1. Introduction

CARE is committed to responding to humanitarian crises in such a way that it has the greatest, longest-lasting impact on the lives of those people affected. This commitment is reflected in CARE’s 2030 Vision (July  2021) and  in the Humanitarian Strategy for the 2030 Vision (Dec 2021).

We understand Programme Quality as a constant process of improvement that should be largely driven by the rights, needs and aspirations of the people in our programming areas.  ACCOUNTABILITY is therefore a central element for both CARE’s Programme Quality and CARE’s Governance. CARE’s Programme Quality Standards require that we:

  • proactively seek feedback from the people we serve and partners we work with, adjusting our programs and how we work accordingly.
  • communicate in a transparent and timely manner to communities and other stakeholders about our programs, their results and our learnings, and on how we respond to the feedback we are given.
  • model accountability within CARE and our own partnerships, in line with our commitments under the Core Humanitarian Standard, and
  • promote the accountability of power holders and other duty bearers.

CARE’s Humanitarian Accountability Framework (HAF, see section 3 below) sets out how accountability is a constant, guiding principle in CARE’s humanitarian work which, when applied at every stage of the programme cycle, provides an essential means of achieving high programme quality standards and greatest impact.

For CARE accountability is not an add-on but is integral to every aspect of its work and the responsibility of every CARE staff member. Having a HAF as a core policy commitment means making decisions, managing performance and measuring success in an accountable way. It means that transparency, engagement and empowerment are built-in features of good quality humanitarian programme management.

This chapter is intended to guide CARE staff in the application of CARE’s HAF, particularly those in Country Offices who are engaged in humanitarian programming.

CARE publicly recognizes its obligation to give voice to and be held to account by all stakeholders, not least the people affected by humanitarian crises, its implementing partners and its staff. CARE also understands that careful application of accountability standards improves the quality and relevance and enhances the positive impact of its humanitarian programming. With its membership of the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) Alliance,  CARE makes a public commitment to uphold and promote global standards of quality and accountability that have been set and agreed by leading humanitarian actors including CARE. This chapter also refers to the quality and accountability framework required of each full member of the CHS-Alliance.