The Humanitarian Charter is the cornerstone of the Handbook, with the Protection Principles and Core Humanitarian Standard providing a foundation which informs all sectors of assistance. Technical standards outline priorities to ensure response in four key life-saving sectors: water, sanitation and hygiene promotion; food security and nutrition; shelter and settlement; and health.
The measurable minimum standards describe what needs to be achieved in a humanitarian response in order for people to survive and re-establish their lives and livelihoods in ways that respect their voice and promote their dignity. Key actions, indicators and guidance notes provide ways to apply these standards in diverse context. The chapters are all linked and reinforce each other.
The strength of the Sphere Handbook lies in its universality and adaptability to all humanitarian settings. It enjoys broad ownership in the humanitarian sector and therefore provides a common language for working with all stakeholders towards quality and accountability in humanitarian contexts.
Did you know? You can request free copies of the Minimum Standards for Education, and the Humanitarian Inclusion Standards for Older People and People with Disabilities (the postage is payable).
Contact INEE for your copy of the Minimum Standards for Education
Contact ADCAP for your copy of the Humanitarian Inclusion Standards for Older People and People with Disabilities
What is Sphere?
1. The Handbook
2. Using the Standards in context
Appendix 1 Delivering assistance through markets
The Humanitarian Charter
The Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion (WASH)
Food Security and Nutrition
Shelter and Settlement
Annex 1 Legal foundation to Sphere
Annex 2 The Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Disaster Relief
Annex 3 Abbreviations and acronyms
The Sphere Project was initiated in 1997 by a group of NGOs and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to develop a set of universal minimum standards in core areas of humanitarian response. In 2017, the Sphere Project became independent as and is now the Sphere Association.