HAP Standard

The Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) uses seven Principles of Accountability to help make humanitarian action more accountable to it's intended beneficiaries through self-regulation, compliance verification and quality assurance certification.

The HAP Standard was created from an increasing concern from Humanitarian Agencies that "self-regulation by individual agencies had been ineffective".  Because of this, confidence in relief agencies by stakeholders, those contributing funds and those receiving assistance, may have been declining. The HAP Standard was launched in 2007 to clearly define humanitarian accountability and provide a mechanism to verify quality in agency accountability.

Principles of Accountability

1) Commitment to humanitarian standards and rights

Members state their commitment to respect and foster humanitarian standards and
the rights of beneficiaries


2) Setting standards and building capacity

Members set a framework of accountability to their stakeholders.1
Members set and periodically review their standards and performance indicators, and
revise them if necessary.
Members provide appropriate training in the use and implementation of standards.

3) Communication

Members inform, and consult with, stakeholders, particularly beneficiaries and staff,
about the standards adopted, programmes to be undertaken and mechanisms
available for addressing concerns.

4) Participation in program

Members involve beneficiaries in the planning, implementation, monitoring and
evaluation of programmes and report to them on progress, subject only to serious
operational constraints.

5) Monitoring and reporting on compliance

Members involve beneficiaries and staff when they monitor and revise standards.
Members regularly monitor and evaluate compliance with standards, using robust
processes.
Members report at least annually to stakeholders, including beneficiaries, on compliance with standards. Reporting may take a variety of forms.

6) Addressing complaints

Members enable beneficiaries and staff to report complaints and seek redress safely.

7) Implementing partners

Members are committed to the implementation of these principles if and when
working through implementation partners.

The 2010 Version of the HAP Standard can be downloaded: 2010 HAP Standard

HAP updates

October 2013: HAP International published the 2013 Humanitarian Accountability Report, published annually by HAP, critically looks at developments around quality and accountability in the humanitarian sector. To celebrate HAP’s 10th anniversary, the 2013 report reviews progress made over the past decade, and presents innovations the sector has adopted to make itself more accountable to populations affected by crises.

November 2011: HAP International published the HAP Guide to Certification, a manual intended for organisations interested in enrolling in the HAP certification scheme. The manual presents key information about the HAP certification process. It covers issues of management and specifies who makes decisions on certification. It explains the key components of certification and how they link to each other. It also sets out the six main phases of the process, from the moment that an organisation applies for certification until the certificate expires. In addition, it provides details of the roles played by the HAP Regulatory Services team, the applying organisation and the auditors in the certification process.

3 June 2011: HAP International released the 2010 Humanitarian Accountability Report. The Humanitarian Accountability Report illustrates the principal trends and developments in relation to accountability in the humanitarian system. The purpose of the annual humanitarian accountability review is to offer an informed and independent view of progress made by the humanitarian system towards meeting HAP’s vision of a humanitarian system championing the rights and the dignity of disaster survivors. This year's report also contains the 6th annual survey of perceptions on humanitarian accountability and a chapter based on focus group discussions with Haitians affected by the January 2010 earthquake.

21 March 2011: HAP has collaborated with FilmAid International to showcase the voices of beneficiaries and their perception on humanitarian accountability in a short 7 minute documentary. The documentary, titled 'Our Say', can be viewed on

For more information please see: HAP International