About the Minimum Standards for Camp Management
In a humanitarian crisis, camps and camp-like settings are often the only places where internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees can seek protection and assistance.
These Minimum Standards for Camp Management describe the minimum actions needed to support meaningful engagement within a site as well as planning and coordination between sectors and agencies. They aim to clarify the role of any site management agency working on a daily basis in humanitarian settings and to set out minimum levels of quality of that work. Although called the Minimum Standards for Camp Management, the standards apply to all contexts where displaced people seek shelter, protection and other support, and the term “site” is used unless a specific camp context is meant.
The need for a set of standards to measure the quality of work done by an SMA is long overdue. In 2002, key SMAs and field practitioners acknowledged the lack of agreement on common standards and policies and the proven inadequate levels of assistance and protection. They recognised the need for shared guidelines and tools in camp management, resulting in the 2004 Camp Management Toolkit. Today, the toolkit is a well-recognised reference of comprehensive knowledge and lessons learned related to site management. Other guides and handbooks followed, notably the 2010 UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Handbook for the Protection of Internally Displaced Persons. More recent demand from field practitioners, together with the main aims of global clusters to develop effective common policy frameworks, led to the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster starting a project in 2016 to establish minimum sectoral standards.
The resulting Minimum Standards for Camp Management are the outcome of wide consultation in the field, online surveys, focus group discussions, desk reviews and expert advice. Displaced people, leading operational partners and government counterparts were all actively consulted to input to the standards. Recognising that camps and other displacement settings are part of a larger ecosystem of humanitarian response, the Standards refer to existing guidance documents both in the CCCM technical sector, like the Camp Management Toolkit and the Handbook for the Protection of Internally Displaced Persons and core Humanitarian Standards Partnership resources, including The Sphere Handbook. In doing so, they guide people working in displacement settings in what to expect from CCCM professionals and support site managers who may be new to the sector.