bijay Kumar (ActionAid) echoed that sentiment, pronouncing the result to be “well-designed and agreed upon core humanitarian and leadership competency frameworks”.
Three staff development programs are being developed from these shared frameworks:
- Core humanitarian skills
- Humanitarian management and leadership
- Humanitarian leadership development
The Consortium intends to apply and pilot these programs over the next 18 months with the implementation support of the ECB Project consortia countries including Bangladesh, Bolivia, Indonesia and the Horn of Africa. A capacity assessment workshop in Jakarta, Indonesia last week identified existing in-country capacity, different training experiences, and captured training preferences amongst participating agencies. Pleasingly, the competency frameworks are proving to be a valuable reference tool in this assessment process, and should ensure that the new training programs are fit for purpose, and can be adapted to diverse agencies and countries over time. In 2012, lessons and reflections will be used to revise and update the frameworks.
With special thanks to Ben Emmens, consultant from People in Aid, Megan Price, CBHA Project Manager at ActionAid, and Caroline Hotham, Project Manager at Oxfam for their support with this news update. Visit http://www.thecbha.org/