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Workshops on Core Humanitarian Standards

Mr. Mathew Carter, Humanitarian Director of CAFOD – UK and Chairman, Humanitarian Committee of Caritas International facilitated two Workshops on “Core Humanitarian Standards on Quality and Accountability (CHS)” for members of the Caritas Sri Lanka network during his recent visit to the country on 2nd and 3rd March 2016.

The first Workshop was held in Trincomalee for the Diocesan Centres of North and East, and the arrangements for it were made under the guidance of Rev. Fr. G. Nithidasan, Director of EHED – Trincomalee. Rt. Rev. Dr. Noel Emmanuel, Bishop of Trincomalee, was also present on this occasion.

The second Workshop was held in Kandy for the Diocesan Centres of the South, and the arrangements for it were directed by Rev. Fr. Desmond Perera, Director of SETIK – Kandy. The Chairman of Caritas Sri Lanka and Bishop of Kandy, Most Rev. Dr. Vianney Fernando was also present at this event.

In his presentations, Mr. Mathew Carter elaborated on the Nine Commitments that organizations and individuals involved in humanitarian response can use to improve the quality and effectiveness of the assistance they provide, especially in times of emergency. The Nine Commitments of CHS are;

  • Humanitarian response is appropriate and relevant
  • Humanitarian response is effective and timely
  • Humanitarian response strengthens local capacities and avoids negative effects
  • Humanitarian response is based on communication, participation and feedback
  • Complaints are welcomed and addressed
  • Humanitarian response is coordinated and complementary
  • Humanitarian actors continuously learn and improve
  • Staff are supported to their job effectively and are treated fairly and equitably
  • Resources are managed and used responsibly for their intended purpose

All Workshop participants felt that the implementation of CHS would ensure transparency and accountability in our humanitarian responses. Since Sri Lanka is considered as a disaster prone country, especially in view of the effects of the global warming and climate change experienced in recent times, they felt empowered by the knowledge they had gained on the concept and application of CHS principles.

The proceedings of the Workshops were translated into Sinhala and Tamil languages for the benefit of the participants.

Rev. Fr. George Sigamoney, National Director of Caritas Sri Lanka was present at both the above Workshops along with some members of the National Centre staff.